The Chairman of Air Pacific, Mr Gerald Barrack, CF, CBE, today announced an operating profit for Air Pacific of $9.675 million before tax for the year ending 31 March 2002 compared to an operating loss of $38.5 million the previous financial year.
Revenue was $353.4 million compared with $266.2 million the preceding year, an increase of 32.7%. Expenditure was $343.8 million compared with $304.7 million, an increase of 12.8%.
Mr Barrack said “I am pleased to report that the Company has returned to profitability, albeit marginal, after the substantial loss last year. However much remains to be done. The financial year has been one of recovery and consolidation of key strategies.
Air Pacific had not recovered from the political events of May 2000 and its impact on Fiji tourism when terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001 in the United States of America severely affected global aviation causing dramatic reductions in demand and increases in costs.
Urgent action was taken by the Company to reduce costs and maximise the utilisation of aircraft.
Whilst cautiously optimistic for future growth Mr Barrack stated the airline must continue to manage costs and focus on operating profitable services in order to rebuild reserves which will allow planned investments to be undertaken.
In view of the need to rebuild depleted reserves, the Board of Directors have agreed to recommend to shareholders that no dividend be paid from the profits of the year 2001/02.
Mr Barrack paid tribute to the management and staff for their support, sacrifice and contribution during the very difficult period.
* The close monitoring of demand and deployment of airline capacity to meet peaks and troughs in major source markets. Daily aircraft utilisation has been substantially increased allowing better returns from very high cost assets.
* The short term lease of an excess B737-700 aircraft to generate incremental revenue.
* The minimisation of expenditure without loss of service quality.
* Maintenance of investment in automation and skill development to provide future benefits.
* A rapid response to the events of September 11 with re-arrangement of schedules to Australia and New Zealand where vacation preference shifted from long to short haul travel. Air Pacific was able to mount 43% more capacity to Australia and 22% more capacity to New Zealand.
* Recommencement of services from Suva to Auckland and Sydney.
* Support of the staff in taking voluntary leave without pay and cabin crew accepting redeployment from flight to ground duties. This allowed a steady return to work as flights were reinstated so that all staff have now returned to employment.
* Fiftieth Anniversary - Charity Flight & Wings of Hope programs to assist Fiji`s children as our celebration instead of cocktails and parties.