Not many people outside of the airline industry know this, but Delta Airline owns and operates a lucrative division of private jets. Delta AirElite, as it is known, is the single bright spot in an otherwise dark business environment for this U.S. legacy carrier. Some are speculating that Delta should sell its AirElite business to raise funds and turn around the carrier, but I have another more radical take on things that I believe should be considered instead.Established in 1984, "Delta AirElite" has been steadily growing and making money for Delta. While the airline part of the company is rapidly and continually hemorrhaging cash, AirElite continues to make money and grow. Indeed, with a fleet of sought after business jets in its portfolio including the Challenger 300, Gulfstream IV-SP, and Learjet 31A, AirElite is an attractive company for any potential suitor.Truly, if Delta were to sell AirElite it would only slow the bleeding for Delta, not stop it. With debt totals exceeding $20 billion, a sale of AirElite would likely only fetch the carrier a few hundred million dollars, if that. Last year, Delta sold off its Delta Connection carrier, Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA), for $425 million cash to Skywest Airlines. The sale was perceived by industry analysts as a desperate one as ASA was valued to be worth between $700-800 million dollars. The sale took place just before the airline filed for bankruptcy in September 2005, and had no effect in stemming the filing.So, what should Delta do? In my opinion, get out of the airline business altogether. Thats right, instead of laying off thousands of additional workers and requiring steep give backs in employee wages, Delta might consider selling all of its assets off piece by piece to the competition. This would especially make sense as Deltas restructuring is dependent on steady fuel prices and, at this point, airlines can expect to pay even more for fuel in 2006 than they did last year. Kiss that recovery plan goodbye!Once the airline business is sold, AirElite should be all that is left of Delta. The new company can thrive as the business aviation market is booming. The writing is on the wall for the airlines as further consolidation, retrenchment, and big time price pressure will remain. Indeed, once Virgin America gets official government approval to fly, its fleet of 105 modern Airbus jets will have much more appeal to passengers than Deltas aging fleet. One more reason for Delta to get out of the commercial airline business now.Is my recommendation radical? Yes, it is. Delta, however, is in too much of a hole to ever recover. Better to realize that now when their assets have some value than to wait until what they have slips away forever. By that time, even AirElite may get dragged down and suffer.
Cheap Flight to Poland: Helpful Tips When Travelling to PolandIn the past all foreign tourists were forced to exchange certain amount of money every time they were crossing the boarder according to the official (poor) course - not anymore! People from Western Europe and the USA were also forced to pay higher rates in the hotels than people from Eastern Europe - not anymore either. In spite of the fact that Polish "zloty" (Polish currency) is interchangeable into dollars (there is not anymore "official" and "inofficial" exchange course). Poland is still a relatively cheap country for the foreigner from the Western Europe and the USA.There are some precautions that you need to take into account before your travel to Poland:Better use public transportation than rent a car. Car insurance is very expensive, one of the reason, many cars, especially the expensive western brands are stolen by car "Mafia's". Besides, the road system is poor, there is not enough highways and freeways in the country. Traffic on the streets of many towns is also high (lack of beltways) and it makes driving inconvenient and expensive (gas price is high compared to the USA). Polish police can also take advantage of nave and "rich" foreign tourists and they are first to get tickets. Public transportation system is cheap and comfortable. It includes trains, buses, airplanes (between some cities) and city transportation system like trams, buses, metro (Warsaw) and of course taxis. Be careful with the taxi. Some taxi drivers may charge you higher rate especially if you are at the airport, Warsaw airport is the worst. I know that the police tried to solve that problem but I am not sure whether they did. For instance the best way of transportation between Krakow and Warsaw is an express train, but the best transportation system between the Warsaw and Wroclaw (Breslau) is to take an airplane.Do not do any money transactions on the streets. There are money exchange offices (kantors) almost everywhere and they do not charge a fee for a transaction and are safe to exchange the money. Some locals want to take an advantage of the foreigner. Do not try to look too much as a wealthy foreign tourist with expensive cameras hanging from your shoulder and do not speak your language too loud because you would be exposing yourself to either a thief or someone trying to do some questionable deals.
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Dubai, prospering from near-record oil prices, plans to invest $20 billion to create a company that will lease planes, develop airports and make aircraft parts to tap into growing demand for air travel in the Middle East and Asia. The family ruled emirate, which owns the largest Arab airline, may buy as many as 50 wide-body aircraft from Boeing and Airbus in the next four years, said Rashid Al-Malik, project director for the planned company, which will be called Dubai Aerospace. "It's not surprising Dubai is moving into these activities because the whole focus of the aerospace industry has shifted eastward in recent years," said Doug McVitie, managing director of Arran Aerospace, a forecasting company in France.Mr. Al-Malik said Middle Eastern governments including Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar had ordered as many as 300 aircraft for delivery in the next five years and Dubai Aerospace would order its first this year.The Dubai Government at the weekend announced the formation of Dubai Aerospace Enterprise as a holding company with six operating subsidiaries.Dubai Aerospace Enterprise will be chaired by Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al Maktoum, chairman of the Emirates airline group and president of the Dubai department of civil aviation.Dubai's ambitious foray into the aerospace industry will build on the presence the emirate has already established in the aviation sector through the development of Dubai international airport and the rapid expansion of Emirates into one of the world's leading long-haul airlines.The business concept here is to create a new hub for aviation, from the leasing and maintenance of planes to training personnel at a new university to operating other airports and even manufacturing aircraft. It clearly makes excellent business sense to lever off Emirates position as a major buyer of aircraft to promote the Dubai Aerospace Enterprise to the aircraft manufacturers like Boeing and Airbus.