LAN third-quarter profit down 37 per cent

CHILE’S LAN Airlines’ revenues fell 19 per cent and net profit fell 37 per cent in the last quarter, from US$83 million last year down to $52 million this year. This compares to a second-quarter drop in profit of 93 per cent, down to $4.2 million.The airline blamed the heavy fall in demand, due to the global economic climate, and losses on fuel hedging, which totalled $14.4 million for the quarter.“In the weak global economic environment and despite the impact of the H1N1 [swine] flu in the regional market, LAN continued to show significant growth in its passenger operations,” the company said in a statement. It went on to add, barring further spread of swine flu or rising fuel prices, that it thought the worst of the economic crisis had passed.In September, LAN said the worst of the economic crisis had passed, but noted other influences, including the spread of swine flu virus and rising fuel prices, could hurt profits.

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