British Airways positive, while traffic remains negative and threat of strike action persists

Shares in British Airways climbed 1.0% yesterday, upon the release of the carrier’s traffic report for Dec-2009.

BA stabilised its load factor (+0.1 ppts to 76.8%), despite a 4.4% year-on-year reduction in passenger numbers to 2.4 million for the month. Africa/Middle East was the only region to see a small jump in passenger traffic, up 0.9% year-on-year, while passengers to the Asia Pacific dropped 7.7% year-on-year in Dec-2009. Cargo traffic was positive, as FTKs grew 7.7% year-on-year.

British Airways announced plans to hold further negotiations with its cabin crew union, Unite, at the Trade Unions Congress within the next few days. The talks will resume from pre-Christmas, when BA won a court order to block strike action by its cabin crew, which threatened to disrupt operations over Christmas. Unite stated the fresh negotiations will not affect the carrier’s decision to issue a second strike ballot to its members.

Turkish Airlines expands its cooperation with Africa

Turkish Airlines, which lost 2.6% yesterday, announced a free sale codeshare with Ethiopian Airlines for Istanbul-Addis Ababa services, effective 15-Jan-2010. Turkish will operate the service. See related report: Turkish Airlines SWOT Analysis: Can the dream continue?

Austrian (+2.9%), Air France-KLM (+2.7%), Lufthansa (+1.3%), Iberia (+1.2%) and SAS (+0.3%) were among the gains on the European markets yesterday.

Meanwhile, shares in Finnair and Aer Lingus were weaker, down 1.4% and 3.7%, respectively.

Europe selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 06-Jan-2010