Air Berlin expecting to improve on 2009 operating result; British Airways CEO declines bonus


European airline shares were up for a second day on Thursday (10-Jun-2010), again boosted by wider markets. Markets rose on a successful Spanish Government debt auction and the European Central Bank stated it would keep liquidity measures in place.

In key markets, UK’s FTSE (+0.9%), France’s CAC (+2.0%) and Germany’s DAX (+1.2%) all ended the session higher.

Air Berlin expecting to improve on 2009 operating result

Air Berlin (+2.8%) rose after CEO, Joachim Hunold, stated at the carrier's AGM, that the carrier plans to improve on its 2009 operating result in 2010. The carrier is also aiming to stabilise its liquidity at the current level and introduce additional measures to reduce net indebteness. 

Meanwhile, Air Berlin's financial statements were approved by large majority and the Board and its Members discharged. The Board Members, Hartmut Mehdorn, Hans Joachim Körber and Peter Oberegger were reelected to their posts with overwhelming shareholder approval.

See related CAPA Hot Issues Profile: Financial Results

British Airways CEO declines bonus

British Airways (+1.0%) CEO, Willie Walsh, turned down a GBP334,000 bonus for FY2009-10, as a decline in demand and its cabin crew strike led to a loss of GBP425 million for the year. This is the second consecutive year Mr Walsh has turned down his bonus. However, the carrier’s remuneration committee increased Mr Walsh’s bonus to 100% of his salary on the condition he ends the strike action. The bonus for the CEO and other executives will also be based on the completion of BA’s merger with Iberia and alliance with American Airlines, securing an agreement to cut its pension deficit and “an improvement in industrial relations”. Mr Walsh’s salary is frozen at GBP75,000. CFO, Keith Williams, decided to accept his bonus.

BA’s top investors meanwhile reportedly support the carrier’s refusal to bow to union pressure, stating the long term benefits from the planned cost saving measures outweigh the short term cost of the strike.

See related CAPA Profile: Industrial Relations

Elsewhere, Vueling (+5.7%) was the day’s biggest gainer, after reporting a 0.6 ppt year-on-year rise in load factor for May-2010 the day prior. Passenger numbers were up 119.2%, to 945,000. Aer Lingus (-1.8%) was the only carrier to decline for the session.

Europe selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 10-Jun-2010

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