DALLAS – The national carrier of Israel El Al (LY) has revealed its 2023 first quarter (Q1) financial results, narrowing its net losses to $34m compared to a loss of $66m for the same quarter last year.
Overall operating profit came in at $9m compared with an operating loss of $53.4 million in the first quarter of 2019. Revenues increased to $500m, up from $283m in 2022. It marked the first time since 2019 that revenues had risen for Q1.
The airline also enjoyed rising load factors, up to 85% for the three months from January to March. Indeed, the airline is now operating at 93% of its pre-crisis levels. Like most carriers, however, its operating expenses have swelled, totalling $491.5m, with fuel accounting for 27%.
In its financial report, the Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) based carrier said it was also planning to expand its fleet from 45 to 60 by 2028. It has requested proposals from its long-time aircraft partner Boeing and European plane maker Airbus to upgrade its single-aisle fleet.
Currently, the airline’s short-haul fleet comprises the Boeing 737, of which it has 24 in service with a mix of -800s and -900ERs. According to the statement, the airline is now “examining the proposals it received.”
On the long-haul front, El Al expects to receive its last Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner from its original order during the third quarter of this year after signing a financial agreement for the jet. A second 787 will also arrive next year.
It also hinted that it could further increase its Dreamliner fleet to 22 by 2028. This would allow it to add new routes to Australia, the Philippines and additional US cities, for which it is currently in discussions with the relevant authorities.
Featured Image: El Al (4X-EHA) Boeing 737-958ER. Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways.