Fraport slides further as expansion plan halts, Thai AirAsia base steadies AoT’s shares

Fraport’s shares continued their downward trend, closing down 3.1% in trading yesterday, following reports the airport operator will postpone construction of a third terminal at Frankfurt Airport, due to declining passenger and cargo traffic.

Frankfurt Airport reported passenger numbers fell 3.3% year-on-year to 4.9 million passengers in Jul-2009. Construction work on the proposed terminal, originally slated to open in 2013, will now only commence in two to three years.

Shares in European airports were generally mixed in trading yesterday. According to the latest traffic highlights released by Airports Council International (ACI), European airports reported a 3.8% decline in passenger numbers in Jul-2009, worse than the industry decline of 1.2%.

In the Asia Pacific region, passenger numbers rose 4.2% to 72.5 million, according to ACI. Shares in Asia Pacific airports were generally lower than the previous trading day, with Beijing Airport losing 3.6%, followed by Australian Infrastructure Fund (-3.0%) and Hainan Meilan International Airport (-2.8%).

Going against the trend, Xiamen Airport gained 2.6%, while Malaysia Airports closed 0.9% higher. Airports of Thailand’s shares remained steady following Thai AirAsia’s announcement of plans to establish a base at Phuket Airport from Nov-2009. Jetstar operates services to Phuket from Singapore and Sydney, while Pacific Blue is scheduled to launch twice weekly Perth-Phuket service on 14-Nov-2009.

At the end of 2008, AoT announced plans to invest USD170 million in the expansion of the Phuket Airport to support the growth.

Selected airports daily share price movements (% change): 02-Sep-2009