For the year as a whole, El Al said its loss totaled US$49.3 million, compared with a profit of US$57 million in 2010
Israeli flag carrier El Al Israel Airlines announced a loss in the fourth quarter, due mainly to higher fuel prices and intensified competition from other airlines.
The company announced last Wednesday a quarterly net loss of US$7.8 million, compared with a profit of US$16.3 million in the last three months of 2010. Revenue, according to the company, edged up 1% to US$485.4 million as a 1.5% increase in passenger revenue offset lower cargo revenue.
Operating expenses increased 2.2% to US$402.4 million, mainly due to higher jet fuel prices. El Al's market share from Ben-Gurion International Airport fell to 33.9% at the end of 2011, from 37.1% in 2010. Its load factor slipped to 80.3%, from 81.6%.
For the year as a whole, El Al said its loss totaled US$49.3 million, compared with a profit of US$57 million in 2010. Revenue was US$2 billion, down 3.6 percent from a year earlier.
El Al said that while jet fuel prices jumped 41% in 2011, hedging transactions narrowed the effective increase to 18% for the airline. El Al chief executive Elyezer Shkedy noted that in 2011, El Al faced a continued rise in competition from giant partnerships and foreign companies, which more than doubled in the past five years".
Shkedy added that the Israeli government was about to make a final decision regarding an "open skies" policy with the European Union which will affect the Israeli air sector.
He stressed that signing the "open skies" agreement, "might adversely influence Israeli airlines due to an additional strengthening of competition, and an increase in carriers and capacity that the agreement will bring, and the lack of ability of Israeli companies to realize equal aviation rights from the agreement."