Wed, May 11, 2011 - Page 11 News List

Local airlines see revenues decline

By Amy Su  /  Staff Reporter

The nation’s two largest airlines posted declining revenues for last month amid weaker seasonal demand for their cargo services.

Revenues at China Airlines Ltd (CAL, 中華航空), the nation’s largest air carrier, fell 4.3 percent from a month earlier to NT$10.8 billion (US$375.87 million) last month, with cargo revenues decreasing 11.96 percent month-on-month, or 19.1 percent year-on-year, to NT$4.29 billion, the company said in a statement.

“Last month’s falling revenues came from lower cargo demand from exporters, as the second quarter is the historically slow season for the cargo business,” CAL spokesman Hamilton Liu (劉國芊) said by telephone yesterday.

Liu said the company was not too optimistic about its cargo revenues in the second quarter, since the company did not see additional demand from Japan’s post-disaster reconstruction.

“We now think it will take a few more months for the cargo business to bottom out,” he said.

The lower cargo demand also drove down last month’s revenues at EVA Airways Corp (EVA, 長榮航空), the nation’s second-largest air carrier.

EVA posted NT$8.25 billion in revenues for last month, down 1.9 percent from a month earlier, with cargo revenues declining 5.2 percent month-on-month, or 12.08 percent year-on-year, to NT$3.25 billion, the company’s financial data showed.

Compared with their cargo businesses, the two airlines’ passenger revenues both rebounded last month. CAL posted NT$6.16 billion in passenger revenues for last month, up 9.5 percent from a year earlier, while EVA’s passenger revenue rose by 2.9 percent to NT$4.49 billion.

On a monthly basis, CAL’s passenger revenues surged 1.57 percent last month, while EVA’s rose 2.9 percent, company data showed.

Both CAL and EVA said the passenger load rate for Japanese flights rebounded last month, boosting the firms’ passenger business.

“We may consider stopping the previous cancelations of flights to Japan if the demand for seats on Japanese routes keeps rising this month,” Liu said.

In March, EVA announced the cancelation of 55 flights to Japan for the first half of this year, while CAL reduced its Taipei-Sapporo flights from seven a week to two a week beginning last month.

Despite their declining revenues for last month, the two carriers’ stocks rose yesterday, with CAL surging 0.52 percent to close at NT$19.2 and EVA rising 1.02 percent to NT$29.7, Taiwan Stock Exchange data showed.

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