Aer Lingus reports 'positive start' to 2010; Russian Finance Ministry to acquire stake in Aeroflot

The majority of European carriers’ shares were up on Friday (18-Jun-2010), as wider markets edged slightly higher, marking an eighth consecutive session of gains. The banking sector pushed shares higher, offsetting losses in the pharmaceuticals sector.

In key markets, UK’s FTSE (-0.1%), France’s CAC (+0.1%) and Germany’s DAX (-0.1%) all ended the day higher.

Aer Lingus reports 'positive start' to 2010

Aer Lingus (+3.4%) gained after Chairman, Colm Barrington, stated 1Q2010 represented a "positive start to the year" for the carrier. Trading during Apr-2010 and May-2010 was ahead of the same period in 2009, despite the impact of the Icelandic volcanic eruption. Ash-related disruptions are expected to reduce earnings by approximately EUR20 million. Aer Lingus reported the following highlights for 1Q2010:

  • Revenue: -1.8% year-on-year;
  • Capacity: -10.3%;
  • Operating costs: -13.3%
  • Operating loss: EUR37.8 million, compared with an operating loss of EUR74.8 million in the previous corresponding period.

Aer Lingus CEO, Christoph Mueller, stated the carrier’s long-haul operations are expected to make a loss in 2010, but there is a "fairly good chance" long-haul operations will be profitable from 2011, or as soon as Ireland pulls out of recession.

See related CAPA Profile: Outlooks, Forecasts, Guidance

Russian Finance Ministry to acquire stake in Aeroflot

Russian Finance Ministry confirmed during trading that Russian Technologies would take a small stake in Aeroflot, as part of a deal to transfer the assets of six regional carriers to Aeroflot. The Russian Government holds a 51% stake in Aeroflot.

See related CAPA Profile: European Aviation

Aegean up, easyJet down

Elsewhere, Aegean Airlines (+2.9%) rose with the Athens Stock Exchange (+1.9%), while Dart Group (+2.9%) rebounded. SAS (-2.4%) and easyJet (-1.4%) suffered the biggest falls of the day. easyJet's major shareholder, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, reportedly plans to call an emergency shareholder meeting to protest executive remuneration levels at the carrier.

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