Air Baltic cuts first half losses to 23m lat

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Air Baltic has posted a first half 2012 loss of 23 million lat ($40.6 million), which it says places it on-target to reduce full year losses by 60% to 33 million lat.

The Latvian flag carrier continues to implement its 'ReShape' restructuring programme, which aims for a return to profitability by 2014.

Tight capacity management saw 15% fewer flights operated in the first six months of 2012 - down to 23,800 - while the airline's load factor inched up 1 percentage point to 72%.

Yields improved by 8% during the period and unit revenues as expressed by RASKs were up 11% year-on-year. Total revenues amounted to 105 million lat.

"We are confident about the future as Air Baltic ReShape restructuring programme brings consistently better net results every month," says chief executive Martin Gauss.

The flag carrier has no outstanding firm aircraft orders, though it has signed a letter of intent for 10 Bombardier CSeries jets.