Tue, Jan 01, 2019 - Page 12 News List

EVA Airways bullish on ridership and oil prices

By Kao Shih-ching  /  Staff reporter

EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空) is upbeat about the first quarter, expecting ridership to grow and fuel prices to remain steady, while the US-China trade dispute might not affect the freight business, EVA president Clay Sun (孫嘉明) said on Thursday.

The carrier expects higher ridership to boost revenue and profits, with ridership on Northeast Asian routes likely to grow 10 percent year-on-year after six Boeing 787 aircraft were introduced on routes to Japan’s Nagoya, Matsuyama and Aomori, as well as some of its existing routes between Taiwan and Japan, Sun said.

Japan is still the top travel choice for Taiwanese, Sun added.

Fuel prices, which fell in the fourth quarter of last year, are expected to remain steady in the first quarter, Sun said.

EVA used 15.66 million barrels of oil in 2017, up 6 percent year-on-year. Sun did not reveal how much oil the carrier consumed last year.

The carrier is not worried about the impact on its freight volume amid the US-China trade spat, Sun said, adding that even if freight from China and the US drops, rising volumes from other Southeast Asian nations, such as Vietnam, Indonesia and Cambodia, would offset the impact.

EVA reported revenue of NT$14.73 billion (US$479.3 million) in November, up 11.03 percent year-on-year, with cumulative revenue of NT$164.34 billion for the January-to-November period, up 10.59 percent year-on-year, company data showed.

Net profit was NT$2.64 billion in the third quarter of last year, down 41.67 percent year-on-year, but cumulative net profit totaled NT$5.98 billion for the first three quarters, or earnings per share of NT$1.36, up 11.45 percent year-on-year, data showed.

Revenue in the fourth quarter could rise at a double-digit percentage year-on-year, but net profit might not outperform the third quarter due to year-end bonuses, Sun said.

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