International airline news in brief

By Doug Newhouse |

Qantas to establish new premium airline?; Turkish Airlines posts first-quarter net loss of $209m; Singapore Airlines reports net profit down $140m; Thai Airways’ net profit fell by 94% to $20.5m in the first quarter of 2011; Air Berlin reported its net losses increased to E.120.6m ($174m) in the first quarter.

Qantas Airways is said to be studying a plan to set up a new premium airline which would be based in Singapore to improve the airline’s connectivity in Asia. The plan is actually not new. Some years ago Qantas declared its ambition to set up a full-service subsidiary carrier in Asia with up to 20 aircraft.

Turkish Airlines has posted a first-quarter net loss of $209m, blaming higher oil prices. These losses were higher than expected and commentators have suggested that the carrier’s costs are increasing faster than its revenues at present.

Singapore Airlines has reported a fourth-quarter net profit of S$171m ($138m), down $140m compared with the same quarter a year ago. SIA blamed high jet fuel prices and weakness in load factors partly caused by the impact of the Japan earthquake. Revenue for the quarter climbed 7.5% from a year-ago to S$3.6bn ($2.7bn).

Thai Airways returned a 94% drop in first-quarter net profit to Bht.18.5m ($20.5m) this week – down $349.4m on the same period a year ago – blaming rising fuel costs, foreign exchange losses and cancellations after Japan’s earthquake and tsunami.

Air Berlin reported that its net losses increased to E.120.6m ($174m) in the first quarter, with total revenue coming in at E751.6m ($1bn) over the fourth-month period. Germany’s second-largest airline said that political turmoil in North Africa and rising oil prices contributed to losses.



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