Air Transport World

FL Group: easyJet, Sterling Airlines )(sales, profits)

The parent of Icelandair Group carried out a structural transformation over the past 12-16 months aimed at becoming an investment company with holdings in a variety of industries and business segments. It acquired a 16.9% stake in easyJet and sold it for approximately [euro]325 million, realizing a profit of [euro]140 million. One day before selling that stake in April, it confirmed it had increased its holding in Finnair to 10%.

In January, FL bought Sterling Airlines A/S from yet another Icelandic investment group, Fons Eignarhaldsfelag, which had acquired Sterling European in March 2005 and merged its operations with those of Maersk Air in September. Sterling is positioning itself as "Europe's fourth-largest low-cost airline, and the largest in Scandinavia," a claim its main Scandinavian competitor, Norwegian, rightfully disputes, having carried more passengers in 2005. …

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