Thai Airways' shares (+11.1%) leapt yesterday, presumably on either rumour or inside information about a government support programme coupled with credit restructuring. The flag carrier is searching for a suitably strenuous corporate restructuring plan, which will provide a basis for the government to provide loan guarantees - and in turn allow the carrier to roll over its current short term debt facilities and/or find new ones.
Cathay Pacific (-6.3%) was the downward leader yesterday, despite only a modest loss on the Hang Seng generally. The carrier has been facing up to the difficulties of a large delivery schedule, as its key network markets decline steeply.
Malaysia Airlines (+5.1%) meanwhile regained most of the ground it lost yesterday.
Hainan Airlines (+8.5%) showed another good rise (see below under 1Q09 report).
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Asia Pacific selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 31-Mar-09
Quarterly Share price report: 1Q09
Hainan Airlines shares have outperformed all other airlines in the region this year, with a more than healthy 51.9% rise since 02-Jan-09. The carrier's outlook is better than most, with a strong position in the Beijing market and, a longstanding dispute with the bankruptcy estate of Dornier Aviation (North America), Inc. (DANA), was resolved in Feb-09, when Hainan paid the trustee $14,950,000 in consideration of the settlement.
The Chinese airline market overall has staged something of a recovery this year, as last year's extremely negative figures started to improve. China Southern (15.2%) and Shanghai Airlines (11.8%) each gained solidly, while Air China (+2.9%) was more modest. Even struggling China Eastern has managed to stay above its January level.
Across the Straits, China Airlines (+10.7%) and EVA (+10.0%) have both benefited from the encouraging start to direct services, with the hope of more to come - despite the downturn in freight markets.
At the other end of the scale, Australian airlines have fared badly. Qantas (-34% this year) has suffered greatly following a capital raising, designed to protect its credit rating. Indeed, but for a substantial recovery in the airline's share price over the past couple of weeks, the fall would have been much larger.
Indian carriers, unsurprisingly in their turbulent market, were also on the downside. Kingfisher (-20.1%), Spicejet and Jet Airways (both -18.4% for the year) have each lost around a fifth of their market capitalisation.
Selected Asia Pacific carriers share price growth for the first quarter ended 31-Mar-09
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