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Air Berlin increases stake in NIKI; Ryanair reports continued pax growth in Jun-2010

Shares in Air Berlin remained unchanged on 05-Jul-2010, the same day the German LCC announced an increase in its shareholding in NIKI Luftfahrt GmbH, implementing the agreements notarised in Feb-2010.

Air Berlin indirectly acquired 25.9% of the shares in NIKI from the Privatstiftung Lauda (private Lauda foundation), increasing its current shareholding to 49.9%, at a purchase price of EUR21 million.

Air Berlin will grant the private Lauda foundation a EUR40.5 million loan. The private foundation has the option to repay the loan in three years with cash or through the transfer of the remaining 50.1% of NIKI shares.

The carrier added that, within the Air Berlin group, NIKI would be fully consolidated. It will remain a legally independent company with its own management, while the NIKI brand will be maintained for the “foreseeable future”.  

Ryanair handles four times British Airways' pax volumes in UK/Europe

Meanwhile, shares in UK-listed LCCs, Ryanair, Dart Group and easyJet were all weaker yesterday, slipping 0.1%, 0.4% and 1.2% respectively.

Ryanair reported a 15% increase in passenger numbers to 6.7 million in Jun-2010, with an average load factor of 84% (a 1 ppt year-on-year reduction). Comparatively, British Airways – affected by strike action in the month – reported a 13.2% reduction in UK/European passenger levels to 1.6 million passengers or less than a quarter of Ryanair’s passenger numbers, with an average load factor of 75.1%.

In the 12 months to Jun-2010, Ryanair handled 69.2 million passengers with an average load factor of 82%.

Selected LCCs daily share price movements (% change): 05-Jul-2010