The nation’s two largest airlines posted improving quarterly revenues for the second quarter amid robust seasonal demand for passenger business.
EVA Airways Corp (EVA, 長榮航空), the nation’s second-largest air carrier, posted NT$25.67 billion (US$891.47 million) in revenues for the second quarter, up 6.14 percent from a quarter earlier, according to the company’s financial data.
“The improving demand on the passenger business drove up the company’s second-quarter revenues,” company public relations manager Eric Lin (林司忠) said by telephone yesterday.
The rebounding passenger business also led to higher second-quarter revenues for China Airlines Ltd (CAL, 中華航空), the nation’s largest air carrier, with revenues surging 2.92 percent quarter-on-quarter to NT$32.47 billion, the company said in a statement.
Primasia Investment Consultancy Co said in a note yesterday that rising fuel costs might place pressure on the two airlines’ profits in the second quarter.
In the first half, CAL reported losses per share of NT$0.08, while EVA posted earnings per share of NT$0.09.
Lin said EVA remained optimistic about the passenger business in the third quarter as demand always rises during the summer vacation.
“For this month’s and next month’s passenger flights, the average passenger occupancy rate will be higher than 80 percent,” he said.
He added that flights to Japan are also returning to the 80 percent level, showing that the impact of the March 11 earthquake was beginning to lessen.
Compared with passenger business, the two carriers’ revenues from their cargo business showed a decrease in the first half of the year as last year’s extraordinarily high cargo revenues created an unfavorable comparison.
CAL chairman Chang Chia-juch (張家祝) told reporters last month that the company’s cargo business was expected to contribute more to revenues in the second half of the year, as overseas vendors and manufacturers move to replenish inventories.
Lin said yesterday that EVA also expected the cargo business to return to a “normal pace” this year.
He added that demand may climb in the fourth quarter, its traditional peak season.
Last month, CAL posted NT$11.04 billion in revenues, up 3.7 percent from a month earlier, while revenues for EVA surged 4.67 percent month-on-month to NT$8.9 billion, according to the two air carriers’ financial data.
On a yearly basis, CAL’s passenger revenues fell 35.47 percent last month, while EVA’s were down 11.33 percent, data showed.
Both carriers’ stocks fell yesterday, with CAL down 1.29 percent to close at NT$19.1 and EVA dipping 0.52 percent to NT$28.7, Taiwan Stock Exchange data showed.
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