airberlin reports improvements in its third quarter financial performance, as its long term restructuring programme gathers momentum. Germany´s second largest airline announces an 8.7 per cent increase in Q3 EBIT, with improvements in all key indicators.
The main drivers of this positive business performance by Europe’s sixth largest airline include the new fare structure, improved revenue management and additional sales synergies within the Etihad Airways Partners network (EAP).
These important restructuring building blocks therefore meant that revenue per available seat kilometre (RASK) could be increased by 5.8 per cent which is 60 million euros in the third quarter. The enhanced revenues were able to compensate for the stronger dollar which has an impact of close to 40 million euros. In sum this leads to an improvement in operating earnings to 81.4 million euros in Q3 2015 (Q3 2014: 74.9 million euros). Since the beginning of 2015, operating earnings (EBIT) have risen by 18 per cent to -94.3 million euros compared to the first nine months of last year (9M 2014: – 114.8 million euros).
Stefan Pichler, Chief Executive Officer of airberlin, said the results showed the company’s restructuring programme was having a positive effect: “We have been putting in place the right foundations for successful, profitable operations. This quarter’s results are particularly pleasing. We have reduced capacity, increased yield and we are delivering improved profitability.”
Despite tactical capacity adjustments including a reduction in operational routes, revenue in Q3 2015 remained stable, at 1.30 billion euros compared to 1.31 billion euros in Q3 2014. A key driver of this performance was the high capacity utilisation. August 2015 in particular saw an impressive record capacity utilisation of 90.9 per cent. This overall positive performance also influenced net earnings, which rose by 13 per cent, from 49.9 million euros in Q3 2014 to 56.2 million euros in Q3 2015.
Positive RASK & yield performance
Total revenue per available seat kilometre (RASK) was 7.83 eurocts (Q3 2014: 7.40 eurocts), which represents an increase of 5.8 per cent. RASK also improved by 3 per cent from 7.09 eurocts to 7.31 eurocts in the 9-month comparison.
In terms of yield performance, the average yield rose in the third quarter 2015 by 3.7 per cent from 119.42 euros in the previous quarter to 123.86 euros. In comparison to the first nine months of last year, the yield improved by 1.9 per cent, from 119.17 euros to 121.47 euros. In the third quarter, airberlin offered 16.6 billion available seat kilometres (ASK), which, in accordance with its capacity planning, represents a fall of 6.3 per cent (Q3 2014: 17.7 billion).
airberlin is appealing to the Federal Government
The Federal Government has a responsibility to create an environment that will not damage aviation in Germany. Since its introduction, aviation tax alone has cost airberlin around 600 million euros.
Stefan Pichler said: “airberlin would already be profitable were it not for the aviation tax. Our two subsidiaries which do not face the tax in the same extent, FlyNIKI and Belair, are profitable.”
Stefan Pichler: “Aviation tax must be abolished: it puts Germany at a competitive disadvantage. Now, the 8,000 jobs at airberlin are being threatened further by the actions of the authorities in attempting to withdraw our ability to code-share with our long-standing partner Etihad Airways.”
airberlin is appealing to the federal government to represent the interests of employment and competition in Germany, by continuing to approve the codeshare flights operated by airberlin. Stefan Pichler: “The Federal Government must ultimately arrive at a permanent solution in its discussions with the UAE, and not – at airberlin’s expense – unilaterally terminate the approval policy that has been continuously implemented since 2012.”