El Al Israel Airlines reported a wider loss in the fourth quarter, hurt by a military conflict that depressed revenue.El Al, Israel's flag carrier, posted a quarterly loss of USD$26.5 million, compared with a loss of USD$7.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. Revenue slipped 4 percent to USD$463.9 million as passenger revenue dipped 4.7 percent and cargo revenue declined 7 percent.In November, Israel and the Palestinian Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip and southern Israel fought an eight-day war. El Al had said it lost an estimated USD$15 million - USD$17 million in revenue due to cancellations and a drop in bookings as a result of the fighting.El Al chief executive Elyezer Shkedy said that not only did the airline have to continue to deal with the global downturn, the military operation impacted tourism to Israel and hurt its fourth-quarter results.He noted that during 2012, El Al continued with efficiency measures and was able to maintain a low level of expenses, reducing the size of its workforce and salary expenses.El Al is in the process of renewing its fleet and has purchased two more 737-900s from Boeing, bringing the number of planes acquired to six. The first plane is due to join the fleet in October 2013.The carrier is in the process of acquiring wide-body aircraft as well, Shkedy said.Operating costs in the October-December period rose 4 percent to USD$416.7 million.El Al's load factor increased to 82.5 percent in 2012 from 80.3 percent in 2011 while its market share at Ben-Gurion Airport edged down to 33.6 percent.El Al is controlled by Knafaim Holdings with a 39.33 percent stake.Earlier this year, FIMI - Israel's largest private investment fund - said it was in talks to join Knafaim for control of El Al. It plans to inject up to USD$60 million into the airline, with an initial purchase of 5.71 percent that could rise to 25.5 percent.Source: Reuters
Gravity always wins!