Thai shares soar; Virgin Blue sees improved trading conditions; Korean Air, Asiana shares weaken

Shares in Thai Airways gained 8.8% yesterday to THB49.5, reaching the highest level since Nov-2006. The carrier announced plans to order 37 new aircraft to replace ageing equipment and to support planned network expansion.

Skywest Airlines shares weaker

On the other end of the spectrum, Skywest Airlines’ shares slumped 5.3% yesterday. Last week the Western Australian Department of Transport selected the airline as the preferred proponent for a further licence of five years for continuing air services for the regulated proportion of the coastal network.

Virgin Blue sees improved trading conditions

Virgin Blue, at its AGM on 24-Nov-2010, declined to provide an earning forecast although CEO John Borghetti stated trading conditions are “improving”. Local yields are holding up while the V Australia international arm is on track to break even (or get close to break even) by Jun-2011. Mr Borhgetti added: “We are looking to strategic initiatives to improve margin in the second half of 2011/12.” Shares in Virgin Blue gained 2.3% yesterday.   

Air China raises funds through share issue

In North Asia, Air China stated it raised CNY5.6 billion from the sale of 483.6 million A shares and HKD1.04 billion from the sale of 157 million H shares. Shares in the carrier gained 2.1% in Shangahi to CNY12.6 but declined 1.8% in Hong Kong trading.

China Eastern to reduce assets-to-liability ratio

China Eastern Airlines stated it aims to cut its assets-to-liability ratio to 70% in one to two years time. Shares in the carrier declined 0.2% in Hong Kong trading but gained 1.1% to CNY7.17 in Shanghai. Shandong Airlines' shares gained 5.3% while Hainan Airlines’ shares were 4.1% stronger.

Korean Air and Asiana shares weaken on political issues

In the Koeran market, Korean Air Lines shares declined 2.0% in Seoul trading yesterday and Asiana Airlines’ shares slipped 1.6% in the wake of North Korea’s attack on South Korea. Japanese shares fell as they resumed trade after a holiday. 

Asia Pacific selected airlines daily share price movements (% change):  24-Nov-2010