Wataniya to launch second Europe destination; Lonrho and Air Arabia down

Kuwait National Airways (-1.9%) shares fell again on Wednesday (07-Apr-2010). Subsidiary, Wataniya Airways announced plans during trading to launch Kuwait-Rome service, effective 31-May-2010. Rome will be Wataniya Airways’ eleventh destination and its second European city after the carrier’s earlier announcement of plans to launch Istanbul service from the beginning of May-2010.

Elsewhere in the Middle East, Air Arabia (-2.2%) and Royal Jordanian (-1.9%) both fell, while Jazeera Airways (+2.0%) was the day’s only gainer.

Also during trading, IATA Regional Vice President Middle East and North Africa, Dr Majid Sabri, told the Oman Daily Observer that travel markets "continue to develop within the region creating new demand", adding that "successful competition on long-haul connections to Asia over Middle Eastern hubs has improved market share for the region's carriers".

He added that Middle East carriers are expected to experience a further demand growth of 15.2% in 2010, but added that he assumes low yields in long-haul markets connected over Middle East hubs is a burden on profitability and there could be a small increase in the loss forecast (currently at USD400 million for Middle East carriers).

In Africa, Comair (+1.9%) gained, rebounding from a 6.9% decline the day prior. The rise in share price was despite a 0.4% fall in South Africa’s JSE, due to some profit taking and a decline in the US Dow Jones Index.

Kenya Airways was flat, as Kenya’s All Share Index (-0.7%) slipped for a second day. 1time Holdings was also flat, while Lonrho (-4.0%) fell.

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Selected African and Middle Eastern airlines share price movements (% change): 07-Apr-2010