British Airways and Iberia gain on decision to form JV with Japan Airlines; airberlin also up

Iberia (+3.6%) and British Airways (+3.6%) rose with the majority of European carriers on Wednesday (24-Nov-2010) after BA CEO Willie Walsh stated he is seeking ways to offer more services in Japan adding that he expects a “better economic environment” for airlines in 2011.

Mr Walsh added that the carrier wants to form a venture with Japan Airlines to reduce costs by sharing facilities adding that the agreement would be similar to a joint services agreement the carrier has with Qantas Airways on UK-Australia routes. British Airways, which offered to expand codeshare services with Japan Airlines, has invited the carrier to move its London Heathrow operations to British Airway’s Terminal 5.

Iberia made the biggest gain in the IBEX 35 index as a result.

See related CAPA Profile: Codesharing and Interlining

airberlin prevents pilot strike

airberlin (+5.1%) gained after receiving a temporary injunction from a Frankfurt court, preventing a strike planned by the Vereinigung Cockpit union for 24-Nov-2010. The union stated it has no plans to abandon its industrial action, but will postpone it to comply with the court order.

See related CAPA Profile: Pilots

Alitalia not ruling out merger with Air France-KLM

Air France-KLM (+3.1%) also rose for the day. During trading, Alitalia Chairman Roberto Colaninno stated he does not rule out a merger with Air France-KLM Group once the carrier improves its profitability stating: "Our goal is to make the company profitable, then we'll talk about other plans. In life, I don't exclude anything."

It was previously reported that CEO Rocco Sabelli also favours a merger with the carrier while Air France CEO Pierre-Henri Gourgeon earlier this month has stated Air France has no immediate plans to increase its stake in Alitalia.

Norwegian Air Shuttle (+5.6%) was also up at the end of trading.

Elsewhere, Meridiana Fly (aka Eurofly) (-3.9%) was the biggest decliner for the day, despite the Italian Government delayed planned cabin crew strike action planned for 26-Nov-2010. Cimber Sterling (-2.2%) was also down for the day.

Europe selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 24-Nov-2010