SAS upgraded by Citigroup; Finnair reports Dec-2010 traffic

SAS was raised to “buy” from “hold” by Citigroup Inc. The airline's shares gained 4.3% on Friday having come under selling pressure earlier in the week.

Rival Finnair reported a 26% reduction in passenger traffic in Dec-2010 reflecting a strike by cabin crews during the month. The airline's load factor slumped 7.3ppts to 71.2%. For the whole of 2010, load factor gained 0.6ppts to 76.5% and total traffic fell 4%, although the airline's Asian routes performed well.

Elsewhere, European Union (EU) regulators have stated Thomas Cook’s proposed takeover of two UK travel businesses could adversely affect competitors throughout the UK. The company's shares slipped 1.6% on Friday.

Selected European Airlines daily share price movements (% change): 07-Jan-2010