Sat, Feb 11, 2012 - Page 12 News List

Airline revenue rises with Lunar New Year travel

TURBULENCE:Despite improved revenue from passenger business, the prospects for EVA’s cargo business this year are poor amid economic uncertainty

By Amy Su  /  Staff Reporter

Revenue at the nation’s two largest airlines rose last month from the same period the previous year, as the Lunar New Year holidays drove up passenger numbers, offsetting weakness in the cargo business.

EVA Airways Corp (EVA, 長榮航空), the nation’s second-largest carrier, yesterday posted NT$9.11 billion (US$308.6 million) in revenue for last month, up 5.46 percent from a year ago and 6.37 percent from a month earlier, data provided by the company showed.

Last month’s revenue was the highest level on record for January, the data showed.

Revenue from the passenger business climbed 18.9 percent from a year earlier and 16.24 percent from a month earlier to NT$6.04 billion, reflecting traditionally strong seasonal demand for January, led by the Lunar New Year holidays.

The increase in passenger business last month confirmed the views of EVA president Chang Kuo-wei (張國煒).

“Other than strong demand led by the Lunar New Year, revenue from the passenger sector rebounded last month, as more Taiwanese arranged trips abroad and more Chinese tourists scheduled trips to Taiwan following the presidential election,” Chang told a news conference earlier this month.

However, he remained pessimistic about the company’s cargo business this year, amid ongoing uncertainty facing the global economy.

Revenue from its cargo business last month, which fell by 19.8 percent year-on-year and by 13.83 percent month-on-month to NT$2.43 billion, was in line with expectations Chang said.

China Airlines Ltd (CAL, 中華航空), the nation’s largest air carrier, also reported results last month that showed a similar trend.

The company reported NT$11.36 billion in revenue last month, up 2.93 percent from a year earlier, according to financial data released on Thursday.

However, the air carrier’s revenue dropped 1.2 percent last month compared with the previous month, with the cargo business down 28 percent.

On an annual basis, revenue from CAL’s passenger business increased 17.66 percent to NT$8.06 billion last month, while its cargo sector posted NT$2.88 billion, down 24.21 percent from the previous year.

Facing weak demand in the cargo sector, CAL said earlier this month that it had taken two cargo aircraft out of active service and put them into protective storage in the US, which will save NT$2 billion a year in costs, the company said.

Revenue at TransAsia Airways Corp (復興航空) totaled NT$809.6 million last month, up 18.18 percent from a year earlier and 11.67 percent from a month earlier, the company’s stock exchange filing showed yesterday.

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