Atlantic Airways posts 14th successive profit
Atlantic Airways, the national carrier of the Faroe Islands, has recorded its 14th successive annual profit, for the year 2008. The airline says this makes it the best performing stock exchange-listed airline in the Nordic countries.
The carrier reported a profit of 18.6 million Danish kroner (£2.207 million) before tax and DKK 15 million after tax. Cash reserves more than doubled from DKK 38 million (£4.509m) to DKK 82 million (£9.731m), and the board has proposed a DKK 5 million (£0.593 m) dividend.
In 2008, core operations improved markedly. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were DKK 87 million (£10.325m) compared with DKK 65 million (£7.71m) in 2008 – a 34% increase.
“This past year had many challenges – both expected and unexpected – so we are very pleased with our good result, having improved profitability, and also strengthened our cash flow,” said chief executive, Magni Arge.
Atlantic Airways’ increased its flight activity significantly in 2008, with airborne hours rising from 11,600 to 15,000, an increase of 32%. At the same time, the number of full-time equivalent employees increased from 192 to 277. All this was against a background of record fuel prices and global economic turmoil.
Fuel costs on scheduled services increased by DKK 27 million (£3.2m) in 2008, or 36%. Increased investment also led to an increase in depreciation from DKK 45 million (£5.336m) to DKK 60 million (£7.114m).
The year marked the 20th anniversary of Atlantic Airways’ first flight, on 28 March 1988, between Vágar Airport, in the Faroe Islands, and Copenhagen. The company started with one aircraft on the Copenhagen route, at that time employing fewer than 30 people. Twenty years later, the company’s 277 employees operated services to ten destinations, with four aircraft based in the Faroe Islands, three based in Copenhagen on charter for SAS, and Atlantic Airways’ domestic helicopter service providing transport and search and rescue around the Faroe Islands. One more helicopter was deployed in support of the Dutch offshore industry.
In addition, Atlantic Airways is a significant promoter of the Faroe Islands as a tourist destination, and operates the duty-free stores at Vágar Airport.
Atlantic carried a total of 593,000 passengers in 2008. The number of passengers on scheduled services increased to more than 215,000.
“Atlantic Airways is a very solid company. We have a strong balance sheet, our employees are conscientious and skilled and have valuable experience from international air travel both with aircraft and helicopters. Even if we foresee challenging years ahead of us, in which the result for 2009 will probably be less than for 2008, I am convinced that Atlantic Airways possesses the required qualities to face the challenges ahead,” said Arge.
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