Air Arabia looking to expand to Egypt; Comair may claim damages from South African Airways


Middle East and Africa shares were mainly down on Thursday (18-Feb-2010), with only Air Arabia (+4.3%) and Jazeera Airways (+1.0%) shares ending trading up.

Air Arabia looking to expand to Egypt

Air Arabia gained after CEO, Adel Ali, reportedly announced plans to commence operations from Egypt, the carrier’s third hub, in Apr-2010, reportedly near Alexandria with two aircraft. Air Arabia Egypt also reportedly plans to increase its fleet to six by the end of 2010.

Elsewhere in the Middle East, Royal Jordanian (-2.6%) shares dropped, while Kuwait National Airways (-1.8%) was also down.

Comair may claim damages from South African Airways

Comair was flat, despite a ruling by South Africa’s Competition Tribunal that South African Airways (SAA) incentive schemes during the period 01-Jun-2001 to 31-Mar-2005 contravened the country’s Competition Act. This decision effectively paves the way for complainants, Comair and Nationwide, to pursue a civil claim for damages against SAA in the High Court.

The Tribunal found that SAA’s incentive scheme consisted of override incentive agreements and trust agreements with travel agents that induced travel agents not to deal with SAA’s rivals, and resulted in ongoing foreclosure effects in the domestic airline travel market. The tribunal stated that SAA has already paid an administrative penalty in the consent order of ZAR15 million, and no further penalty was required.

Also in Africa, Kenya Airways was also flat, while 1time Holdings (-2.6%) and Lonrho (-2.0%) shares were both down.

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Selected African and Middle Eastern airlines share price movements (% change): 18-Feb-2010

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