March 28, 2010 / 8:42 AM / in 9 years

El Al Israel Airlines Q4 net loss widens

TEL AVIV, March 28 (Reuters) - Flag carrier El Al Israel Airlines (ELAL.TA) reported a wider quarterly net loss on Sunday, as the ongoing global financial crisis weakened both passenger and cargo revenue.

El Al posted a fourth-quarter net loss of $29 million, compared with a loss of $10.1 million a year earlier.

Revenue fell 11 percent to $413.7 million. Passenger revenue slipped 7.5 percent despite a rise in the number of passengers due to a drop in ticket prices as well as a lower fuel surcharge. Cargo revenue declined 26 percent due to lower prices.

The carrier said its load factor slipped to 81.2 percent from 82 percent a year earlier. El Al said its market share at Ben-Gurion International Airport rose to 37 percent from 35.4 percent a year ago.

“The company’s management is working on a new strategic plan that will prepare the company to compete with the challenges of the near term and will provide a solution to the situation in the airline industry,” Chairman Amikam Cohen said in a statement.

The airline’s new chief executive, Eliezer Shkedi, said that in parallel with the multi-year strategic plan, El Al also intends to turn the tide in 2010 by cutting costs, entering new markets and developing engines of growth.

Reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by Sugita Katyal

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