Air Arabia shares slump; Comair and 1time soar; Wataniya to launch Kuwait-Alexandria service

Air Arabia (-9.3%) shares took the biggest fall on Wednesday (31-Mar-2010). Sharjah Airport reported weak Feb-2010 traffic data, while HC Research cut its rating in the carrier from ‘Buy’ to ‘Hold’ earlier in the week.

Kuwait National Airways (-3.7%) was also down. Subsidiary, Wataniya Airways announced plans during trading to launch four times weekly Kuwait-Alexandria service from 01-Jun-2010. The carrier commenced operations to Alexandria in Jan-2009, but the new route is 'regular' service.

Elsewhere in the Middle East, Jazeera Airways (-1.0%) also declined, while Royal Jordanian was flat. The carrier announced on Wednesday that its online check-in service is launching on 01-Apr-2010.

In Africa, Comair (+9.1%) shares soared, while 1time (+2.6%) also climbed, despite South Africa’s JSE All Share Index ending trading flat. Fellow South Africa carrier, South African Airways (SAA) announced it will no longer proceed with an agreement with Match, the official ticketing agency of FIFA, to provide seats on the airline’s aircraft for Match. The decision not to proceed with the Match deal followed the inability of the two parties to agree on the terms and provisions of the contract. Tickets reserved for Match as part of this deal (at the most desirable peak times before and directly after matches), will now be made available by SAA to the public at "affordable and competitive rates". This extends to international flights that Match wish to operate from countries with no service to South Africa, such as Mexico. SAA remains open to discussions with Match and have not ruled out further cooperation.

Lonrho (+2.0%) also gained, while Kenya Airways was flat.

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Selected African and Middle Eastern airlines share price movements (% change): 31-Mar-2010