AirTran Holdings Inc., the former ValuJet, confirmed it was holding preliminary negotiations to acquire the US's eighth-largest carrier, Trans World Airlines. The Orlando, Fla.-based company has posted 18 months of profitable earnings under new leadership, while TWA hasn't earned an annual profit since 1988. The talks come on the heels of the major merger between No. 1 United and No. 10 US Airways, announced late last month.
With its annual report for 1999 due out today, General Motors' German subsidiary, Opel AG, was denying that as many as 4,500 jobs would be shifted south to Italy. The money-losing company also dismissed a published report that its chief executive would be fired for failing to share with other managers his inside knowledge about GM's new "strategic alliance" with Italian automaker Fiat SpA., which was announced March 13. Opel confirmed, however, that there would be a shift of employees to projects involving Fiat. Two days of protests by fearful Opel workers late last week led to the temporary suspension of production. The company's annual report is expected to project a return to profitability in the 2000 fiscal year.
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