Lonrho gains against weaker African/Middle East markets

Share markets in Africa and the Middle East were generally lower last week, as investors continue to be wary of the trouble in Egypt and Tunisia. Most airline-related stocks showed little movement, with only Kenya Airways (-0.5%) and Lonrho (+2.8%) moving.

Lonrho, 49% owner of Kenya-based Fly540, is embroiled in a fare war in the Kenyan market, against Kenya Airways and other carriers such as Jetlink. Kenya Airways recently cut its lowest fares for Nairobi-Mombasa service by 22%, in response to Fly540s decision to lower its fares.

Fly540 plans to expand across southern and eastern Africa, adding operations in Tanzania and Uganda over the past few years and receiving permission to launch operations in Angola. The carrier also plans a Ghanaian hub.

Selected African and Middle Eastern airlines’ share price movements: (% change): 28-Jan-2011