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easyJet and Ryanair handle 13m pax in August; Cimber Sterling saved from bankruptcy?

easyJet and Ryanair handled a combined 12.9 million passengers in Aug-2010, with easyJet reporting a 8.4% increase in passengers to 5.2 million and Ryanair recording a 12% jump in passenger numbers to 7.7 million – or 2.5 million more than easyJet.

easyJet’s load factors were, however, stronger, improving 0.5 ppts to 92.3%, 3.3 ppts higher than Ryanair’s average load factor of 89%, which declined 1 ppt year-on-year.

In the 12 months to Aug-2010, easyJet passenger numbers increased 7.7% to 48.4 million with a 1.5 ppt load factor gain to 86.9%, while Ryanair passenger numbers stood at 70.9 million with an average load factor of 82%.

Vueling reports record traffic in Aug-2010

Elsewhere, Vueling reported record traffic in Aug-2010 with a 4.8% year-on-year increase in passenger numbers in the month to 1.3 million, while load factors slipped 2.6 ppts to 82.1%. 

Shares Ryanair slipped 0.3% yesterday, while easyJet’s shares were 3.1% stronger and Vueling shares gained 2.5%.

Cimber Sterling saved from bankruptcy

Meanwhile, the turbulence continues for Cimber Sterling, which witnessed a 3.5% share price slump on Monday following a 2.0% gain on Friday.

On Friday, TV2 Finans reported that Danish businessman Karsten Ree saved the LCC from the brink of bankruptcy. The airline was in mid-Aug-2010 reportedly close to declaring bankruptcy according to reports, but is said to have received a life-saving DKK50 million (EUR6.8 million) loan from Mr Ree.

The airline was reportedly turned down for loans from several banks following the ash cloud crisis in Apr-May-2010.  Mr Ree is reported to have loaned the airline the funds just hours before it had to declare itself bankrupt, according to reports in The Copenhagen Post.  

Cimber Sterling's Q1 2010/11 performance in line with forecast

Separately, the carrier, on 03-Sep-2010, reported that its 1Q2010/11 performance was “in line” with management expectations, and confirmed: “Cimber Sterling has obtained intermediate funding which is expected to be maintained until a loan with partial government guarantee is established and/or the refinancing of aircraft has fallen into place."

The carrier reported a 33% increase in passengers, unchanged yield levels and a 27% revenue increase (to EUR71 million) in the quarter, with a CASK ex fuel reduction of 13% (11% including  fuel).

Meanwhile, adjusted EBIT (taking into account the EUR1.5 million loss due to the airspace closures) was a  EUR134,000 profit (compared with a EUR3.4 million loss in 2009/2010) marking the carrier’s best performance in a quarter “in recent years”. Unadjusted EBIT was a loss of EUR1.3 million. The carrier will release its full interim report for the quarter on 15-Sep-2010.

Selected LCCs daily share price movements (% change): 06-Sep-2010