Press: Clickair scales back growth plans

Clickair is scaling back its expansion plans and could take longer to turn a profit in the face of high oil prices, price wars and a consumer slowdown newspaper Expansion reported on Monday. The airline, in which Iberia and four other shareholders each have a 20 percent stake, will add just one plane to its fleet of 23 jets this year, scaling back an original plan to introduce five, the newspaper said.

The airline could reach profitability in 2009, Expansion cited sources close to the company as saying, one year later than it forecast after starting operations in late 2006.

Clickair was not immediately available to comment on the report, which quoted sources at the airline as saying average income per passenger in the final quarter of 2007 was “notably” below its forecasts though “not dramatically”.

The airline’s rival Vueling had a turbulent 2007—its share price dived 73 percent over the year—as fuel prices and a fierce price war on domestic routes forced it to issue two profit warnings and to overhaul senior management.

“The case of Vueling has weighed on (the minds) of all airline managers,” Expansion quoted sources at Clickair as saying.

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The article added that Clickair flew 4.5 million passengers last year, in line with its expectations, and that it planned to carry 7.2 million in 2008.
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