New owners for Air Alps
Short of cash after a financially strenuous year marked by a strong rise in fuel prices, the Austrian regional AirAlps has relinquished its exclusive code- sharing agreement with KLM and found new investors in Northern Italy.
Under the new ownership structure, Austro-Italian investment concern Alpen Air GmbH holds 86 percent of shares, the province of North Tyrol, Austria, holds 7 percent and South Tyrol, Italy, controls the remaining 7 percent. Swisswings (formerly Air Engiadina) has dropped its participation in AirAlps.
Operating a single-type fleet of five Fairchild Dornier 328 turboprops, AirAlps currently flies from Innsbruck to Amsterdam and Zurich, from Linz and Salzburg to Amsterdam, from Klagenfurt to Zurich, and from Vienna to Stuttgart. On all routes the airline shares designator codes with national flag carriers: KLM in Amsterdam, Lufthansa in Stuttgart and Swissair or Crossair in Zurich. With two or three daily flights on most routes, Air Alps has carried some 85,000 passengers during the first seven months of this year, compared with 132,000 passengers all of last year. The company announced sales of $20 million for 2000, up 54 percent from 1999.