Uber ready to make concessions to reverse London license decision: paper

Posted by: Admin | Posted on: September 24th, 2017 | 0 Comments

LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. taxi firm Uber is prepared to make concessions as it seeks to reverse a decision by London authorities not to renew its license in the city, which represents a potentially big blow for the fast-growing company, a newspaper reported.

The Sunday Times also quoted sources close to London’s transport body as saying the move was encouraging and suggested the possibility of talks.

“While we haven’t been asked to make any changes, we’d like to know what we can do,” Tom Elvidge, Uber’s general manager in London, told the newspaper. “But that requires a dialogue we sadly haven’t been able to have recently.”

A spokesman for Transport for London (TfL) declined to comment.

The Sunday Times said Uber’s concessions were likely to involve passenger safety and benefits for its drivers, possible limits on working hours to improve road safety and holiday pay.

TfL stunned the powerful U.S. start-up on Friday when it deemed Uber unfit to run a taxi service for safety reasons and stripped it of its license from Sept. 30, although the company can continue to operate while it appeals.

The regulator cited failures to report serious criminal offences, conduct sufficient background checks on drivers and other safety issues.

Uber responded by urging users in London to sign a petition that said the city authorities had “caved in to a small number of people who want to restrict consumer choice”. The move echoed Uber’s strategy in disputes with other cities.

By 2200 GMT on Saturday, more than 600,000 people had signed although it was not clear how many of them were in London.

A spokesman for Uber said around 20,000 Uber drivers had emailed the city’s mayor directly to object to the decision.

Writing by William Schomberg; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Paul Simao

Lufthansa offering to pay 200 million euros for Air Berlin: BamS

Posted by: Admin | Posted on: September 24th, 2017 | 0 Comments

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Lufthansa (LHAG.DE) is offering to pay 200 million euros ($239 million) to buy its insolvent smaller rival Air Berlin (AB1.DE) and is prepared to pay up to 100 million euros to meet operating costs to keep the airline going in the interim, newspaper Bild am Sonntag (BamS) said on Sunday.

Citing sources close to the proceedings, the paper said that there could be three months between signing a purchasing contract and implementing the transaction because the German and European competition authorities would first need to vet any deal, BamS said.

On filing for insolvency last month the Berlin government promptly granted Air Berlin a 150 million-euro bridging loan to keep the airline flying for three months.

On Thursday Air Berlin’s creditor committee said it would talk to Lufthansa and Britain’s easyJet (EZJ.L) as possible buyers for the carrier’s aviation business, giving three weeks for negotiations.

Sources familiar with the matter said last week Lufthansa was bidding a three-digit millions sum with the offer covering Air Berlin, its leisure airline Niki and regional subsidiary Luftfahrt Gesellschaft Walter.

Lufthansa itself has only said it has made an offer for parts of Air Berlin.

BamS also said its sources had said next week Air Berlin would have to return planes used on its long haul routes to two companies it leases aircraft from.

Reporting by Vera Eckert; Editing by Greg Mahlich