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High fuel prices boost carriers' costs. Soaring fuel prices have pushed costs up at airlines and trucking companies. Every penny increase in the price of jet fuel costs carriers an additional $199 million, according to the Air Transport Association. Fuel is now the industry's largest cost category. The cost of jet fuel has increased more than other types of fuel, noted Air Transport Association Chief Economist John Heimlich. Refining and distribution issues have contributed to higher prices, he said. May 5, 2006

IATA said international passenger traffic increased 5.9% in the first quarter but fell 5.7% in March compared to the year-ago month. It attributed the decline to the fact that Easter was in April this year rather than in March. Three-month load factor was 74.4% and March load factor was 75.5%. May 1, 2006

Assn. of Asia Pacific Airlines member carriers reported a 3.7% increase in March passengers to 11 million. RPKs grew 4.1% while capacity lifted just 2.3%, improving load factor 1.3 points to 74.4%. Freight traffic rose 7.6% against a 4.4% hike in ATKs, resulting in a 2.1 point improvement in cargo load factor to 69.4%. May 1, 2006

Aeroflot

Aeroflot reported a 4.7% year-over-year decline in annual profit to RUB6.03 billion ($220.3 million), according to a company statement cited by press reports. Revenues for 2005 increased 11.5% to RUB62.85 billion. The airline carried 6.7 million passengers, 2.3% fewer than in 2004. Aeroflot also posted a Reuters story on its website saying that Russia's State Property Agency intends to transfer all of its stakes in Russian airlines to Aeroflot, which would boost its share to at least 75%. The government now holds a 51% share in the flag carrier. May 1, 2006

AeroMexico, Aeroliteral

AeroMexico parent reports widening first-quarter loss. Falling passenger revenues and the mitigating effect of rising fuel prices on its cost control efforts proved to be a drag on AeroMexico's bottom line as parent company Consorcio Aeromexico, which also operates Regional carrier Aeroliteral, reported a first-quarter net loss of MXN270 million ($24.4 million), widened from what is assumed to be a MXN175 million deficit in the three months ended March 31, 2005.There was a discrepancy in the company's quarterly report, as it reported a MXN174.6 million profit in the year-ago quarter on its P&L statement. However, in the text that accompanied the financial tables, it consistently referred to the year-ago result as a loss of MXN175 million. May 1, 2006

Air Pacific, Fiji Airlines, Sun Air

Air Pacific reached agreement to acquire the assets and business of domestic carrier Sun Air. Under terms of the agreement, Air Pacific subsidiary Fiji Airlines Ltd. will take over the operations of Sun Air from July 1 subject to the transfer of Sun's licenses and AOC. Based in Nadi, Sun operates a fleet of 11 aircraft comprising Twin Otters, Islanders and Queen Airs to eight resort destinations on six islands. Air Pacific said it is in negotiations for acquisition of new aircraft types "capable of operating to all airports within Fiji." Outgoing Chairman Gerald Barrack said the Fijian government asked Air Pacific to reenter the domestic market and that the airline decided the purchase of Sun Air was the preferred option. May 2, 2006

All Nippon Airways

ANA posts solid profits despite challenges. ANA Group posted net income of [yen]26.7 billion ($233.1 million) for its fiscal year ended March 31, a 0.9% decrease from income of [yen]26.9 billion the previous year but a performance considered a success by the Japanese airline company given rising fuel costs and other negative factors. May 1, 2006

Avion Group

Avion Group projects to invest approximately [euro]10 million in establishing and growing the operation and expects Star Europe's revenues to be nearly [euro]30 million this year. It said Star's initial flights will be operated through Germanwings and domestic tour operators. Avion is best known for its ACMI provider Air Atlanta Icelandic but also is building interests in charter and leisure segments. Its Charter & Leisure Division includes Excel Airways Group and Star Airlines, the French charter carrier it acquired in February. It now holds AOCs in the UK, France and Germany and has more than 37 aircraft in operation. In a recent presentation accompanying the purchase of Star Airlines, Avion Group stated it "aims to be the leading charter airline in Europe." May 5, 2006

China Eastern Airlines

China Eastern Airlines reported a loss of CNY955.1 million ($119.1 million) in the first quarter, according to press reports. The total was more than double its full-year 2005 loss of CNY467.3 million. Revenue climbed 55.8% to CNY7.48 billion. The carrier said it expects to incur losses in the current quarter as well. May 1, 2006

Gol

Gol flew 1.12 billion RPKs in April, a 55.8% increase over the year-ago month. Capacity rose 50.1% to 1.44 billion ASKs and load factor climbed 2.8 points to 77.6%. May 5, 2006

Hainan Airlines

Hainan Airlines reported an 11.7% decline in first-quarter profits to CNY12.1 million ($1.5 million) from CNY13.7 million earned in the year-ago quarter, according to a company statement cited by Reuters. Its full-year 2005 result was worse as the carrier lost CNY215.8 million one year after earning a profit of CNY90.7 million. Hainan will change its name to Grand China Air following its acquisition of three smaller carriers, and it expects to list its shares in Hong Kong by next year, Reuters reported. It already has raised $420 million in an initial private placement and share sale. May 3, 2006

Jet Airways

Strong fourth quarter brings happy end to Jet Airways' year. An impressive fourth fiscal quarter ended March 31 allowed Jet Airways to recover from a slower first nine months and report a 15% increase in its full-year profit to INR4.5 billion ($100.1 million).After three quarters, Jet's net earnings lagged 13.2% behind the same nine months in 2004, but a 71% surge in fourth-quarter profit to INR2.3 billion accounted for "strong" full-year results. May 2, 2006

Korean Air

Korean Air doubles first-quarter earnings. Korean Air credited rising passenger and cargo demand and a strong won for an impressive first quarter during which it more than doubled its net profit to KRW127 billion ($134 million) from the KRW59 billion earned in the quarter ended March 31, 2005. May 5, 2006

Malev Hungarian

Malev Hungarian Airlines reported a loss of HUF1.3 billion ($6.1 million) for its fiscal year, a HUF3.6 billion improvement over a loss of HUF4.9 billion in 2004. May 1, 2006

Norwegian

Norwegian's loss widens on fuel costs. Affected by its lack of fuel hedging contracts, Norwegian posted a net loss of NOK43.1 million ($6.9 million) for the quarter ended March 31 compared to a net loss of NOK34.3 million in the year-ago period. May 1, 2006

SAS

SAS sees improvement underlying flat quarterly performance. SAS Group reported a 2006 first-period loss of SEK1.06 billion ($144.4 million), marginally worse than last year's deficit of SEK971 million in the March 2005 quarter. May 5, 2006

Transaero

Transaero said last week that it aims to raise $250 million by floating 15%-18% of its stock in an IPO in Russia in 2007. According to Reuters, the plan has received the backing of the airline's board of directors. A general meeting of shareholders will vet the issue on May 27. Transaero DG Olga Pleshakova told reporters the carrier intends to boost sales from $370 million in 2005 to $2 billion in two years. May 1, 2006
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Publication:Airguide Online
Geographic Code:8FIJI
Date:May 8, 2006
Words:1300
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