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Published on : Thursday, November 14, 2013
Despite lower demand during the height of summer and further reduced capacity compared to the same period last year, airberlin has been able to increase earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) by 14% to 115.6 million euros (101.2 million euros last year) in the third quarter.
During the third quarter, airberlin increased revenue per available seat kilometre (RASK) to 7.66 cents (7.62 cents last year) and revenue per passenger (yield) rose to 124.90 euros (122.20 euros last year). airberlin was able to keep occupancy high at 87.3% (87.7% last year).
Overall revenue has seen a change of 3.5%, amounting to 1.35 billion euros (1.40 billion euros last year) with 3.9% less capacity (available seat kilometres). Despite the increase in some important cost positions in the reporting quarter operating expenses declined above-average by 4.9% to EUR 1,246.5 million after EUR 1,311.0 million in the course of implementing the Turbine turnaround programme. Equity capital increased in the course of the third quarter as of the deadline of 30th September by over 100 million euros to -6 million euros. As of such deadline, airberlin had liquid assets of 312 million euros, which is 94 million euros more than on the previous year’s deadline, resulting in it having sufficient liquidity.
When presenting the results for Q3 2013, airberlin CEO Wolfgang Prock-Schauer commented: “Under difficult market conditions we have been able to improve earnings and increase significant key figures such as RASK and yield. We continue to fly with good occupancy. Despite the third quarter having gone well, we have been unable to meet our earnings targets, although our Turbine turnaround programme contributes to the 2013 earnings as planned. Market conditions and special external factors prevented us from doing so. In addition, we will be faced with a difficult six-month winter period.”
After the first nine months of the year and in light of the continuing challenging market conditions, the company should now only be able to come close to achieving market consensus with positive one-off effects and higher other operating income in 2013.
This is currently being pursued.
Contribution to earnings by Turbine for 2013 achieved
The implementation of Turbine is continuing according to plan. airberlin was able to make significant progress in negotiating with relevant stakeholders, optimising the route network, increasing productivity and adjusting the workforce.
In this way, airberlin has successfully concluded the negotiations with leasing companies and achieved improvements by negotiating with airports. airberlin has also continued to optimise its route network and increased the frequency of established profitable routes. Staff reductions are running according to plan. 562 full time posts had already been eliminated by the end of September when compared to the same period last year.
The next steps for further implementing Turbine have already been introduced. airberlin has launched the Service Center as part of a joint venture with the call centre specialists Competence Call Center, with around 250 staff moving over to the new company. airberlin has reduced the number of its aircraft stations from 15 to 10 and will further increase productivity by allocating a single type of medium-haul aircraft to five of these stations. airberlin has also implemented the newly introduced, more efficient boarding process and improved the hand baggage handling procedure with the current winter schedule, resulting in noticeably shorter turnaround times leading to improved passenger comfort and lower costs for airberlin.
Joint network with Etihad Airways increasingly popular
The exponential growth in passenger numbers on the joint network with Etihad Airways also exceeded forecasts in the third quarter. 155,591 passengers used Etihad Airways and airberlin’s joint network in the third quarter, a year-on-year increase of 25.8%. Expectations for the whole year have already been exceeded with over 537,000 passengers – including all bookings already made before October – on Etihad Airways and airberlin’s joint route network.
Within the Etihad Airways Equity Alliance airberlin is cooperating with Air Serbia with pilot training and providing pilots for Airbus in the winter months. Codeshare connections to Australia have been agreed with Virgin Australia which are progressing very positively for airberlin. Talks are currently being held with the new member Jet Airways from India about possible ways of working together.
Passenger numbers for the oneworld® alliance are also exceeding expectations. During the third quarter 204,916 passengers used the codeshare routes shared by airberlin and its oneworld partners.