Air Malta cuts losses by 39% in first quarter

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Air Malta has cut operating losses by 39% in the first quarter of 2012/13, posting a €6.1 million ($7.7 million) loss compared with €10 million in the same period last year.

The airline says the result is €1.2 million lower than budget. It comes against a €2.1 million increase in turnover, which is in line with budgetary expectations.

For the three months to 30 June, the airline carried 472,000 passengers and boosted its passenger load factor by 2.6 percentage points to 75%.

"We are cautiously optimistic that we will be able to maintain this momentum and achieve our planned results at the end of this financial year," comments Air Malta chief executive Peter Davies.

In June, the European Commission endorsed the Maltese government's €130 million bailout package for the flag carrier, saying it was based on "realistic assumptions".