El Al Israel Airlines said its first-quarter net loss narrowed due to cost cuts, including a reduction in its workforce, and it is working on a new business strategy.
Israel’s flag carrier said on Thursday it had a quarterly net loss of USD$23.4 million, compared with a loss of USD$42.9 million a year ago.
Revenue rose 0.9 percent to USD$429 million. Revenue from passengers rose 7 percent while revenue from its cargo business fell 12 percent.
Operating costs fell 4 percent to USD$389 million due to fewer hours’ flight time, salary reductions and increased government participation in security costs. Higher oil prices boosted jet fuel expenses by 9.1 percent.
“Results in the first quarter of 2012 were impacted by the global crisis, the rise in fuel prices and increased competition in the aviation sector,” chief executive Elyezer Shkedy said.
El Al is implementing a plan to lower costs and formulating a business strategy for the medium and long term that is expected to be approved in coming months, he said.
Its load factor rose to 81.2 percent from 76.8 percent, while its market share at Ben-Gurion Airport slipped to 36.6 percent.