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Malaysia Airlines gains, Japan Airlines, Qantas and Singapore Airlines also up, Cathay Pacific slips

Most Asia Pacific airline shares gained on Friday (17-Jul-09), as the major Asian equity markets closed higher. Malaysia Airlines led the way, rising 3.9% followed by China Eastern and Kingfisher Airlines with gains of 3.8% and 3.4%, respectively.

Malaysia Airlines’ (MAS) Managing Director, Idris Jala, stated on Friday that the airline plans to reduce costs by up to MYR1 billion (USD281 million) this year. Despite acknowledging the challenges facing the global aviation sector, Idris Jala expressed optimism regarding his carrier’s survival chances, stating, “I believe that as a company, we will be able to pull through these difficult times”.

China Eastern's shares continued their recent ascent, although shares in merger partner, Shanghai Airlines, slipped 1.1%, after the carriers warned investors on the potential risks of volatile share trading. The carriers also stated that they have no plans to release any further information on their proposed merger this month.

Elsewhere, Japan Airlines, Qantas and Singapore Airlines gained, up 1.2%, 1.0% and 0.5%, respectively, while Cathay Pacific slipped 0.4%.

Asia Pacific selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 17-Jul-09