Thu, Feb 24, 2011 - Page 12 News List

EVA Airways looks to cross-strait travel

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Cross-strait flights will be the major earnings driver for EVA Airways Corp (EVA, 長榮航空) this year, as the global airline industry faces a potentially flat year amid rising oil prices and potential flight disruptions from natural disasters, president Chang Kuo-wei (張國煒) said yesterday.

EVA’s performance rebounded last year along with the global economic recovery, with sales hitting a record NT$104.41 billion, up 42.48 percent from a year earlier, according to its financial statement.

However, the industry faces an uncertain year this year in the face of political unrest in the Middle East and North Africa and possible recurrence of natural disasters, such as the volcanic eruption in Iceland last year, Chang told a media briefing.

Cross-strait travel is likely to play a more important role for EVA this year, Chang said, while adding that the momentum would depend on political developments between Taiwan and China.

EVA’s sales last month reached NT$8.63 billion, declining only 0.3 percent from a month earlier despite a seasonal slowdown and rising oil prices, company data showed.

Although EVA’s sales this month have been on a rise, Chang, who’s returning for a three-month stint as EVA’s president, expressed concern over contributions from its European route, citing potential disasters such as the volcanic eruption.

“EVA will keep track of changes in oil prices and apply hedging and energy-saving strategies,” he said.

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