Turkish Airlines operating profit hit by fuel price; Aegean starts codeshare with Continental


European airline shares mostly rebounded on Monday (23-Aug-2010) as wider markets rose on news of merger and acquisition activity and gains in the mining sector. Airline shares were also boosted by another day of declines in oil prices (-0.4%) to USD73.14.

In key markets, UK’s FTSE (+0.8%), Germany’s DAX (+0.1%) and France’s CAC (+0.8%) all rose for the day.

Turkish Airlines operating profit hit by fuel prices

Turkish Airlines (-3.8%) declined despite reporting a 181% year-on-year rise in net profit for the six months ending 30-Jun-2010, to EUR134 million. The improvement was the result of a 28% increase in sales revenue for the period to EUR134 million.

However, operating profit declined 34% for 1H2010 to EUR55 million. The carrier attributed the decline to rising fuel prices, with fuel expenses up 74% for the period. 

More positively, Turkish Airlines reported a 19.3% rise in passenger numbers for the six months to 13.4 million. Traffic (RPKs) rose 26.8% on a 19.9% increase in capacity (ASKs), leading to a 4.1 ppt improvement in load factor to 72.1%. Cargo and mail, meanwhile, increased 49.6%, to 152,000 tonnes.

The carrier stated it expects a recovery in the global aviation industry to continue for the remainder of this year, provided there is not further “unexpected economic stagnation”. The carrier thus expects its financial performance to continue to improve.

Aegean Airlines commences codeshare with Continental

Aegean Airlines ended trading flat. During trading, the carrier commenced codesharing with Continental Airlines on Continental's New York Newark-Athens service, as well as on selected flights operated by Aegean Airlines in Europe. Continental will place its code on selected Aegean Airlines-operated flights between Athens and six Greek holiday destinations (Thessaloniki, Heraklion, Rhodes, Mykonos, Santorini, Chania), as well as Athens-Larnaca service. At a future date to be determined, Continental will also codeshare on Aegean flights between Athens and London Heathrow, Munich and Frankfurt, Germany. Pending government approval, Continental will also codeshare on Aegean flights between Athens and Paris Charles de Gaulle and Rome Fiumicino. Aegean will also codeshare on Continental flights from New York Newark to Paris Charles de Gaulle and to Rome Fiumicino, also subject to government approval.

Elsewhere, El Al (+2.6%) was the biggest gainer of the day, despite a 0.2% slip in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE). The carrier last week reported a net profit of USD14.8 million for 2Q2010. Finnair (+2.2%) and Iberia (+1.7%) also made strong gains.

Eurofly (-3.8%) and Dart Group (-2.9%) fell back into negative territory for the session.

Europe selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 23-Aug-2010

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