Air New Zealand and Virgin Blue shares stronger; Hainan reports strong load factor gains

Shares in Air New Zealand gained 3.8% yesterday – but is weaker in early morning trading today – with the NZX 50 rising 1.0% yesterday for the fifth consecutive day of gains on continued expectations of a global economic recovery.

Air New Zealand to pay dividend today

Air New Zealand shares increased at NZD1.35 ahead of a dividend payout of NZD0.04 scheduled for today (08-Sep-2010) with the carrier also announcing it would reduce the cost of lead-in economy fares, and introduce four new in-flight product options for customers on flights between New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands

Across the Tasman, Virgin Blue Holdings gained 6.2% yesterday (to AUD0.43 cents), to become the best performing stock in the S&P/ASX200.

On the other end of the spectrum, shares in EVA Air and China were weaker yesterday, losing 4.0% and 3.3% respectively, reflecting wider market weakness, with the Taiwan stock market ending its four consecutive days of gains (in which it had increased 2.8%) yesterday, with further weakness expected today.

Hainan Airlines sees 1.4% pax increase; 6.8 ppt load factor gain

Also in North Asia, shares in Hainan Airlines slipped 0.4% yesterday. On the same day, the carrier reported a 1.4% increase in passenger numbers to 1.8 million in Aug-2010, with a 6.8 ppt load factor gain to 85.1%. Cargo volume increased 5.6% to 23,817 tonnes.

JAL passenger numbers weaker in Jul-2010

Meanwhile, non-listed Japan Airlines (JAL) reported an 8% decline in group passenger numbers in Jul-2010 to 3.9 million, with domestic passenger number decreasing 6.8% to 3.1 million and international passenger levels slumping 11% to 870,700 passengers.

Asia Pacific selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 07-Sep-2010