AviancaTaca posts $109m profit in 2011

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Net profits for rapidly-growing AviancaTaca Holdings soared nearly 230% to $109 million in 2011, the Latin American carrier reported today.

The parent of Colombia's Avianca and El Salvador's Taca airlines also posted a consolidated operating income of $3.8 billion last year, the carrier says.

In the fourth quarter, AviancaTaca increased yields by 17.3% to $258 million compared to the same period a year earlier.

Fourth quarter capacity also grew by 11.9% to nearly 9.16 million available seat miles. That was outpaced by a 14.5% growth in passenger traffic. But load factors declined by 2.9 percentage points to 74.4%.

AviancaTaca incorporated 38 aircraft into its fleet in 2011, including six in the fourth quarter. But the airline also retired 34 aircraft during the year.

Eleven new routes were launched by AviancaTaca during 2011, with the strongest growth in the carrier's domestic markets.