Bangkok protests affect Thai Airways; A380 delays for Korean Air; Qantas seeks early B787 deliveries

Thai Airways’ shares slumped 6.1% and Thailand’s benchmark SET Index fell 3.5% yesterday as Thai protestors announced plans to challenge a government-declared state of emergency, by mounting more demonstrations in Bangkok.

Thai Airways has stated average forward bookings for Apr-2010 are in the 40-50% range, lower than 50-60% at this stage in Apr-2009, as a result of the citizen protests, as bookings have fallen from Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Singapore and South Korea. Thai AirAsia stated that some passengers have requested changing their services to other destinations during the protests, but added that it has not yet seen any cancellations. 

Airbus postpones first A380 delivery to Korean Air; Qantas hoping for early delivery of B787s

Airbus stated it would delay its first A380 delivery to Korean Air (shares up 1.0% yesterday), due to production of the aircraft falling behind schedule. The South Korean airline is now scheduled to take delivery of its first A380 in 2Q2011, instead of Dec-2010 as previously planned. Airbus is hoping to deliver approximately 20 A380s in 2010 (twice as many as delivered in 2009), with three delivered as of 09-Mar-2010. Korean Air has ten A380 orders. 

Meanwhile, Qantas CEO, Alan Joyce, stated the carrier is hoping to move forward the delivery of B787 aircraft from the revised 2014, to 2013, adding that the carrier is currently in talks with Boeing regarding the delivery dates. Shares in the carrier remained stable yesterday.

AirAsia and VietJet Air sign strategic partnership agreement

Among the LCCs, VietJet Aviation Joint Stock Company (VietJet Air) and AirAsia Group signed a strategic partnership agreement on 08-Apr-2010. AirAsia had earlier acquired a 30% equity stake in VietJet Air, which is launching a Vietnam-based LCC (tentatively named VietJet AirAsia), to operate both domestic and international services. Both companies have also entered an engineering support services agreement. Shares in AirAsia slipped 3.6% yesterday.

Skywest Airlines leases A320 to meet mining charter contract requirements

On the other end of the spectrum, shares in Skywest Airlines jumped 6.3%, as the carrier announced that it has leased an A320-200 from Aviation Plc, with the 36-month lease to help the carrier fulfil its requirements of higher-density mining charter contracts.

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Asia Pacific selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 08-Apr-2010