Alitalia narrows Q3 profit

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Alitalia has narrowed its third quarter net profit by to €27 million ($35 million), compared with a net profit of €69 million in the corresponding quarter a year ago.

Revenues inched up 4% to €1.13 billion for the three months ended 30 September, says Alitalia. Its operating profit fell 44% to €50 million.

Alitalia's chief executive Andrea Ragnetti says the fourth quarter will be "very difficult", pointing out that the quarter will not benefit from the seasonal traffic increases of the third quarter.

"However, we will work unswervingly for Q4 to be a record quarter in Alitalia's history," he adds. The airline notes, however, that it has never recorded an operating profit in its fourth quarter.

Passengers numbers in the third quarter fell 1.2% to 7.47 million, says Alitalia. The passenger load factor grew 0.5 percentage point to 78%.

In the third quarter, Alitalia added five new aircraft - four Embraer 175s and one Airbus A330. It phased out 11 aircraft during the quarter.