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Air Arabia soars, Virgin Blue and AirAsia rise - share wrap

Air Arabia shares soared 14.6% yesterday, after recent softness in its share price. The highly profitable carrier yesterday announced plans to launch Sharjah-Athens service in late April, becoming the first LCC in the Middle East to commence operations to Athens.

Elsewhere, Virgin Blue shares rose 2.1%,as the airline unveiled deep first half losses, as expected, mostly related to V Australia's start-up costs. ABN AMRO maintained its "Hold" recommendation on Virgin Blue and a AUD0.25 price target. The broker's guidance is for a full-year loss of AUD4.8 million before the impact of the carrier's investment in V Australia.

AirAsia shares gained 2.7% as the airline confirmed it has mandated Barclays Capital to finance 15 of its new A320-200s.

Asia Pacific selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 23-Feb-09