Jerusalem (Aug. 18)
El Al wound up its 1980/81 fiscal year with operational losses of $37.9 million and one-time severance payments to voluntary retirees of $9.5 million, totaling $47.4 million, compared to the $98.6 million deficit of 1979/80. This and other highlights from the company’s annual report and balance sheet was disclosed at a press conference.
Passenger revenues were increased to $293 million from $291 million the previous year. Despite a decline in passengers carried on scheduled flights, this increase reflects an improvement in the yield per passenger.
Increased revenues yielded by charter and freight operations further enhanced El Al’s financial posture. El Al charter revenues increased 175 percent to $27.5 million from $10 million in 1979/80. Freight revenues increased by $13.5 million over the previous year to $84.5 million. Significant features in the 1980/81 results reflecting implementation of a major recovery program developed last year included:
The introduction of a fuel management program. Savings were effected through weight reductions
of materials carried in flight and more-efficient aircraft taxiing procedures; more efficient scheduling of flights and aircraft utilization, resulting in an annual decrease of flying hours; acquisition of two Boeing 737 aircraft, showing significant reductions in operating costs over their fuel inefficient Boeing 707 and 720 predecessors; and closure of non-profitable routes and offices.
Improvements in El Al’s passenger services included an on-time performance record of 92.8 percent out of Israel and 86.5 percent throughout the network, as well as special attention to upgrading the Business Class and First Class services.
Looking to the future delivery of Boeing 767 and 737 aircraft as part of its optimistic stature for improved operational performance, El Al’s president, Yitzhak Shander, summarized the report by stating that the year 1980/81 was for El Al “a most significant year as the company regained momentum in revenue, improved its economic structure and commenced a new intensive phase of development.”