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Malév cuts losses to Ft 1.3 bln

Hungarian national airline Malév Rt had unconsolidated pre-tax losses of Ft 1.3 billion in 2005, a Ft 3.6 billion improvement from a year earlier, Malév spokeswoman Krisztina Németh announced yesterday after the company's annual shareholders’ meeting.

In its business plan for 2006, Malév expects to break even, targeting a 10.9% increase in revenue from ticket sales on scheduled flights. Malév's operating costs, excluding fuel costs, fell 0.6% in 2005 because of efficiency-boosting measures, Németh said. Fuel costs however, which account for 20% of operating costs, were Ft 6.7 billion higher than in 2004. Operating costs were still higher than the target, Nemeth said, though declining to offer an absolute figure.
Average load factor on Malév flights increased 2.1 percentage points to 66.6% in 2005, and was above 80% in the summer. Despite reduced ticket prices, revenue from ticket sales increased 2.3% in 2005. In the second half, ticket sales rose 7.6% from a year earlier.