Copa operating profit grows in Q1

Washington DC
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Panama City-based Copa Airlines has reported a 12% growth in operating income in its first quarter to $112 million from a year ago.

Operating revenues were up 29.5% to $543 million for the three months ended 31 March, while operating expenses grew 34.9% to $432 million, says the Star Alliance carrier.

Copa's net income rose 1.6% to $95.9 million. The carrier posted an operating margin of 20.5%, down from 23.7% in the corresponding period a year ago, largely due to a 19.5% growth in effective jet fuel prices.

Unit revenues rose 6.4% in the quarter, while yields were up 6.8%.

Passenger traffic in the quarter grew 22.4%, while capacity was up 22.8%. The load factor in the quarter fell 0.2 percentage point to 77.2%. Revenue passenger numbers rose 5.8% to 1.71 million.