LAN profits plunge 93 per cent

CHILE’S LAN Airlines has posted a staggering plunge in profits of 93 per cent for the second quarter of 2009. The airline only made US4.2 million profit between April and June, down from $60.5 million in the same period last year. Cargo revenues fell 43.4 per cent during the quarter.

“The results were affected by a loss of $52.6 million due to fuel hedging,” LAN said in a statement. It added it is “important to note that amidst the weakened global economic environment and despite the seasonally weak months, LAN continued to show significant growth in its passenger operations, demonstrating its solid market position in the routes in which it operates.”

Excluding fuel hedging losses, LAN’s operating profit for the second quarter was up 56.2 per cent to $87.6 million from $56.1 million in the same period in 2008.

During those months, LAN also took delivery of two new Boeing 777 freighters, the first in the region. It also launched a new service from its Lima hub to Cartagena de Indias (Colombia) two times per week and from 10 July, a daily service from Santiago to Lima via Iquique. On August 15, the Company will operate Lima-Cali via Quito three times per week.

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