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Amid challenges, El Al makes Q2 gains

By Hpanchal on August 23, 2012

El Al Israel Airlines saw freight revenue plunge 7 percent, year-over-year, to $47.6 million, in the second quarter of 2012. Despite this decline, the Israeli flag carrier’s net loss narrowed to $6.2 million during the quarter — a marked improvement from the $20 million net loss the carrier posted during the same period in 2011 and the $23.5 million net loss El Al incurred during the first quarter of 2012.

A 7 percent, year-over-year, drop in El Al’s operating expenses contributed to the carrier’s financial gains during the second quarter. El Al’s gross profit also rose significantly during the second quarter, surging from $60 million in April-to-June 2011 to more than $75 million. Even so, the carrier’s total revenue slid slightly during the second quarter, declining 3 percent, year-over-year, to $516.8 million.

In a press release, El Al officials said these numbers are impressive, considering the economic challenges affecting global markets, the “open skies” policy and the surge in fuel prices.

EL Al President and CEO Elyezer Shkedy also spoke out about these challenges, highlighting the actions El Al has taken to offset them. “Our ongoing efforts to increase efficiency to adjust to the reality of the current business climate, as well as carefully control expenditures, have proven to be instrumental in reducing losses,” Shkedy said in a statement. “We are continuing with our medium- and long-term business strategy to reflect our targets and policies for the coming years.”

Fleet renovation is one of these strategies, according to the press release. The Israeli carrier recently purchased two additional 737-900s from Boeing and is currently in talks to procure a wide-body aircraft as well.

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