Vueling Jumps After Rival Spanair Halts Operations: Madrid Mover

Vueling Airlines SA (VLG), a Spanish low- cost carrier, surged the most in more than three years after competitor Spanair SA ceased operations as Qatar Airways Ltd. withdrew from a bid and the regional government halted funding.

Vueling rose 25 percent, the biggest advance since Oct. 22, 2008, to 5.10 euros in Madrid. That gave the Barcelona-based airline a value of 152.5 million euros ($200.1 million). Vueling said today it will boost capacity by 25 percent this summer from a year earlier and plans 33 new flights and five new routes.

“Even as Spanair’s closure isn’t surprising, we believe this is good news for Vueling and it should have a positive impact in the value of the stock,” Alfredo del Cerro, an analyst at Banesto Bolsa based in Madrid, wrote in a report to investors today.

Spanair ceased operations Jan. 27 and may seek protection from creditors this week. The Barcelona-based airline’s collapse is the first of a scheduled European carrier since the last recession. Cash-strapped European governments are considering whether to dispose of at least half a dozen other airlines in auctions pitting Qatar Airways and other emerging-market bidders against Air France-KLM (AF) Group, Deutsche Lufthansa AG (LHA) and British Airways parent International Consolidated Airlines Group SA.

To contact the reporter on this story: Manuel Baigorri in Madrid at mbaigorri@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net

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