Vienna Airport shares rise on more positive comments from Austrian Airlines – SHARE WRAP

Shares in Flughafen Wien, operator of Vienna International Airport, rose 5.1% on Friday despite Austrian Airlines' disclosure of further sharp falls in demand in March. Austrian’s passenger numbers fell 16.5% to 710,300 – slightly worse than Vienna Airport’s 15.6% drop in passenger numbers in the same month - to 1.4 million.

Austrian’s passenger load factor slipped 3.3 ppts to 72.1%. The carrier stated it is “actively working to counter the global slump in demand” by implementing a “multilayer package of internal cost-cutting measures, as well as a programme to increase internal efficiency”. It added, “these latest traffic results once again underline the importance of the role to be played by our system partners in overcoming the crisis. We expect them to make clear contributions that will enable us to secure Vienna’s place as a major business location”.

With Austrian accounting for over half of Vienna’s traffic, Flughafen Wien’s investors will be watching Lufthansa’s proposed takeover of Austrian with close interest. The German carrier is diverted at present with its acquisition of a controlling stake in the UK’s bmi, but could shift its focus back on Austrian later in the Summer.

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Selected airports daily share price movements (% change): 17-Apr-09