Virgin Blue and Qantas post strong gains, Indian and Chinese carriers fall

Shares in Australia's two largest airlines saw strong gains on Monday, with Virgin Blue up 4.7% and Qantas gaining 4.1%, the carrier's largest single-day gain since Jul-2010.

Virgin Blue announced a new long-term strategic alliance with Skywest last week, extending its domestic regional coverage. Meanwhile, Qantas confirmed its New Zealand subsidiary, Jetconnect, paid it a one-off dividend of AUD67 million late last year. The payment will not have any impact on Qantas Group's earnings, as it was an internal transaction, although Qantas has forecast that its 1HFY2010/2011 result may be stronger than the same period last year.

Elsewhere, Kingfisher Airlines slumped 6.3% yesterday, after a sharp fall late last week, eliminating the steady share gains the company registered through Dec-2010. SpiceJet was down 3.9%, with Jet Airways down 3%.

Shares in China Southern dropped 5.8%, with China Eastern down 3.6%, Shandong Airlines losing 3% and Hainan Airlines slipping 2.8%. Embraer confirmed today the sale of 10 E190 regional jets to CDB Leasing Co, to be operated by China Southern. The aircraft will be delivered from 2H0211.

Selected Asia Pacific Airlines daily share price movements (% change): 10-Jan-2011