British Airways cabin crew to strike from next week; Air Berlin reports losses

European carriers’ shares slid again on Thursday (20-May-2010) as wider markets fell on anxiety over possible tighter regulations in Europe and weak US economic data, with the US Labor Department reporting a rise in applications for unemployment benefits.

In key markets, UK’s FTSE (-1.9%), France’s CAC (-3.7%) and Germany’s DAX (-2.1%) were all down.

British Airways cabin crew to strike from next week

British Airways (-3.2%) declined after the UK Court of Appeal overturned an injunction against cabin crew plans to strike, over a technical breach. The court ruled that union, Unite’s failure to issue a breakdown of ballot results was not enough to invalidate the ballot.

The union now plans to go on strike for five days from 24-May-2010, as previously notified. It stated BA has already been notified that further strike action will take place for five days from 30-May-2010 and five days from 05-Jun-2010, should there be no settlement to the dispute.

BA plans to operate all flights from London Gatwick and London City airports during the initial strike period. At London Heathrow Airport, British Airways intends to operate more than 60% of long-haul flights and more than 50% of short-haul flights in the strike period and it will add to this schedule where possible.

The carrier expected the original four blocks of five-day strikes would cost it GBP138 million. BA is set to release its financial results for FY2009/10 on 21-May-2010.

Air Berlin reports losses

Air Berlin (-2.7%) also declined after reporting the day prior a net loss of EUR93.6 million for the three months ended 31-Mar-2010, compared with a loss of EUR139.0 million in the previous corresponding period.

The carrier stated 2010 operating profits would exceed 2009 levels, despite an estimated EUR40 million in additional costs and lost revenue related to the European ash cloud crisis. Air Berlin reported an operating loss of EUR98.6 million for 1Q2010, compared with a loss of EUR107.6 million in the previous corresponding period.

Elsewhere, TUI Travel (-4.4%) and El Al (-4.3%) suffered the biggest losses of the day. Aer Lingus (+3.0%) and Norwegian Air Shuttle (+0.9%) gained.

Europe Airline Daily covers fleets, routes, financials, traffic, bilateral agreements, alliances, financing, ownership, along with analysis of all significant developments. Other stories featured in today’s issue:

  • Ryanair to open maintenance base in Germany;
  • Air Berlin launches five new Italian routes from Zurich;
  • Air Astana to adopt new Business Class in-flight entertainment;
  • Turkish Airlines aviation workers union declares intention to strike.

Europe selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 20-May-2010