Turkish Air Flying Amid Strike Surges to Record: Istanbul Mover

Turk Hava Yollari AO (THYAO), Turkey’s flagship carrier, climbed to a record after saying its staff disregarded a union call to strike.

As of 5:30 p.m. 618 flights had been made, with no delays or cancellations due to the protest, company spokesman Ali Genc said in a phone interview. “Operations continued as usual and passengers were not aggrieved.”

Turkish Airlines, as the company is known, rose 3.2 percent to close at 8.38 liras in Istanbul, the highest level since the stock started trading in 1995. About 25.7 million shares changed hands, or 1.5 times the three-month average daily volume, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Borsa Istanbul National 100 index advanced 0.9 percent.

“Even if the strike had an effect, it would have only resulted in small losses in daily operations,” Hasan Bayhan, an analyst at Global Securities in Istanbul, said in a phone interview. “Investors believe the union and the management will come to an agreement in the end.”

The Hava-Is labor union started the strike at 3 a.m., demanding the reinstatement of 305 former employees. The organization also seeks a 12 percent pay increase this year, against the company’s offer of 3 percent raise in the first half and another 3 percent in the second, union Chairman Atilla Aycin said in an April 10 interview.

Strike Action

“We have heard that flight delays and cancellations are rising,” Gizem Surer, a press spokeswoman at Hava-Is, said in a phone interview, without giving details. “The strike will continue until our demands are met.” The union will set up a strike tent in front of the company’s headquarters in Istanbul tomorrow, she said.

Turkish Airlines reported 1.13 billion liras ($620 million) in 2012 net income on March 15, beating the average estimate of 1.05 billion liras in a Bloomberg survey of 21 analysts. It may report a loss of 11.3 million liras in the first quarter, according to the average of eight analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Seventeen analysts recommend buying the carrier’s shares, while eight say hold and one recommends selling, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Taylan Bilgic in Istanbul at tbilgic2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at cmaedler@bloomberg.net

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