Air France-KLM, British Airways and Lufthansa drop as European market gloom descends

European stock markets were savaged yesterday as further weakness on the US jobs front raise questions about the so-called ‘economic green-shoots’. The major European carriers suffered, led by Air France-KLM (-5.3%), British Airways (-4%) and Lufthansa (-2.8%).

The gloom was compounded by reports Virgin Atlantic plans to reduce capacity over the European Winter by 7%. The carrier also suggested up to 600 jobs could be lost across the business as is resizes ahead of the Winter.

CEO Steve Ridgway, told Reuters, “the outlook for the industry is as bleak as ever and all airlines are having to shrink their businesses. The fittest will survive and be in a stronger position when the economy grows”.

Austrian Airlines meanwhile stated approximately 1,000 jobs will be cut by mid-2010, as part of cost-cutting plans. Investors welcomed the move, sending the carrier’s shares up 0.3%.

Europe selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 02-Jul-09