Aeroflot to expand fleet; easyJet rethinks fare options to expand corporate business


European airline shares were down marginally on Thursday (19-Aug-2010) as wider markets continued to decline. The markets suffered heavy losses due to weak US data, despite reports of improved UK retail sales and Germany's Bundesbank (Central Bank) raising its 2010 growth forecast after the German economy grew at its fastest pace in two decades in 2Q2010.

In key markets, UK’s FTSE (-1.7%), Germany’s DAX (-1.8%) and France’s CAC (-2.1%) all slumped. 

Aeroflot to expand fleet with Russian aircraft

Aeroflot (-0.3%) slipped for the day. It was reported during trading the carrier has submitted plans to the Russian Government for the purchase of Russian-manufactured aircraft after Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, stated that if the airline planned to dominate the Russian market, it had to use locally manufactured aircraft. Aeroflot’s fleet will reportedly comprise 126 Russian-manufactured aircraft, including 50 MS-21 aircraft, 40 Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft, 25 Antonov An-140 aircraft and 11 Antonov An-148 regional aircraft.

easyJet expands fare options to grow corporate business

easyJet (-1.2%) was also down, despite stating that it is increasing its offering to corporate clients, by signing soft-benefit deals with customers and preparing to introduce a flexible fare for exclusive distribution through its global distribution system. easyJet currently offers one fare type, but for a premium a flexible fare will allow unlimited changes before the day of departure, however cancellations are not permitted. The new fares are scheduled for introduction in Sep-2010.

TNT announces dividend

TNT (-1.7%) was the biggest decliner of the day, despite releasing a press release the day prior stating the company declared an interim dividend of EUR0.28 per ordinary share, that is payable, at the shareholder’s election, either wholly in ordinary shares or wholly in cash. The dividend will be payable as from 20-Aug-2010.

Elsewhere, SAS (+5.2%) continued to climb after stating the day before it would have reported a net profit for 2Q2010, had it not been for the ash attack. Dart Group (+3.9%) and Cimber Sterling (+2.6%) were also up for the day.

Vueling (-1.3%) and Eurofly (-1.3%) were down. 

Europe selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 19-Aug-2010

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