El Al Israel Airlines reported a wider quarterly net loss on Sunday, as the ongoing global financial crisis weakened both passenger and cargo revenue.


El Al posted a fourth-quarter net loss of USD$29 million, compared with a loss of USD$10.1 million a year earlier.


Revenue fell 11 percent to USD$413.7 million. Passenger revenue slipped 7.5 percent due to a drop in ticket prices as well as a lower fuel surcharge despite a rise in the number of passengers. Cargo revenue declined 26 percent due to lower prices.


The carrier said its load factor slipped to 81.2 percent from 82 percent a year earlier. El Al said its market share at Ben-Gurion International Airport rose to 37 percent from 35.4 percent a year ago.


"The company's management is working on a new strategic plan that will prepare the company to compete with the challenges of the near term and will provide a solution to the situation in the airline industry," Chairman Amikam Cohen said in a statement.


The airline's new chief executive, Eliezer Shkedi, said that in parallel with the multi-year strategic plan, El Al also intends to turn the tide in 2010 by cutting costs, entering new markets and developing engines of growth.