South Africa's Comair has reported a surge in operating profits to R231 million ($23.3 million) for the financial year ending 30 June 2013, compared to a R18 million a year before as its restructure strategy bears fruit.
The Johannesburg-based carrier grew revenue 29% to R5.38 billion compared to R4.16 billion in 2012 which it says was thanks to an increase in ticket prices in response to exchange rate related cost inflation and to better inventory management.
Comair also says the result is down to the progress of a turnaround, which was implemented from the end of 2011, to reduce operating costs, including a freeze on all non-critical costs and fuel efficiencies relating to the delivery of four new Boeing 737-800s towards the end of 2012.
The airline will take delivery of four new Boeing 737-800s in late 2015 and says it may make “potential further aircraft orders” for delivery post 2018.
The delivery of the Boeing 737-800 aircraft delivered to expectation, with a 24% fuel saving per passenger, compared to the 737-400 aircraft that they replaced.
This year, Comair began a new route from Johannesburg to Maputo in May under the British Airways brand while it its low-cost arm Kulula began services on the East London route in March.
Despite this the BA-affiliate airline was cautious about the future market outlook and says domestic passenger traffic was down 5% on a year before and has “yet to recover to volumes seen in 2008.”
Comair says the collapse of 1time Airlines last year helped to increase load factors, although the carrier adds yield per passenger “remained low” at R45.