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AirAsia to move into Philippines market in 1Q2011

Southeast Asia's biggest LCC, AirAsia, confirmed it is “exploring the feasibility” of establishing a new airline JV in the Philippines. The airline already has successfully launched LCC subsidiaries in Thailand, Indonesia, with another planned JV in the Vietnam market.

According to an official involved in the talks, AirAsia is considering taking a 40% stake in the JV, with other shareholders to include Antonio Cojuangco, a former chairman of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co and President Benigno Aquino's cousin. The new airline is expected to launch domestic and international services in 1Q2011. The move follows Cebu Air’s plans to expand its fleet and route network and South East Asian Airlines' launch of a joint marketing venture with Tiger Airways.

AirAsia shares gained 4.2% yesterday. Tiger was unchanged and Cebu Air fell 0.2%.

JetBlue falls on outlook warning

JetBlue posted the sharpest fall yesterday, losing 4.0%. While the mood is generally bullish within the US airline industry, JetBlue CFO Ed Barnes yesterday warned sales for the holiday season could be weaker than expected and lowered his guidance for the period.

Also in the US, Southwest Airlines announced it carried 7.4 million passenger in Nov-2010, a 4.7% year-on-year increase. PRASM increased 7-8% year-on-year, which CFO Laura Wright described as “pretty remarkable" in light of recent economic problems in the country.

Selected LCCs daily share price movements (% change): 08-Dec-2010