Tiger Airways soars, Virgin Blue slides. MAp cap closing in on Qantas. Asiana surges


Tiger Airways’ shares soared 6.8% on Friday in Singapore, Qantas gained 1.5%, while Virgin Blue’s shares closed 3.5% lower in Sydney, as investors digest the implications of recent executive changes and market share maneuvers.

The Australian Financial Review (AFR) is today quoting Citigroup analysis that suggests Tiger Airways’ cost structure is approximately half that of Virgin Blue. The AFR also quotes Morgan Stanley, which believes Tiger Airways’ expanding Australian domestic operation could now have gained a 10% market share.

Virgin Blue cut its domestic capacity (ASKs) by 6% in Jan-2010, ahead of the year-to-date (seven months to Jan-2010) reduction of 5%.

Airport gaining on airline

Meanwhile, MAp (formerly Macquarie Airports), which controls stakes in Sydney Airport (as well as Copenhagen and Brussels), is close to overtaking Qantas for the first time in terms of market capitalisation, following a surge in its share price over the past month, and weakness at Qantas. As of Friday, MAp had a market cap of AUD6.216 billion, just shy of Qantas’ AUD6.271 billion. See related report: MAp Group back in growth mode. Q&A with CEO, Kerrie Mather 

Asiana surges on traffic record

Elsewhere, Asiana Airlines’ shares surged 7.5% on Friday, as it announced record passenger and cargo traffic during the first two months of this year, citing increasing international passenger demand and a recovering economy. The airline handled 876,000 passengers in Jan-2010, while Feb-2010’s tally of 833,000 was the third highest monthly total, according to a Yonhap report.

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Asia Pacific selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 05-Mar-2010

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