TAM Airlines has recorded a profit of $1.3 billion for the financial year 2009, despite a sharp drop in earnings.
Brazil’s largest airlines saw earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) fall 51.8 per cent to R$336 million when compared to 2008.
The change was prompted by a fall in the number of business class passengers, a decrease in yield (the average price paid per passenger for each kilometre flown), and a reduction in the load factor on domestic and international flights.
“With solid planning we were courageous and kept our investment and fleet plans,” explained TAM’s president, Líbano Barroso.
“At the same time we made concentrated cost cuttings, without compromising the quality of our service.
“In this way we managed to respond well to the effects of the global crisis and are now well-positioned to continue to offer the best service as the economy improves.”
The gains for financial 2009 partially offset the R$1.5 billion loss registered in 2008, at the height of the global financial crisis.
In 2009 TAM transported 30.4 million paying passengers on domestic and international flights, a slight increase of 0.9 per cent in comparison to the total number of passengers transported in 2008.
Return to Form
TAM Cargo, TAM Linhas Aéreas’ cargo unit, achieved a total income of R$936.3 million in its domestic and international operations in 2009 and kept its share in total company income stable at 9.1 per cent.
In comparison with the previous year, there was a 7.2 per cent decrease, while the global demand for air cargo transportation, according to IATA’s statistics, fell 10.1 per cent in the same period due to the impact of the global economic crisis.
Pantanal Linhas Aéreas
In a sign of TAM’s belief in the Brazilian economy’s growth in the coming years, the company formalized the acquisition of Pantanal Linhas Aéreas.
The airline serves mid-density cities in the states of São Paulo, Minas Gerais and Paraná from Congonhas Airport in São Paulo.
Pantanal’s acquisition, announced in December 2009 and approved by ANAC in March 2010, is of strategic value for TAM.
Purchased for R$13 million, the company transported around 260,000 passengers and earned R$52 million in 2009 utilising five ATR42 aircraft.
TAM plans to increase the fleet by 20 aircraft within the next four years to meet market demand.
Expectations for 2010
TAM is expecting strong growth in demand in the Brazilian civil aviation market in 2010 of between 14 and 18 per cent.
Based on this, TAM will increase its seat offer in the domestic Brazilian market by using more of its aircraft and expanding the size of the fleet.