North and South American LCCs on the rise, JetBlue leads

North and South American low cost carrier stocks ended the session with gains yesterday, following poor performances in recent sessions. The Dow lifted (+0.05%), with the AMEX Airline Index ending trading 0.11% higher.

JetBlue (+3.0%), Allegiant (+2.7%), AirTran (+0.9%) and WestJet (+0.6%) all gained.

Frontier Airlines announced on Monday it will end its frequent flyer partnership with AirTran, effective 16-Jul-2010. Frontier is in the process of integrating the Midwest Miles programme into its EarlyReturns programme. The two are expected to be combined by Autumn 2010

Spirit pilots strike could cause major job cuts - airline

In other US LCC news, Spirit Airlines threatened to cut jobs in transportation and warehousing at Miramar and at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport if its pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, go on strike from 12-Jun-2010. Last week, Spirit Airlines pilots announced they had received confirmation of the 30-day cooling-off period from the National Mediation Board (NMB) and had up until 12-Jun-2010 to reach an agreement on a new pilot contract. After that time, pilots could call a lawful strike.

Spirit pilots have been in negotiations with management for more than three years. In Feb-2010, the pilots applied to the NMB for a proffer of arbitration. On 03-May-2010, the NMB proffered binding arbitration to both sides, which the pilots refused two days later. This refusal allowed the NMB to call for a 30-day cooling-off period.

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Selected LCCs daily share price movements (% change): 17-May-2010