Turkish Airlines adds excess capacity, load factor suffers

Shares in Turkish Airlines dipped 0.4% yesterday, upon the release of the carrier’s traffic results for the ten months ended 31-Oct-2009. The carrier increased its passenger numbers 10.1% year-on-year during the period, to 20.9 million, as international Business-class and transit passengers rose 4.7% and 44.7% year-on-year, respectively.

However, Turkish Airlines' load factor fell 3.6 ppts year-on-year to 71.5% in the ten months ended 31-Oct-2009, as traffic (RPKs) increased 15.1% year-on-year, on a 20.9% year-on-year capacity (ASKs) increase. Cargo and mail transported in the period was up 12.4% year-on-year.

Finnair appoints new CEO

Finnair’s shares climbed 2.1% yesterday, as the carrier appointed Mika Vehviläinen as new President and CEO, effective 01-Feb-2010, following the departure of current President and CEO, Jukka Hienonen, at the end of Jan-2010. Mr Vehviläinen, the current COO of Nokia Siemens Networks, will join Finnair a few weeks earlier on 05-Jan-2010. See prespective: Norwegian continues expansionist path, but starting to feel yield pressures.

Aer Lingus considers fleet reduction options

Aer Lingus’ shares lost 3.3% yesterday. The Irish carrier is considering offers for the sale, or sale and leaseback of its aircraft, including four A330s, three A321s and four A320s, after launching a tender for the aircraft on 07-Oct-2009. The total number of aircraft placed on the market was not disclosed. The aircraft are all reportedly at least eight years old.

Lufthansa commences codeshare operations with JetBlue

Lufthansa and JetBlue Airways commenced codeshare operations yesterday, connecting their networks through Boston and New York. The agreement offers connecting services between 12 JetBlue destinations and Lufthansa’s network of 180 destinations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia, via Boston and New York. Lufthansa will initially place its code on Austin, Buffalo, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Raleigh-Durham, Rochester, San Juan, Syracuse, Tampa, and West Palm Beach. Lufthansa and JetBlue plan to expand their codeshare in 2010, adding more JetBlue destinations to the agreement. Shares in Lufthansa lost 1.0% yesterday.

Elsewhere, shares in El Al led the way upward (+6.8). The carrier last week appointed Brigadier General Elyezer Shkedi president and CEO, replacing Haim Romano; SAS rose (+1.9%), British Airways (+1.8%) and Iberia (+1.0%) gained, while Air France-KLM lost (-1.1%), Austrian reduced (-1.3%) and Norwegian closed lower (-4.1%).

Europe selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 08-Nov-09