DN - Defence Notes

clickair and Vueling begin joint sales of flights

2nd March 2009 - 08:43 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Spanish low-fare carriers clickair and Vueling have begun cross-selling seats online on all their domestic and international flights in another step towards two companies' merger.

The cross-selling agreement gives customers of both airlines access to more than 10 million seats on a combined 89 routes and 45 destinations. Clickair’s bases in Barcelona, Bilbao, Malaga, Seville and Valencia will be complemented by Vueling’s. The new arrangement will also allow clickair passengers to access the latter’s routes originating from Madrid. The combined timetables went live on www.clickair.com and www.vueling.com on 27 February.

Vueling’s chief financial officer, Antonio Grau, also announced that after the merger, flights operated by the new Vueling, in which Iberia – currently clickair’s strategic shareholder – will have a majority interest, will have a codeshare agreement with Iberia, as clickair has since its creation in 2006. Since the airline’s inception all clickair flights have been available via the web or through traditional global distribution systems, via the Iberia codeshare (IB5000). Currently GDS sales at clickair account for nearly 40% of all seats sold, one of the highest proportions among low-fare airlines worldwide.

clickair marketing director Jaime Lloret noted, “Even though both companies are moving towards a full merger, the cross-selling agreement is still a commercial alliance.  Both companies are still formally separate entities until the merger is formally completed.”

Following  EU approval of the merger in January and the subsequent signing of the merger covenants by the boards of directors of Vueling and clickair on 13 February and 18 February, respectively, the remaining regulatory and legal steps are expected to be finalised by late June or early July.

Upon completion, the merged new Vueling’s majority shareholder will be Iberia, taking a stake of between 40% and 45% of the company’s renewed stock. Hemisferio, the present controlling shareholder of Vueling will dilute its ownership from the current 28% to approximately 15%. Some 25% of the new Vueling’s stock will continue to be traded on the Madrid Stock Exchange (MAD: VLG).

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