Virgin Blue soars, Qantas and JAL higher, AirAsia weaker - Share Wrap

Virgin Blue's shares vaulted 9.8% yesterday as V Australia and Virgin America signed an Australia-US interline agreement. Every time V Australia adds a partner, Virgin Blue's share price surges. Sir Richard Branson meanwhile stated the Australian carrier was "seriously considering" commencing services from Sydney to Tokyo Haneda within 18 months.

It is a long shot, given the Japanese and premium travel markets have fallen off a cliff and will probably take more than 18 months to recover, Australian outbound traffic is suffering from recession-like conditions, and there are no access arrangements for Australian carriers to Haneda - and nor is this likely to change in the near term.

Qantas advanced 3.8%, while Japan Airlines rose 1.1% and Thai Airways rose 3%. Singapore Airlines was virtually steady, while AirAsia fell 1.5%. The LCC's shares are struggling to find direction in the aftermath of its first quarter earnings announcement.

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Asia Pacific selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 03-Jun-09