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TIN news:  Sweden-based cargo airline West Atlantic is to seek new business outside its traditional Western European area of operations, as it reported an increased net loss of SEK81.8 million ($9.3 million) for 2016, compared to a loss of SEK49.6 million in 2015.

The result came on revenues of SEK1.32 billion, slightly down from SEK1.4 billion for the previous year. The number of cargo flights operated dipped from 26,790 to 23,200.

West Atlantic Group is a holding company for two European cargo airlines, West Air Sweden and Atlantic Airlines of the UK.

Gothenburg-headquartered West Atlantic acts as an outsourced air freight provider for organizations such as national postal services and express package integrators. It has a fleet of three Boeing 767-200SFs, six Boeing 737-300SFs and six -400SFs, two Bombardier CRJ200PFs and is the world’s largest operator of the BAe Advanced Turboprop freighter (ATP-F), with 41 on strength.

However, the number of ATPs in revenue service has almost halved over the past two years, with the group carrying the cost of a large parked fleet. “As West Atlantic goes into 2017, commercial focus will be to significantly improve the contribution from these assets through combinations of new contracts and charter activity. In addition, the group will evaluate markets outside of Europe, where regional cargo growth is higher,” the company said.

The airline reported “significant growth” from its Boeing 737 and 767 fleets, but this was offset by lower utilization of the ATP fleet and lower revenue from technical services. The main driver of the lower ATP revenue was the loss of an operation for the Swedish postal service at the end of 2015, which involved five aircraft. “This has impacted the group’s revenue and net income significantly during the year,” the company said.

The aftereffects of the fatal crash of a Bombardier CRJ200PF over Sweden in January 2016 had a significant effect on the entire company, the directors reported. Although most of the direct costs associated with the crash were covered by insurance proceeds, indirect costs and lost revenue reduced EBITDA levels.


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