Lufthansa higher as EC widens Austrian Airlines probe, Air France-KLM gains, BA slips


Lufthansa’s shares rose 0.4% to EUR8.97 as the European Commission deferred a decision on the German carrier’s planned takeover of Austrian Airlines. The Commission has launched an in-depth investigation into the planned acquisition citing “serious” competitive concerns. The Commission now has up to 90 days to decide whether to allow or block the deal.

That Lufthansa’s shares increased suggests investors are nervous about another acquisition. Unsurprisingly, Austrian’s shares slumped 6.8%.

Air France-KLM’s shares gained 1.1%, despite a report in La Tribune citing advance documents that show the airline’s first quarter sales (to 30-Jun-2009) had fallen much more sharply than expected, by nearly 20% year-on-year, with “disappointing” forward bookings through to September. The carrier declined to comment.

British Airways’ shares fell 0.6%, as the carrier failed to attend negotiations with unions after talks ended on 30-Jun-2009 with no agreement. Unions have again threatened to strike, while BA has called for a mediator to be appointed to facilitate talks.

Europe selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 01-Jul-09

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