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Majority of global low cost carriers climb, Vueling, Skymark and Air Arabia

The majority of global low cost carrier stocks advanced in lighter trade on Monday (31-May-2010), as the London Stock Exchange and US Wall Street remained closed for national holidays.

Europe: Vueling targets position of Europe’s second largest LCC

Spain’s Vueling climbed 3.0% yesterday, with an announcement from President, Josep Piqué, during trade that the carrier plans to launch several new routes from Barcelona El Prat Airport from 05-Jul-2010. Mr Piqué added he expects passenger throughput at the airport to increase by over 10% in 2011. Vueling General Manager, Alex Cruz, added the carrier expects to become the second largest LCC in Europe this year.

Elsewhere, Air Berlin gained 2.8%, while Norwegian lost 0.9%.

Middle East and Africa: Air Arabia higher, 1time Holdings flat

Air Arabia gained 0.6% during trade yesterday, while South Africa’s 1time closed flat.

flydubai CEO, Ghaith Al Ghaith, stated the carrier expects to see double-digit growth of the LCC market in the Middle East within a few years. Mr Al Ghaith explained the “low-cost model in Europe or the Far East accounts for 30-50% of the total aviation market share. In comparison, we have a long way to go."

Mr Al Ghaith added the launch of another LCC in the Middle East market would be a chance for every carrier in the region to “better themselves”.

North and South America: WestJet dips 0.2%

In route network news, WestJet launched seasonal Windsor-Calgary daily service on 31-May-2010 for operation to 20-Oct-2010.

Meanwhile, Brazil’s GOL added 0.2% yesterday.

Asia Pacific: Skymark to gain from JAL’s cutbacks

Skymark announced plans to launch five new routes from Kobe Airport between Jul-2010 and Dec-2010, including Asahikawa, Hokkaido and Nagasaki. The news comes as Japan Airlines suspended operations from Kobe on 31-May-2010, as part of its restructuring programme. The airport is set to suffer a decline in revenue as JAL accounted for 35% of revenue from landing fees in 2009 or USD7.6 million (JPY690 million).

Shares in Skymark, the Japanese LCC, gained 1.7% during trade yesterday.

Elsewhere, Australia’s Virgin Blue recovered 6.5%, following a large drop of 27.9% on Friday. In India, SpiceJet jumped 5.9%, while Malaysian LCC, AirAsia, closed 4.3% higher. AirAsia released it financial results for the three months ended 31-Mar-2010. Highlights included a 10% increase in revenue and net profit. See CAPA’s exclusive report: AirAsia’s profits hit by rising fuel costs: Near term outlook solid, squeeze in 2011?

Selected LCCs daily share price movements (% change): 31-May-2010