The Week in brief
- LAN Airlines of Chile expects to finalize its merger with Brazilian carrier TAM in the next six to nine months. The merger will create a world top 15 airline, with more than 280 planes serving destinations in 23 countries. LAN said it would focus in the first half of 2011 on “recovering profitability” at Aires, Colombia’s second largest airline and expected its Colombian operations to break even by 2012. LAN, which also has domestic operations in Chile, Argentina, Ecuador and Peru, saw fourth-quarter net income increase 49.9 percent to $164.6 million as passenger and cargo business continued to expand.
- The Chinese transport company Cosco and officials at the Athens International Airport have singed an agreement linking the airport with Cosco's Piraeus Container Terminal SA in China. The airport's Alexis Sioris said, "The arrival upon the transport infrastructure of this powerful Chinese operator and new facility will open the door to steady flows of inbound sea/air traffic. Much of this cargo is destined for the USA, for which we have excellent frequent wide-body capacity." The agreement will help jumpstart the airport's sea/air initiative, which has seen modest success since being started in 2007.
- In order to strengthen its presence in the Middle East, Toll Group has acquired Dubai-based sea/air provider SAT Albatros. “Building our business with a niche sea/air provider gives us further scope to offer our customers the opportunity to match speed to market with a cost-effective service," said Paul Little AO of Toll Group in a statement. “The integration of SAT will allow us to secure a blue-chip well-established customer base principally consisting of European fashion apparel, electronics, and consumer goods conglomerates sourcing products from Asia.
- The firm Quiport has signed a $684 million deal to manage the international airport currently under construction in Quito, Ecuador. Intended to replace the city's Mariscal Sucre Airport, the development is slated to open during the summer of 2012. The facility will feature longer runways than those at the existing airport; the project also is being built at a lower altitude.