Tuesday, June 11, 2013

■ RÉUNION: Air Austral sees overall losses for FY2012/13 drop by 40%.

Air Austral
La Réunion's Air Austral (UU) has announced a turnaround in its fortunes, roughly one year on from the appointment of Mr Marie-Joseph Malé as new CEO of the company. For its 2012/13 Financial Year which ended on March 31, the carrier posted losses of USD35.8million (EUR27.06million), an improvement of  40%  on last year's numbers (USD50.8million loss).

Air Austral 777The turnaround has been attributed to a renewed business atmosphere and plan which has seen the carrier drop a number of non-performing routes over the last 12 months, as well as the institution of financial restructuring at the carrier made possible by principle shareholder, Sematra, a company 46% owned by the local councils of Réunion with the remaining shares owned by banks and other private partners, who recapitalized the carrier to the tune of EUR66million last year in July.
 "The fiscal year 2012/2013 ended on March 31 this year, and marked for Air Austral, the transition into recovery for the company through a return to basics," said Marie-Joseph Malé, adding that the loss "was better than we had expected."
Source [zinfos974]
The turnover of the company, which has 950 employees, amounted to EUR361 million (-11% compared to 2011/12), the available seat kilometer (supply) declined 17 %, passenger traffic fell by 8%, but at the same time the load factor increased slightly (+1%). Most crucially, the airline's fuel bill decreased by 16%.

Overall, Mr Malé was very optimistic about his airline's future adding that the result, while still a loss, showed the airline was moving in the right direction, despite the harsh economic climate. In 2013/14, he said, the goal was to return to the black.

In total, Air Austral's losses amounted to USD62million (EUR47million) net.