EL AL Airlines, the national airline of Israel, has reduced losses by 59% to $16.5 million in the first quarter this year as compared to a $39.8 million loss in the same time period last year, despite the worldwide financial crisis. Company revenues increased by 21% to $420.5 million. The cash flow improved significantly to $54 million this quarter whereby there was a negative cash flow of $16.2 million in the parallel quarter last year.
EL AL President/CEO Elyezer Shkedy credits this financial improvement to increased passenger traffic, strategic commercial planning, aggressively facing increased competition, reducing expenses, as well as significantly improving and expanding cargo activities. These positive results include a higher load factor and an increased market share.
President Shkedy stated, ‘We will do everything possible to change the trend and turn losses into profits while maintaining EL AL as the leading carrier to Israel. A new strategic plan will prepare the airline with solutions to face the many challenges and changes in the aviation industry. We are reviewing our fleet and cooperation with other carriers, expanding cargo activities and new routes, examining our risk management policy, analyzing future growth engines and are seeking ways to reduce costs.’
In this quarter, EL AL proudly transported more than 80 tons of medical supplies and dozens of medical teams to assist with the Haiti relief efforts. In North America, EL AL was selected as having the Best Airline Security by a leading business publication and a new Christian liaison office was opened.