European airline stocks were mostly up on Wednesday (03-Mar-2010), moving higher with the wider market after Greece released a new set of austerity measures to overcome its debt issues. However, gains were capped by a 1.5% rise in oil prices, to USD80.87.
British Airways reports improved traffic
British Airways (-0.6%) slipped after reporting a 2.2 ppts year-on-year improvement in load factor for Feb-2010, to 74.2%, as traffic (RPKs) rose 1.1% and capacity (ASKs) fell 1.9%. Traffic comprised a 5.0% increase in premium traffic and a 0.3% increase in non-premium traffic. Feb-2009’s traffic data was affected by significant weather disruption in the first week of the month.
CEO, Willie Walsh meanwhile also stated during trading that he would not cave in to pressure from cabin crew union, Unite, and outlined a contingency plan if staff do go ahead with a proposed strike. BA has trained approximately 1,000 staff to conduct cabin crew duties, should the industrial action occur.
The carrier also stated it expects to sign a merger agreement with Iberia by the end of the month. Iberia was flat at the end of trading.
Ryanair load factor drops, wins case against easyJet
Ryanair (-2.2%) meanwhile declined after reporting a 3.0 ppt year-on-year fall in load factor for Feb-2010, to 75%. Passenger numbers were up (just) 6% for the month, to 4.4 million.
Also during trading, the carrier won a case against easyJet (-0.6%) in which Ryanair claimed its rival “denigrated” it by suggesting in advertising material that the carrier did not transport passengers to the correct destination. easyJet shares slipped 0.6% yesterday.
SAS (-3.0%) and Eurofly (-2.5%) were meanwhile the day’s biggest fallers.
Air France-KLM to reduce capacity slightly over Summer 2010
Air France-KLM (+1.5%) gained after announcing plans to reduce capacity (ASKs) by 0.3% under its upcoming Summer 2010 schedule. Capacity will be increased slightly (+0.8%) on the long-haul network, while medium-haul capacity will be reduced by 4.0% and domestic capacity will be reduced 2.2%.
Also featured in today’s Europe Airline Daily:
- Virgin Atlantic reaffirms relationship with LSG Sky Chefs;
- Air Berlin pilots to strike;
- bmi and SWISS announce expanded codeshare partnership;
- Finnair to expand its Korean/Asian operations in 2010;
- Transaero to launch Moscow-Beijing service in Jun-2010.
Europe selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 03-Mar-2010