Norwegian Air Shuttle reported a 21% reduction in both yield and revenue per ASK in Jan-2010 (to NOK0.48/EUR5.87 and NOK0.34/EUR4.15), for the largest year-on-year yield reduction in over 21 months.
The year-on-year yield development reflects the removal of fuel surcharges that covered last year’s record high fuel price, a significantly adjusted route portfolio, and the introduction of new aircraft with higher capacity and lower unit cost (these factors are estimated by the carrier to account for approximately 60% of the yield reduction).
In other traffic news, the LCC increased passenger numbers by 29%, on a 28% capacity (ASKs) and traffic (RPKs) increase, with load factors remaining stable at 72%.
Improved unit revenue for Air Berlin in Jan-2010
It was a different scenario for Europe’s third largest LCC, with Air Berlin reporting a 5.6% year-on-year increase in RASK in Jan-2010 to EUR5.24 cents, following a 6.5% reduction in Dec-2009, and representing the largest year-on-year increase since Sep-2009. The increase builds on growth of 22.9% in Jan-2009.
Also in the month, Air Berlin handled 1.9 million passengers (including those traveling on the acquired TUIfly routes), a 1.2% year-on-year reduction, as capacity (ASKs) was reduced by 0.7%. Load factors improved 0.3 ppts to 69.1%. Shares in the carrier were down 2.7% on Friday.
Vueling’s shares slumped 6.6% on Friday, following a 10.3% slump the previous day, reflecting large reductions on the Spanish share markets, on fears about mounting public debt in Spain.
Meanwhile, the country’s Central Bank stated the Spanish economy remained in recession in 4Q2009, with the economy shrinking 0.1% from the previous three months and contracting 3.6% in 2009 in what the bank described as the “sharpest decline in recent decades”.
GOL seeing “gradual recovery” in yields
Shares in Brazil's GOL gained 2.7% on Friday, as the carrier, upon the release of its Jan-2010 traffic results, commented that yields “maintained their gradual recovery pace” in Jan-2010, averaging more than BRL19.00 cents (USD10.09 cents).
Also in the month, the carrier increased total system capacity (ASKs) by 16.8%, driven by a 20.6% increase in domestic capacity, with load factor approvals across the board (+6.4 ppts to 77.9% domestically and soaring 24.5 ppts to 81.8% on international routes, for a total system load factor gain of 9.0 ppts to 77.9%).
Istithmar World Capital sells holding in SpiceJet
In the Asia Pacific region, SpiceJet’s shares gained 5.0% on Friday, the same day Istithmar World Capital, a Dubai World Group subsidiary, sold its entire 13.4% stake in the Indian carrier for approximately USD34 million, as part of Dubai World’s strategy to reduce its debt.
A group of seven investors, including DWS Invest BRIC Plus (8.85 million shares), Reliance Mutual Fund (4.5 million shares) and Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund (10 million shares) reportedly acquired the stake. SpiceJet’s shares have more than tripled in value over the past 12 months.
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Selected LCCs daily share price movements (% change): 05-Feb-2010