El Al re-examines route network to counter heavy losses

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Israeli flag carrier El Al plans to re-examine its route system and remove fuel-inefficient aircraft from its fleet in an attempt to recover from the heavy losses it incurred in the first half of 2011.

The carrier posted a second-half operating loss of $76.7 million, compared to an operating profit of $10.3 million in the same period in 2010.

It reported a second-half net loss of $62.6 million, compared to the $1.7 million net loss posted in the first six months of 2010.

"We are planning to remove aircraft that are considered fuel-inefficient from service and add winglets," said El Al, adding that it is "working hard to adapt the company's strategies to today's commercial circumstances".

El Al saw its operating expenses in the second quarter rise 17% to $470.2 million. Its operating loss in the three-month period ended 30 June was $23.5 million, compared to an operating profit of $25 million in the same period last year.

The carrier posted a second-quarter net loss of $19.7 million, down from a $14.8 million net profit a year earlier.