Europe’s three largest LCCs handle 16.3 million pax in Jul-2010
Ryanair, Air Berlin and Air Berlin handled approximately 16.3 million passengers in Jul-2010.
Air Berlin pax up; load factors slip
Air Berlin shares remained neutral yesterday, on the same day the carrier reported a 6.4% year-on-year increase in passenger numbers to 3.7 million for Jul-2010. Load factors average 81.2%, a 2.1 ppt load factor reduction. The carrier, however, did not provide unit revenue data, as it had done in previous months.
Fraport CEO, Matthias Zierschang, stated Air Berlin should refocus its operations on Frankfurt to provide improved connections with its new oneworld alliance partners. oneworld airlines, including American Airlines, Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and LAN Airlines, all have services to Frankfurt but not to Air Berlin's base in Berlin. Mr Zierschang said: “There are strong potential benefits from a oneworld hub in Frankfurt, not only for the airlines but also for us. They can’t create a hub in Berlin."
Air Berlin welcomed Fraport's comments, adding that it has previously found gaining access to Lufthansa's Frankfurt hub to be challenging. Spokesman, Hans-Christoph Noack, said: “There’s no doubt that our membership in oneworld and the completion of the fourth runway in Frankfurt next year open new perspectives. And if Fraport offers the scenario of a oneworld hub, that’s a positive signal.”
easyJet reported a 7.7% year-on-year increase in passenger numbers to 5.0 million in Jul-2010, a 7.7% year-on-year increase, with load factors exceeding the 90% mark (+0.5 ppts to 90.9%). Shares in easyJet gained 0.3% yesterday.
Comparatively, Ryanair reached a new passengers record of 7.6 million in Jul-2010, a 13% year-on-year increase, meaning Ryanair handled more than 2.5 million more passengers than its major LCC competitor. However, Ryanair’s load factors (88%, -1 ppts) are more than 2 ppts lower than easyJet’s. Shares in Ryanair slipped 0.5% yesterday.
Among the non-listed LCCs, flybe reached agreement with Finnair to provide regional services in the Scandinavian and Baltic regions. From 31-Oct-2010, flybe will base three aircraft at Helsinki and launch service to Tampere, Turku and Tallinn. flybe added that the two airlines have also agreed to commence discussions on a potential wider cooperation, which could see flybe providing a range of services across Nordic and Baltic markets.
Selected LCCs daily share price movements (% change): 05-Aug-2010