Virgin Blue-Air NZ strike alliance deal; ANA sees profits, More funds for Chinese airlines

Air New Zealand and Virgin Blue Airlines Group have announced their intention to seek regulatory approval to establish a trans-Tasman alliance, covering future route and product planning, codesharing and frequent flyer programme links. Regulatory approvals are expected to take up to six months.

See related report: Air New Zealand-Virgin Blue announce trans-Tasman alliance

Air New Zealand’s shares are unchanged in early trade in New Zealand today after falling 0.7% on Friday. Virgin Blue’s shares eased 1.7% in early trade in Sydney today, after gaining 0.9% on Friday.

ANA “cautiously optimistic” as recovery continues, but pricing under pressure

All Nippon Airways (ANA) revealed a widening of losses in the fourth quarter and FY2010/11 on Friday, but its shares rose 2.1% as the carrier proposed the resumption of dividend payments and talked of an improving outlook. See related report: ANA enters earnings sweet spot after tough 2009

More funds for Chinese airlines

Chinese airline stocks soared on prospects for further government financial injections, this time for the cargo sector. The CAAC reportedly stated it supports the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission’s push for the consolidation and integration of the cargo operations of China’s 'Big Three' airlines and will reportedly inject “considerable” capital in the potential establishment of a new cargo company to challenge foreign rivals and capture growth opportunities.

The Chairman of China Southern Airlines (+4.4%), Si Xianmin, reportedly stated that the carrier plans to expedite the integration of its cargo operations with that of future SkyTeam partner, China Eastern Airlines (+5.5%), and has received full support from CAAC.

Air China (+4.6%) and Cathay Pacific (+0.4%) recently signed an agreement to establish a Shanghai-based air cargo JV.

SpiceJet gains

Elsewhere, SpiceJet’s shares rose 5.7% on continued ownership speculation. See related report: SpiceJet rises on Bravia buy-in speculation

Asia Pacific selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 30-Apr-2010