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Swedish Government to reduce stake in SAS in future; Ryanair expecting “surge” in traffic


The majority of European airline shares were down on Thursday (18-Feb-2010), despite a fourth consecutive day of gains in wider European equity markets, thanks to some positive 4Q2009 earnings results. Airline shares were down as oil prices (+1.1%) continued to edge towards the USD80 mark, ending the day at USD78.19.

In key markets, UK’s FTSE (+0.9%), France’s CAC (+0.8%) and Germany’s DAX (+0.5%) were all up at the end of trading.

easyJet strengthens “fundamentals of the business”

easyJet (+1.7%) gained after Chairman, Sir Michael Rake, speaking at the Company's Annual General Meeting on 18-Feb-2010, stated the carrier has “strengthened the fundamentals of the business” in 2009, with the LCC planning to continue to reduce costs and increase profitability, return on equity and European market share moving forward. See related article: Air Berlin increases stake in NIKI; easyJet to focus on profitable growth in the medium term

Ryanair expecting “surge” in traffic at LBIA

Ryanair (+1.6%) also gained after stating it expects a "surge" in traffic following its launch of services linking Leeds Bradford International Airport (LBIA) and France this Summer. Destinations from LBIA include Montpellier, Carcassonne, Nantes and Limoges, to be introduced by end of Mar-2010.

Swedish Government to reduce stake in SAS in future

The Swedish Government confirmed plans to reduce its stake in SAS at a “suitable point in time”, but stated it still plans to subscribe to the carrier’s latest share issue. Sweden has a 21.4% stake in the carrier, and reportedly plans to reduce its stake in a number of ways, including a takeover of the carrier by an outside investor. Enterprise Minister, Maud Olofsson, stated the government plans to reduce the stake as it sees no value in owning stakes in an airline in the longer term. SAS slipped 0.4% on Thursday. See related report: Singapore Airlines leads the way in slashing labour costs. SAS still worst in class

Aegean Airlines (-3.2%) and Vueling (-2.8%) shares meanwhile took the biggest falls of the day. Aegean Airlines and Olympic Air are reportedly considering announcing the outcome from cooperation talks next week.

Europe Airline Daily provides the latest, up-to-date information on whats going on in the European aviation industry. Other articles in today’s issue include:

Europe selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 18-Feb-2010

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