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Airport investors prefer airlines to stand alone

Airports were not spared the global sell-off on equity markets yesterday, with European airports particularly hardest hit. The operator of Vienna Airport was hit by a wave of selling again, linked to concerns about the outlook for key customer, Austrian Airlines.

Lufthansa, which is a potential bidder for Austrian, yesterday pulled out of negotiations to acquire SAS. Copenhagen Airport, one of SAS's main bases, had a reasonable day on the market (rising 1.6%), indicating airport investors would prefer airlines to stand-alone. Being swallowed up by a rival would lead to a reduction in capacity, which can hurt airport revenues.

Selected airport's daily share price movements (% change): 11-Nov-08