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Air Berlin downgraded by RBS; Norwegian sees continued yield/unit revenue reduction in May-2010

Royal Bank of Scotland cut its recommendation on Air Berlin stock from "hold" to "sell" last week, commenting “the volcano will have impacted the second-quarter performance, [while] summer trading is exposed to some challenged economies...and the benefit of falling unit fuel costs is fading”.

RBS added that while it does not see Air Berlin at risk of failure in the short term, it does not see how the business can boost bottom-line profitability. Shares in Air Berlin were 1.3% lower on Friday.

easyJet handled 4.3 million pax in May-2010

Shares in easyJet were also down on Friday, by 2.4%, on the same day the carrier released its May-2010 traffic highlights. During the month, the LCC handled 4.3 million passengers, a 7.9% year-on-year increase (this compares with Ryanair’s 17% passenger increase to 6.4 million in the month), with an average load factor of 85.8% (a 2.3 ppt improvement and 5 ppts above Ryanair levels).

easyJet passenger statistics for the month were impacted by a number of cancellations as a result of the volcanic ash clouds. Approximately 1,600 flights were cancelled affecting approximately 215,000 passengers.  

Norwegian Air Shuttle reports 14% reduction in yields and unit revenues in May-2010

Shares in Norwegian Air Shuttle gained 3.3% on Friday. The carrier reported a 14% year-on-year reduction in yields and unit revenues in May-2010, to NOK0.51 (EUR6.44 cents) and NOK0.39 (EUR4.92 cents), respectively.  The LCC commented that the yield developments reflects an adjusted route portfolio with 5% longer sector length and the introduction of 12 new B737-800 aircraft with higher capacity and lower unit costs since May-2009. 

Also during the month, the carrier handled 1.2 million passengers, a 25% year-on-year increase, as it increased capacity (ASKs) by 38%, with an average load factor of 77%.

Selected LCCs daily share price movements (% change): 04-Jun-2010