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El Al Announces First Winter Profit in Decade

El Al reported a $4.5 million net profit for the 2004 first quarter, a turnaround compared to a $33.5 million net loss in the year-ago period and its first profitable winter quarter since it began publishing quarterly results in 1990. Revenue rose 33% to $302.6 million and cash flow totaled $13.1 million versus a negative cash flow of $35.8 million in the first quarter last year.

President Amos Shapira credited the improvement to the Israeli airline’s new business strategy. “Placing emphasis on stabilizing the El Al flight schedule, increasing frequencies to various passenger and cargo destinations worldwide (including North America) and continuously making service improvements have all contributed to these encouraging results,” he said in a statement.

The airline also claimed its market share on flights to Israel increased to almost 50% in spite of an overall reduction of travel to the country.