Vueling expanding from Barcelona El Prat; Aegean Airlines' future stakeholder report net loss

European airline shares were mixed on Monday (31-May-2010) during a relatively quiet day of trading. The London Stock Exchange and US Wall Street were closed for national holidays.

In key markets, France’s CAC (-0.2%) slipped, while Germany’s DAX (+0.3%) made a marginal gain.

Vueling expanding from Barcelona El Prat Airport

Vueling (+3.0%) was one of the day’s biggest gainers. President, Josep Piqué, stated during trading that the carrier plans to launch several new routes from Barcelona El Prat Airport from 05-Jul-2010. Mr Piqué added he expects passenger throughput at the airport to increase by over 10% in 2011. In response to Ryanair’s recent announcement to open a base at El Prat in Sep-2010, Mr Piqué stated the effect on fares will have to be assessed.

Meanwhile, Vueling General Manager, Alex Cruz, stated the carrier expects to become the second largest LCC in Europe this year, overtaking easyJet.

The gain was despite a 0.7% decline in Spain’s IGBM index (-0.7%), after Fitch Ratings downgraded Spain’s debt rating from ‘AAA’ to ‘AA+’ at the weekend.

Aegean Airlines future stakeholder reports widened net loss

Aegean Airlines (-3.2%) was also down, pushed lower by a 1.2% decline in the Athens Stock Exchange. Olympic Air owner, Marfin Investment Group (MIG) reported a net loss of EUR94.2 million for the 12 months ended 31-Mar-2010, compared with a net loss of EUR18.4 million in the previous corresponding period.

MIG will have a 26.6% stake in the combined Aegean Airlines/Olympic Air, once the carriers’ merger is finalised, which is expected to take place between Jan-2011 and Mar-2011.

Elsewhere Eurofly (+5.5%) made a strong gain, moving higher with the Borsa Italiana (+0.4%).

El Al (-3.3%) took the biggest fall of the day, as the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (-1.6%) declined on concern tensions may escalate after the Israeli naval incident involving an aid convoy bound for Gaza. El Al and Atlasjet Airlines meanwhile announced plans to suspend a joint Tel Aviv-Istanbul route, where services were due to commence operation in Jun-2010.

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Europe selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 31-May-2010