Second-hand travel companies for sale

By | Category: Travel news

AerLingus

Alfred Kuoni - the founder - and how Kuoni still uses his drive

Alfred Kuoni – the founder – and how Kuoni still uses his drive

Like buses, you wait for one to come along and then there is a flurry of them.

Kuoni has decided to sell its tour operating business. Ryanair and the Irish government want to sell the stakes they both have in Aer Lingus and Cyprus Airways has gone to the wall because no-one wanted to buy it.

Kuoni is a well-known, world-wide brand so there should be no shortage of buyers. For the traveller, a change of hands would mean little in the short term. The medium term is a different matter and all depends on who buys it. The current UK management has been gobbling up smaller niche players over the last few years like Kirker, Voyages Jules Verne and Journeys of Distinction. All portray an upmarket image and all have good customer satisfaction ratings so any buyer wouldn’t want to tamper with that image.

Aer Lingus is different. It swapped from being a standard airline to one where value for money became more important as it tried to compete with one of its shareholders, Ryanair. Ryanair wants to get rid of its shares (partially enforced by the EU) and the Irish Government also wants to unload its shares. Between them they own 50% so who will buy? IAG, the holding company for BA and Iberia wants to but has so far not stumped up enough cash. Given that IAG’s CEO, Willie Walsh, used to run Aer Lings you might see why they are interested. But if it were to take over the Irish airline, IAG would have a big hold on flights from the south east of England into the Republic. And that won’t be good news for the passenger as competition might be stifled. We would have to rely on competition rules to make sure passengers weren’t fleeced. No other airline seems interested although there have been rumours that Norwegian has looked at the books.

Ryanair did make an offer for Cyprus Airways but at a knockdown price. Misuse of state support has seen the EU step in and effectively close the airline, so who will buy an airline that struggled for years to make a profit? BA has offered a cheap one way price to help passengers out in the short-term, so could they be a buyer via their owners, IAG? It looks as though Cyprus Airways will just be lain to rest and the charter and no-frills airlines will try and fill the gap.

As for airline and holiday passengers, it is too soon to see how we will be affected by any or all of this. Hopefully, we won’t even notice the difference.

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