LAN Sees Solid Passenger Growth, Weak Cargo

March 29, 2012

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Chile's flagship carrier LAN Airlines expects solid growth in its passenger traffic in 2012, but the high price of fuel will pressure costs, chief executive Enrique Cueto said.

"Passenger traffic is solid, but cargo is weaker," Cueto said on the sidelines of Chile's FIDAE regional air show.

LAN has said that passenger traffic could grow between 12 percent and 14 percent this year.

Last year, LAN's passenger traffic grew 15.9 percent, while revenue jumped 26.4 percent to USD$5.72 billion. Net profit, however, fell 23.7 percent on the year to USD$320.3 million, in part due to higher costs associated with rising fuel prices.

"Fuel prices are a complex issue this year," said Cueto.

Fuel represents about a third of LAN's operational costs.

(Reuters)