SkyEurope, Aer Lingus recover a little ground. Norwegian Shuttle off 4.8%. Europe airline share wrap

SkyEurope shares rose 7.1% and Aer Lingus (+3.1%) and SAS (+2.8) made mid recoveries from recent negatives. The European markets were more sombre, despite continuing good noises from the other side of the Atlantic.

European selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 18-Mar-09

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Norwegian Air Shuttle shares fell 4.8% and Austrian Airlines lost another 3.3%, after this week reporting very weak traffic figures for Feb-09, noting that "The negative trend currently impacting the entire aviation industry continued at the Austrian Airlines Group in February."

Despite significantly reduced capacities (-14.2% measured in ASK) and the implementation of extensive marketing measures, it proved impossible to compensate for the fall in demand.

System load factor was 69.1%, 3.0 ppts lower than 2008. The Group carried around 603,000 passengers on its scheduled and charter services in February, or 16.4% less than Jan-08. When adjusted to take into account the leap day last year, the adjusted fall was around 13%. "Cumulatively, the fall in passenger volume in the first two months of the year was -14.8%, while the overall load factor stood at 67.1%, 3.8 ppts below the figure for last year."