Chilean carrier LAN has posted a 58% fall in net income in the third quarter due to falling revenue and yields.

In the three months ending 30 September net income, excluding extraordinary items, fell 58% to $52 million, says LAN.

Total operating revenue fell 19% to $917 million and total operating expenses fell 14% to $825 million.

The revenue fall was "driven mainly by lower yields in both cargo and passenger businesses", it says.

Fuel hedging losses continued to have a negative impact but to a lesser extent than before, it adds.

During the quarter, the airline returned one Boeing 767-300ER, as the lease contract expired, and for the remainder of the year, two 767-300 passenger aircraft will be delivered, it says.

In the third quarter, the carrier finalised US Exim Bank-supported long-term financing for three 767s to be delivered in 2009 and 2010, says LAN.

It is also secured financing for pre-delivery payments for 15 Airbus A320-family aircraft, it adds.

LAN's operating statistics for the quarter show ASKs increased 9% and RPKs rose 8%.

The passenger load factor fell 1.1 percentage point to 77.1%.

On the cargo front, available tonne kilometres (ATKs) fell 4% and revenue tonne kilometres rose 8%.

In its outlook, LAN says it expects ASK growth to be 10% in 2009 and 2010 and for cargo ATKs to decline 7-8% in 2009 and increase 16-18% in 2010.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news