Wed, Jun 12, 2019 - Page 12 News List

EVA revenue growth slows due to labor dispute

INDUSTRIAL ACTION:Last month’s revenue growth would have been higher if there were no threat of a strike, which caused some travelers to switch airlines, EVA said

By Kao Shih-ching  /  Staff reporter

Revenue growth at EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空) last month slowed down amid an escalating dispute between management and employees, while annual revenue growth at its main rival, China Airlines Ltd (CAL, 中華航空), remained steady.

EVA’s revenue last month rose 4.01 percent annually to NT$14.94 billion (US$475.25 million), compared with a 10.88 percent expansion in April, company data showed.

The result was better than expected, EVA spokesman Golden Kou (柯金成) told the Taipei Times by telephone.

EVA’s ticket sales and passenger traffic declined early last month, but recovered after the Taoyuan Flight Attendants’ Union’s announced that it would not launch a strike against the airline during this month’s Dragon Boat Festival holiday, assuring travelers, Kou said.

Revenue growth could have been higher if there were no threat of a strike, which caused some travelers to choose other airlines, he added.

EVA is to add a new aircraft to its fleet this month, which would increase its annual capacity by 6.4 percent.

However, passenger traffic has declined 4 percent annually so far this month, Kou said.

“A strike would affect passenger revenue for June and might extend into next month, depending on when the union launches it,” he said.

The union has said that it would not launch industrial action until the conclusion of a second round of talks with the management on Thursday next week.

“The summer vacation is the peak season for air travel, and we are worried that the strike will be launched in July or August, as staff would be exhausted from transporting passengers,” he said.

Revenue at CAL last month reached NT$13.74 billion, up 4.03 percent annually, compared with a 1.55 percent increase in April and a 0.62 percent decline in March, company data showed.

While passenger revenue last month rose 8.88 percent annually to NT$8.96 billion, cargo revenue sank 6.57 percent to NT$3.64 billion, due to US-China trade tensions, CAL spokesman Jason Liu (劉朝洋) said by telephone.

“Taiwan, Japan and China had national holidays last month, which helped our passenger volume grow. We also added capacity to Rome last month, which is a popular route,” Liu said.

CAL did not see many passengers who had switched from EVA, he said.

The airline would help travelers if a strike against EVA did take place, he added.

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