Aer Lingus expects 2010 performance to be “no worse than break even”; El Al up; Aeroflot slips

European airline shares rose for a second consecutive day on Thursday (22-Jul-2010), after another session of gains in wider markets and improved financial results from US carriers. Markets were up on strong earnings results, sparking confidence of an economic recovery, while banking shares also boosted the market.

In key markets, UK’s FTSE (+1.9%), Germany’s DAX (+2.5%) and France’s CAC (+3.1%) all ended the day strongly.

Aer Lingus expects 2010 performance to be “no worse than break even”

Aer Lingus (+3.9%) gained after announcing it has raised its outlook for 2010, stating its operating result for the year (before exceptional items) “should be no worse than break even”, provided summer services are not disrupted by another issue like the volcanic ash storm in May-2010.

The carrier also stated 1H2010 performance is ahead of last year’s performance, due to stronger revenues from increased fares and sales, particularly on trans-Atlantic routes, and lower fuel and staff costs. However, it added it is too early to provide guidance for 2011.

El Al enters interline agreement with JetBlue

El Al (+3.3%) also rose after announcing it has signed an interline agreement with JetBlue, which will provide onward connection options for passengers travelling between Israel and the US. From Sep-2010, El Al passengers will be able to connect to JetBlue’s New York JFK network and JetBlue passengers will be able to connect onto El Al’s New York JFK-Tel Aviv service. El Al operates three daily Tel Aviv-New York JFK services using B777 and B747 equipment. JetBlue operates to more than 50 destinations from its New York JFK hub using A320 and E190 equipment.

See related CAPA Profile: Codesharing and Interlining

Aeroflot to invest USD10 million to improve customer service

Aeroflot (-0.9%) slipped yesterday. The carrier reportedly plans to invest USD10 million to improve on-board and airport service quality. General Director Vitaly Savelyev stated that service quality is “becoming the main area of competition between different airlines”. Mr Savelyev indicated business lounge construction, check-in times and in-flight catering are key areas for improvement.

See related CAPA Profile: Inflight Product and Services

Elsewhere, Eurofly (+6.4%) rebounded, while TNT (+4.0%) also gained after positive financial results from US freight carriers, UPS and DHL. Aegean Airlines (-0.9%) and Turkish Airlines (-0.4%) fell marginally.

Europe selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 22-Jul-2010