Tue, Jul 21, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Passenger, cargo figures showing improvement: CAL

FLYING HIGHER A spokesman said the airline could stay in the black this year if the global slump continues to slacken and fuel costs remain constant

By Crystal Hsu  /  STAFF REPORTER

China Airlines Ltd (CAL, 中華航空) said yesterday that both passenger and cargo load factors showed noticeable improvement this month from last month, although they remain low compared with last year.

CAL spokesman Bruce Chen (陳鵬宇) said passenger load factor rose to 75 percent this month, from 70 percent last month.

This month’s figure represents a decline of 20 percent from the level during the same period last year, compared with a 30 percent contraction last month, Chen said.

Meanwhile, the decline in cargo load factor slowed from 25 percent last month to just over 10 percent, compared with a year earlier, Chen said.

“The figures showed the decline shrinking,” Chen said by telephone. “Barring any surprises, the company may be able to break even this year.”

The carrier recorded a net loss of NT$32.35 billion (US$986 million) last year.

For the first six months of this year, the company recorded NT$28.98 billion in revenue on passenger flights, down 14.55% from a year ago,while its cargo revenue reached NT$13.17 billion, down 50.47% from past year.

Chen said the company could stay in the black this year if the global slump continues to slacken and fuel costs hover between US$60 and US$70 a barrel.

CAL’s revenue in the first quarter fell 26 percent year-on-year to NT$23.1 billion, and was down 18 percent from the previous quarter.

In addition, the company expected a pickup in the number of Chinese tourists to help boost its revenue in the second half.

Last month, an average of 700 Chinese tourists a day visited Taiwan, but the figure was 1,200 a day last week and is forecast to reach 2,000 a day next month, data from a local travel association showed.

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