Spainair chief quits to launch bid for airline

4th October 2007, Comments 0 comments

4 October 2007, MADRID - AFP - Spanair chief Gonzalo Pascual resigned Thursday to launch a takeover bid for Spain's second largest airline by the travel group Marsans, which he also heads, Spanair announced Thursday.

4 October 2007

MADRID - AFP - Spanair chief Gonzalo Pascual resigned Thursday to launch a takeover bid for Spain's second largest airline by the travel group Marsans, which he also heads, Spanair announced Thursday.

Scandinavian travel group SAS announced in June that it planned to sell Spanair, and Pascual announced he intended to buy it for Marsans.

"Now the race begins" for control of the company, a source close to Marsans said. No other bidders have so far come forward.

"After the decision by AENA (Spain's airport authority) to allocate Spanair a part of the future terminal in Barcelona," the president can now stand down and launch his takeover bid, the source said.

Spanair's managing director, Gerardo Diaz Ferran, also quit along with another board member.

Spanair is Spain's second largest airline after Iberia, which is itself up for sale, with both Air France-KLM and British Airways showing interest.

Marsans already owns the Madrid-based Air Comet and 95 percent of Aerolineas Argentinas.

Pascual hopes to link the three carriers to form a global operator. Spanair has flights to destinations in Spain, North Africa and Central Europe, while the other two airlines operate long distance routes.

Spanair, a member of the Star Alliance group of airlines, operates a fleet of 65 airplanes and employs more than 3,600 people.

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Subject: Spanish news

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