BMI joins Atlantic Plus-Plus JV; British Airways avoids strikes

British Midland International - now a subsidiary of Lufthansa - has joined the Atlantic Plus-Plus joint venture between Lufthansa, United Airlines, Continental Airlines and Air Canada. The carrier joined on 01-Apr-2011 and fellow Lufthansa subsidiaries Swiss and Austrian Airlines will join on 01-Jul-2011.

The JV is also seeking antitrust immunity to bring Brussels Airlines into the group, but Lufthansa's ownership level of the carrier - which stands at 45% - is complicating matters. Lufthansa shares were flat yesterday, on a poor day for European airline stocks.

Trading down most heavily was UK regional carrier flybe, which lost 7.2%, the largest single day fall at the carrier for three weeks.

International Airlines Group shares dropped 0.5%. The company's British Airways segment has avoided strike action by cabin crew represented by the Unite! union, which had threatened travel over the Easter holiday period. Negotiations between British Airways CEO Keith Williams and Len McCluskey, Unite’s general secretary, have been more cordial than those held when Willie Walsh was CEO of the carrier.

Turkish Airlines reported the following traffic highlights for the 3 months ended Mar-2011:

  • Passenger numbers: 6.7 million, +8.7% year-on-year;
    • Domestic: 3.2 million, +5.1%;
    • International: 3.5 million, +12.3%;
  • Passenger load factor: 67.3%, -3.1 ppts;
    • Domestic: 74.3%, -0.8 ppt;
    • International: 66.1%, -3.5 ppts;
  • Landings: 58,661, +9.8%;
  • Cargo volume: 86,708 tonnes, +17.4%. 

Selected European airline share price movements (% change): 14-Apr-2011