TRISTATE SUMMARY
Comair, Sabena expand passenger deal

Thursday, September 10, 1998

Comair Inc. and Sabena Airlines Wednesday said they have expanded their code-share agreement to provide additional service to Brussels, Belgium, from Montreal and Toronto.

The new code-share flights will allow Comair passengers from Montreal and Toronto to travel under Sabena's SN code to and from Brussels via Cincinnati and Boston.

Comair operates six daily flights between Montreal and Boston and six daily flights between Toronto and Cincinnati. In addition to Comair's Boston flights, Sabena has non-stop flights four times weekly between Montreal and Brussels.

Comair and Sabena began operating their code-share agreement in February. The two airlines provide service via Comair's Cincinnati hub between Brussels and Birmingham, Indianapolis, Des Moines, Lexington, Louisville, Detroit, Kalamazoo, St. Louis, Charlotte, Akron, Dayton and Toledo.

Also Wednesday, Comair announced its best August ever with passenger boardings up 15.2 percent, to 544,832 passengers.

Other industry benchmarks, revenue passenger miles and available seat miles, which measure profitability and capacity, also increased by about 15 percent compared with August 1997.

Delta distributes profit-sharing funds

Delta Air Lines Inc. Wednesday distributed $180 million in profit-sharing payments -- the largest payout since profit sharing was introduced in fiscal 1995 -- to all eligible worldwide employees.

Employees in Cincinnati, Delta's second-largest hub, received $14 million. Eligible personnel received profit-sharing payments equal to 6 percent of base salaries earned during the 1998 fiscal year.

Leading to the record payout was a record year for Delta. The Atlanta-based carrier earned net income of $1 billion, excluding restructuring and other non-recurring charges.

1 million shares OK'd for buyback

Cincinnati-based American Annuity Group Inc. Wednesday said its board of directors authorized an additional 1 million shares for its stock-buyback plan.

The board previously authorized the repurchase of up to 500,000 shares of AAG's common stock, of which 365,000 shares have been acquired. With the increase, the company now can repurchase an additional 1,135,000 shares, representing about 2.5 percent of its outstanding stock.

The repurchases can be made from time to time based on market conditions.

Separately, American Annuity Group said it has reached an agreement to sell its funeral services division to Service Corp. International for $164 million in cash.

Completion of the sale, expected within the next month, is subject to regulatory approvals.

Star Banc requests $1.6 M in tax breaks

Star Banc Corp. is asking the city of Cincinnati for $1.6 million in tax breaks as part of its plan to move its check processing and distribution center from Norwood to 5055 Wooster Pike in Linwood.

Star hopes to open the $8 million, 130,000-square-foot center sometime next spring.

If granted the breaks, Star would still pay $909,720 into city coffers and another $1 million to Cincinnati Public Schools over 10 years.

In exchange for the tax breaks, Star promises to retain 498 full-time jobs in Linwood for 10 years and at least 1,850 jobs citywide for 20 years.

Council could vote on the agreement next month.



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