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SAS down, Norwegian up on July traffic results. Aegean Air and SkyEurope rise, but most steady

SAS (-3.9%), airberlin (-1.9%) and Dart (-1.9%) shares lost ground on Friday, 07-Aug-2009. Aegean Airlines (+3.7%) and SkyEurope (+3.5%) gained most, while Norwegian Air Shuttle (+2.2%) benefited from a good monthly traffic report for Jul-2009.

SAS again reported sombre traffic results for Jul-2009. Yields were down 7.6%, “putting pressure on the revenues for Q2”. But there was a faint glimmer of hope: the month’s fall in yield is “expected to be slightly less negative than May/June”. Group traffic (RPKs) fell 13.6% year on year, with seat capacity down 17.3% vs. 2008. As a result total passenger load factor for the month was 83.8%, up 3.6ppts. Passenger numbers were down14.1%.

SAS’ regional/LCC subsidiary, Blue1’s total traffic increased by 12.1% in Jul-2009. Load factors improved by 2.3ppt, to 82.6%, as a result of “good demand on European leisure routes”. However, total passenger volumes were down 7.4% against the same month last year,  “due to capacity reductions on domestic and Scandinavian routes.” Regional subsidiary, Wideroe’s passenger numbers rose 7.8% in Jul-2009, to 166,000, with growth strongest on the company's Norwegian routes “due to capacity increase and a successful marketing campaign”. The overall load factor increased by 6.9ppt.

Meanwhile, fierce competitor, LCC Norwegian Air Shuttle, increased passenger numbers by 16% and RPKs by 10% for Jul-2009 against the same month last year. Load factor was up 1ppt to 88%. Yield improved year on year, to NOK0.59, against NOK0.57 in Jul-2009.

Europe selected airlines daily share price movements (% change): 07-Aug-09