Lufthansa passenger numbers rise 27% in Oct-2009; BA faces downgrade

Shares in Lufthansa dipped 0.8% yesterday, upon the release of its consolidated traffic highlights for Oct-2009. The Group’s passenger numbers increased 26.9% year-on-year to 8.0 million for the month, while load factor gained 1.7 ppts year-on-year to a strong 80.5%. The Europe and Middle East/Africa regions led the Group’s passenger traffic growth, up 31.3% and 42.5% year-on-year, respectively. However, cargo volumes reduced 4.1% year-on-year in Oct-2009.

Lufthansa Group subsidiary, Austrian, gained 2.6% on its share price yesterday.

British Airways faces downgrade

Elsewhere, British Airways’ shares lost 1.5% yesterday. Moody’s placed the carrier’s ‘BA3 Corporate Family Rating’ under review for potential downgrade yesterday, according to Reuters.

Meanwhile, Iberia, affected my industrial unrest, stated it would cancel up to 368 services across 10-Nov-2009 and 11-Nov-2009, due to strikes over cabin crew pay. The cancellations could affect 40,000 passengers and include 121 international services, of which 12 are long-haul. A similar strike was staged in late Oct-2009, resulting in the cancellation of 430 services. Shares in Iberia were down 1.7% yesterday, while Spanish LCC, Vueling, dropped 4.3%.

Shares in Turkish Airlines led the way upward (+3.1%), Aegean Airlines higher (+1.9%), Air France-KLM gained (+0.5%), while Aer Lingus reduced (-0.8%) yesterday.

Europe selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 08-Nov-09