Revenue at the nation’s two largest airlines rose last month from February amid improving demand on both passenger and cargo sectors.
China Airlines Ltd (CAL, 中華航空), the nation’s largest air carrier, yesterday reported NT$11.1 billion (US$375.38 million) in revenue last month, up 15.38 percent from a month earlier, data provided by the company showed.
Revenue from the passenger business increased 10.28 percent from a month earlier to NT$6.76 billion, while cargo sales climbed 25.96 percent month-on-month to NT$3.93 billion, both helping drive up CAL’s overall revenue for last month.
On an annual basis, passenger sales rose 11.55 percent for last month, with revenue from the cargo sector down 17.95 percent, leading overall revenue to drop 1.65 percent compared with March last year, company statistics showed.
Compared with CAL, the revenue of EVA Airways Corp (EVA, 長榮航空), the nation’s second-largest air carrier, grew stronger last month.
The airline posted NT$8.89 billion in revenue for last month, up 17.44 percent from a month ago and 5.63 percent from a year earlier, according to financial data released on Monday.
Revenue from the passenger business totaled NT$5.07 billion last month, up 11.43 percent and 13.17 percent from a month and a year earlier respectively.
In addition, cargo sales climbed 29.2 percent month-on-month to NT$3.23 billion, which was 5.83 percent lower than those recorded in March last year.
The airlines’ month-on-month increase for cargo sales last month was in line with EVA president Chang Kuo-wei’s (張國煒) expectations.
Chang said last month that the company had begun to experience a slight rebound in the cargo sector since the beginning of last month, with the launch of Apple Inc’s new iPad driving up demand.
However, Chang said he did not expect the company to earn a profit in the first quarter, because of weak cargo demand in the first two months of the year.
For the first quarter, EVA’s revenue totaled NT$25.57 billion, up 5.71 percent from a year earlier and 2.36 percent from a month earlier, company data showed.
However, CAL reported a 4.27 percent quarter-on-quarter decrease in revenue during the January-to-March period amid weaker cargo business. Its sales grew 1.69 percent from a year ago to NT$32.08 billion in the first quarter.
Compared with the two bigger airlines, TransAsia Airways Corp (復興航空) posted a higher growth level in first-quarter revenue, as the company focused only on passenger business, a relatively strong sector during the period.
Revenue for TransAsia totaled NT$2.18 billion, up 12.65 percent from a year earlier and 6.86 percent from a quarter earlier, company statistics showed.
High aviation fuel prices may raise carriers’ operating costs and strike down their profitability in the first half of the year, Capital Securities Corp (群益證券) said in a research report yesterday.
Currently, Taiwanese air carriers are able to impose a bunker surcharge on passengers, but the level of surcharge could only make up for 50 percent of the company’s rising costs, which means airlines still have to digest the other half.