See-sawing Asia Pacific airline stocks. SpiceJet unveils profit

Asia Pacific airline stocks slumped again yesterday as another wave of panic selling hit Asian stock markets. US markets clawed their way back from heavy early losses overnight, which should provide some lift to Asian markets today.

Chinese airlines, Thai Airways and Virgin Blue were again the most volatile yesterday, falling in excess of 5%. Asiana Airlines’ strong recent run came to a shuddering halt with almost 10% carved off the stock’s value. Qantas slumped 4.5%.

SpiceJet profits in fourth quarter

SpiceJet published healthy fourth quarter financial results (to 31-Mar-2010), posting a net profit of INR275 million (USD5.9 million), compared with a loss of INR78 million (USD1.7 million) in the previous corresponding period.

For the 12 months ended 31-Mar-2010, the airline posted a profit of USD13.1 million, compared with a loss of USD75.4 million in the previous corresponding period, as load factors surged 12 ppts to 78%, offsetting an 11.2% reduction in the average airfare to USD68.66. The result was not enough to prevent a further slide in SpiceJet's share price this week. The stock fell 2.7% yesterday.

SpiceJet share price over past month (INR)

SpiceJet, which has a 12.3% domestic passenger market share, plans to launch international operations in mid-Jul-2010, having completed the mandatory five years of domestic operation required before commencing international operations. SpiceJet has received approval to launch services to three international destinations, including Dhaka and Kathmandu. The carrier will add five more B737-800s to its fleet in 2010/11.

Asia Pacific selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 25-May-2010