Poland's LOT slightly narrows full-year losses

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Polish flag-carrier LOT posted a loss of Pzl145.5 million ($45.5 million) for the full year 2011, slightly narrowing the deficit from the figure of more than Pzl163 million in 2010.

LOT attributes the losses to the increase in aviation fuel costs and a slowing of passenger demand in Europe over the fourth quarter.

While the carrier has been implementing restructuring efforts which, excluding the fuel impact, have effectively generated a Pzl752 million improvement in its figures in the space of three years, chief executive Marcin Pirog said.

"But we live in the real world, where the economic crisis and unprecedented increase in fuel prices would not let our company achieve positive results in the past year," he added.

LOT carried 9% more passengers on scheduled services, and over 4.6 million travellers in total including those on charter flights, and load factor reached about 74%.

Pirog is optimistic about the prospects for 2012, expecting a further 9% rise in passenger numbers and a positive financial result of Pzl52.5 million.