Cargo El Al’s lifesaver

EL Al posted a net loss of US$42.9 million in the first quarter of 2011, compared with a loss of $16.5 million in the same quarter last year. Operating loss tripled to $53.5 million from $14.7 million. Shares fell three per cent at the news.

However, cargo revenues grew by about 32 per cent to $58.1 million from $43.9 million, largely as a result of the increase in cargo movements and yield per tonne/kilometre. The airline’s share of Israeli air cargo rose 13 per cent to 35.7 per cent in the first quarter.

Overall El Al’s revenues rose slightly to $425.2 million from $423.2 million in 2010. Operating costs increased from £363.6 million to $403.4 million (95 per cent of revenue).

El Al chief executive officer Eliezer Shkedi said: “We are implementing a cost-cutting programme to adjust the company to the business climate in Israel and globally. Measures include reducing the fleet of gas-guzzling planes and applying innovative technologies in our possession. We are taking measures to encourage excellence and improve sales in Israel and internationally in order to boost revenue during the rest of the year while coping with the intensifying competition.”

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