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SAirGroup could shelve European Leisure Group plan

Balair losses could spell end of European Leisure Group

(Keystone Archive)

SAirGroup is considering shelving plans to merge its European charter airline holdings into a single organisation.

SAirGroup spokesman, Hans Klaus, said the company is reassessing the future of its European Leisure Group (ELG), which was meant to be an umbrella organisation for several European airlines in which it owns stakes, including Swiss charter unit Balair, LTU in Germany, Volare/Air Europe in Italy and Sobelair in Belgium.

The company said, though, that it would be pressing ahead with the merger of Swiss charter unit, Balair, into its bigger Crossair regional subsidiary. Balair was meant to be a centrepiece of ELG.

"ELG has always been a kind of idea we tried to implement, and we cannot call it a failed project. The co-operation also works without a common brand name," said Klaus.

SAirGroup confirmed on Saturday it was studying the future of loss-making Balair and ELG and said it was seriously considering combining all charter activities under the management of Crossair.

The decision could be announced a news conference on April 2, when Crossair is due to announce its results for last year.

Moritz Suter head of SAirGroup's airlines divisions said Balair would respect its commitments for the holiday season, especially to main client Hotelplan.

The Balair news helped pull SAirGroup shares up by two per cent on Monday after they fell to a five year low on Friday.

swissinfo with agencies


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