Aer Lingus passenger numbers decline; Finnair reports improved load factor; Air France-KLM slips


The majority of European carriers’ shares were down on Tuesday (08-Jun-2010), as wider markets dropped again after Fitch Ratings stated the UK is facing a "formidable" fiscal challenge and BP shares continued to slump. A 0.8% rise in oil prices, to USD71.99, also negatively affected airline shares.

In key markets, UK’s FTSE (-0.8%), France’s CAC (-1.0%) and Germany’s DAX (-0.6%) were all down at the end of trading.

Aer Lingus passenger numbers decline

Aer Lingus (-5.1%) fell after the carrier reported a 9.9% decline in passenger numbers for May-2010, to 876,000. The carrier attributed the decline to the closure of European airspace due to volcanic ash clouds, resulting in 11 days where Aer Lingus did not operate all scheduled flights.

However, load factor was up 5.6 ppts, to 79.3%, led by a 11.7 ppt rise in long-haul load factor, to 77.9%. Short-haul load factor was 80.0% for the month.

See related CAPA Profiles:

Air France-KLM not looking for mergers or acquisitions

Air France-KLM (-3.4%) President & CEO, Peter Hartman, stated during trading that the carrier is not making mergers and acquisitions a priority, and is focusing on prudent conservation of its cash balance. Joint ventures and codeshare agreements are more likely than outright acquisitions.

See related CAPA Profile: Mergers and Consolidation

Finnair reports improved load factor

Finnair (-0.3%) meanwhile slipped, despite reporting a 3.1% rise in passenger numbers for May-2010, to 589,100. Asia Pacific passenger numbers gained the most for the month, up 28.4%, to 98,800.

Load factor was also up, gaining 1.6 ppts, to 70.7%. Domestic and European loads were down 3.7 ppts and 0.9 ppts, respectively. However, Asia Pacific loads were up 5.8 ppts, while trans-Atlantic loads were up 1.3 ppts.

Elsewhere, Vueling (-4.6%) and TUI Travel (-3.5%) also declined, while Turkish Airlines (+2.1%) and Norwegian Air Shuttle (+2.1%) gained.

Europe selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 08-Jun-2010

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