El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. net loss widened in the fourth quarter of 2014 because of Operation Protective Edge in the summer.
El Al Israel's flag carrier said on Wednesday its net loss in the quarter was US$14.8 million from US$3.7 million a year ago. Revenue fell 1.2% to US$493 million as revenue from its cargo business fell 8.2%. El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. swung to a loss and saw revenue fall in 2014 because of Operation Protective Edge in the summer.
Revenue fell 1% in 2014 to US$2.081 billion and the carrier reported a loss of US$28.06 million, compared with US$26.66 million profit in 2013. Passenger revenue fell 0.9%, mainly due to lower passenger-kilometer returns, due to the impact of Operation Protective Edge, and competition.
On the other hand, the airline's revenue increased due to a rise in passenger numbers, which was made possible by additional aircraft and more frequent flights. Revenue from freight fell 1.7%, primarily as a result of a decline in ton-kilometer returns, which was offset by a growth in quantity.
Annual expenses were up 2% to US$1.79 billion, mainly as a result of increased activity, mostly for fuel expenses, and an increase in depreciation due to the addition of aircraft. The annual operating cash flows recorded a decrease to US$157 million compared with US$185 million in 2013.
The company's chief executive, David Maimon, called on the government to invest in measures to boost the tourism sector. Operating costs rose 0.8% to US$433 million despite a decline in jet fuel costs as hedging contracts taken to protect the company from a rise in fuel prices led to higher expenses. Its market share at Tel Aviv Airport in 2014 rose to 33.3% from 32.5% in 2013. El Al is in the process of renewing its fleet and in 2014 invested US$176 million for the purchase of new planes and equipment.