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El Al Airlines loss widens

El Al, Israel's national carrier, posted a quarterly loss of US$26.5 million, compared with a loss of US$7.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2011
22.03.13 / 00:00
El Al Airlines loss widens
22.03.13
El Al Airlines loss widens

In a press release the company reported that revenue was down 4% to US$463.9 million as passenger revenue was 4.7 % down and Cargo revenues dropped by 7% compared to the parallel quarter as a result of market contraction and a decline in per-ton yields and in the number of ton-kilometers flown. Its cargo market share at Ben-Gurion International Airport was down to 33.2%.

El Al had said it lost an estimated US$15-US$17 million in revenue due to cancellations and a drop in bookings as a result of Operation Pillar of Defense in the Gaza Strip in November.

El Al Chief Executive Elyezer Shkedy said that not only did the airlinehave to continue to deal with the global downturn, the military operation impacted tourism to Israel and hurt its fourth-quarter results.

He noted that during 2012, El Al continued with efficiency measures and was able to maintain a low level of expenses, reducing the size of its workforce and salary expenses. El Al is in the process of renewing its fleet and has purchased two more narrow-body 737-900s from Boeing Co , bringing the number of planes acquired to six. The first plane is due to join the fleet in October 2013.

Operating costs in the October-December period was up 4% to US$416.7 million.

El Al's load factor - a measure of seats sold - increased in 2012 to 82.5% from 80.3% in 2011 while its market share at Ben-Gurion International Airport was down to 33.6%.

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