European airline and airport shares mauled again

European airline and airport shares were marked down heavily again by investors as uncertainties linger about the eurozone economic outlook and ash cloud-related airspace closures.

IATA has called on European governments and air navigation services providers to urgently develop more precise procedures to identify ash contaminated air space and allow more flights. The Association called for more robust data collection and analysis, a change in the decision making process and urgency in addressing the issues.

Director General and CEO, Giovanni Bisignani, stated, “this problem is not going away any time soon. The current European-wide system to decide on airspace closures is not working”. He added, “safety is always our number one priority, but we must make decisions based on facts, not on uncorroborated theoretical models”.

In trading yesterday, SAS slumped a further 7.9%, taking its share losses over the past month to around 35%, while Vueling (-6.1%), Air Berlin (-5.7%), Norwegian (-5.6%) and Aer Lingus (-5.3%) were also hard hit.

Europe selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 19-May-2010

European airport operators and suppliers were also sold off. DUFRY fell 5.2%, while Aeroporti di Venezia, GateGroup, Ferrovial, MAp (with exposure to Brussels and Copenhagen airports) and Hochtief fell by more than 3%.

Selected airports daily share price movements (% change): 19-May-2010