European airline share slump 25% in May-2010; Double-digit passenger growth for Ryanair in May-2010

Shares in Ryanair gained 2.8% on Thursday (03-Jun-2010), coinciding with the release of the carrier’s May-2010 traffic results.

During the month, Europe’s largest LCC handled 6.4 million passengers, a 17% year-on-year increase, although this figure included up to 250,000 passengers who were booked to fly on services cancelled by the “unnecessary" closures of parts of EU airspace following the volcanic eruptions in Iceland. Excluding this figure, the carrier reported approximately a 12.3% year-on-year passenger increase. Load factors in the month remained stable at 81%. See related report: Ryanair’s nonsense traffic figures: Pax up 17% in April! easyJet traffic slides

European airline share prices “hit hard” by volcanic ash should and Greek debt crisis: IATA

In other volcano-related news, IATA stated airline share prices, particularly in Europe, have been “hit hard” following the volcanic ash cloud and Greek debt crisis. European airline share prices fell 25% in May-2010 and are now down 20% in 2010, while US airline share prices have gained 9% in 2010. Worldwide airline shares lost 15% in May eroding all of the gains so far this year. However, they are still 50% above their early 2009 low point.

Meanwhile, easyJet is expected to release its May-2010 traffic results today (04-Jun-2010). Shares in the carrier gained 2.8% yesterday, while Air Berlin’s share price was up 2.7%.

For information on Virgin Blue and AirAsia’s share price gains on 03-Jun-2010, refer to today’s Asia Pacific Share Wrap: AirAsia and Virgin Blue shares jump; RBS warns of continued challenge to Virgin Blue profitability

Selected LCCs daily share price movements (% change): 03-Jun-2010