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International Airlines Group reports strong April traffic increase

European airlines are reporting significant increases in passenger numbers, reflecting last year's ash cloud-related airspace shutdowns.

International Airlines Group (IAG) reports (06-May-2011) the following consolidated traffic highlights in Apr-2011:

  • Passenger numbers: 4.4 million, +17.5% year-on-year;
  • Passenger load factor: 79.7%, +1.7 ppts;
    • Domestic (UK and Spain): 75.3%, +5.0 ppts;
    • Europe: 74.7%, +1.7 ppts;
    • North America: 83.1%, +2.6 ppts;
    • Latin America and Caribbean: 81.9%, -0.1 ppt;
    • Africa and Middle East: 76.3%, +1.1 ppts;
    • Asia Pacific: 79.8%, -0.5 ppt;
  • Cargo traffic (FTKs): +19.8%. 

IAG stated group premium traffic for the month of April grew by 40.0% compared with the previous year, with 22.6% growth in non-premium traffic". Its shares gained 3.3%.

SAS' shares soared 10.6% as it reported the following traffic highlights in Apr-2011:

  • Passenger numbers: 2.2 million, +44.1% year-on-year;
  • Passenger load factor: 74.4%, +4.7 ppts;
    • Scandinavian Airlines: 75.5%, +5.1 ppts;
    • Wideroe: 60.5%, +6.0 ppts;
    • Blue1: 66.6%, +2.1 ppts.

SAS stated: "During Mar-2011, currency adjusted RASK was down 3.4% and yield was down 0.1%, in line with guidance. The improvement in yield compared with previous months reflects a positive mix, especially on the new added capacity. For Apr-2011, passenger yield (change vs last year) is expected to be in line with March, but due to improvement in the load factor in April as a result of ash cloud effects, RASK (change) is expected to be even higher."

Selected European airlines daily share price movements (% change): 06-May-2011