Turkish Airlines surges ahead as Europe’s airlines lose momentum

Turkish Airlines' shares improved 1.4% on reporting a 19.3% increase in passengers, to 13.4 million, in the first half of 2010. The carrier flew 24.5 million passengers in the full year 2009 and 22.5 million in 2008.

International service frequency increased 25.6% in the half. Total ASKs were up 19.9%, from 25.3 billion to 30.4 billion on an overall frequency increase of 16.5% (implying an increasing average stage length, as the carrier expands its global network). And, significantly, load factors improved by 3.9 ppts, despite this hefty capacity increase. Freight carriage was up a whopping 49.6% for the half.

Having embarked on a quest to fly to many corners of the world, the carrier has recently raised its number of international destinations to 127. See related report: Turkish Airlines moving into Africa: will the country emulate China?

Aegean Air was up (+2.3%), recovering some ground. Norwegian Air (-4.8%), meanwhile, continued to languish following its Jun-2010 report, which unsettled investors. Cimber Sterling (-3.3%) also suffered in the challenging Nordic environment.

Most of the major airlines shed around 2% of value, falling somewhat more steeply than the respective exchange indicators.

Eurofly shares fell 7.5% on notice of an increase in paid-up capital to EUR13.7 million through the issue of another 714 million ordinary shares.

Europe selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 15-Jul-2010