El Al 767-300. By Rob Finlayson
El Al incurred a $49.4 million net loss for 2011, reversed from a $57.1 million net profit in 2010, and said it will take a series of measures to restore profitability.
Full-year revenue grew 4% compared to 2010 to $2.04 billion. VP-finance Nissim Malki said that 2011 "was yet another challenging year for world civil aviation in general and especially so for El Al."
CEO and president Elyezer Shkedy said he and the Israeli airline's chairman, Amikam Cohen, have waived 20% of their salaries. El Al's vice presidents have taken a 10% salary reduction, while divisional directors accepted a 7.5%-10% pay cut.
As part of an effort to remove older aircraft from its fleet, the airline last year retired a Boeing 747-200 freighter and two 767-200 passenger aircraft. It also returned two leased 757s. The airline operated 37 aircraft at year end, two fewer than at the end of 2010.
"In addition to reducing expenditure, we continue to institute and develop additional revenue sources, so that in the mid- and long-term, the company will not be so dependent on fuel prices and on other external factors," Shkedy said.
El Al's fourth-quarter net deficit was $7.8 million, reversed from a $16.3 million net profit in the 2010 December quarter. Full-year 2011 traffic declined 1% from 2010 to 17.25 billion RPKs on a 1% lift in capacity to 21.48 billion ASKs, producing a load factor of 80.3%, down 1.3 points.