Europe markets commence trade for 2010 positive – Europe share wrap

The majority of European airline stocks moved upward yesterday, as the markets returned to full trade for the first time in the New Year with a strong start. The Paris CAC Index gained 1.78%, FTSE 100 rose 1.62%, while Frankfurt DAX was positive 1.31%.

Shares in Iberia (+3.3%), British Airways (+2.3%), Air France-KLM (+2.1%) and Lufthansa (+0.9%) were among the gains.

SAS reducing debt by EUR19.7 million through aircraft sale to Allegiant

SAS Group, which dipped 0.3% yesterday, signed an agreement with Allegiant Travel Company to sell 18 MD-80s to the American low cost carrier. Allegiant will pay for the aircraft with cash, with delivery to commence in Jan-2010 and continue over the first three quarters of 2010. This is the fifth aircraft transaction Allegiant has entered with SAS.

Once the deliveries to Allegiant Air are completed, SAS will have 24 MD80s remaining in fleet, of a total of 191 aircraft in the Group. The transaction will reduce the SAS Group's financial net debt by approximately EUR19.7 million. SkyWorks Leasing acted as SAS’ exclusive remarketing agent and advisor on both transactions.

Meanwhile, Turkish Airlines reportedly plans to acquire 20 A320 family aircraft: 14 A321s and six A319s. The aircraft are due to be delivered between 2011 and 2012. Options for another ten A320 family aircraft have been taken, for delivery in 2013.

Shares in Aeroflot were down slightly (-1.2%), Aegean Airlines and Finnair were weaker, down 1.7% and 1.9% respectively, while Austrian Airlines declined (-2.8%).

Europe selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 04-Jan-2010