El Al Israel Airlines reported losses of $26.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared to a loss of $7.8 million in the parallel period last year.
The loss would have been even greater were it not for a tax break worth $8.6 million, compared to tax expenses of $12 million in the parallel.
The flagship carrier reported revenues of $464 million for the quarter, down 4% from the fourth quarter of 2011.
Most of the decline was due to a 3.3% drop in passenger numbers during Israel's Operation Pillar of Defense in the Gaza Strip in November.
Some of the reduced revenues were a result of a decline in yields per passenger-kilometer due to fierce competition.
Cargo revenues dropped by 7% compared to the parallel quarter as a result of market contraction and a decline in per-ton yields and in the number of ton-kilometers flown.
Gross profits for the quarter declined by 43%, to $47 million, or 10.2% of turnover, compared to 17.1% of turnover in 2011. Most of the decline resulted from the drop in passenger and cargo revenues, as well as a 7.8% rise in aviation fuel costs.
El Al reported operating losses of $29 million in the last quarter of 2012, compared to operating profits of $8 million in the parallel in 2011, as a result of the drop in gross profits and capital losses incurred by the sale of fixed assets. The same period in 2011 saw capital gains of $4.9 million.
Some of the revenue and gross profit losses were offset by a 9% reduction in sales costs, to $50 million, or 10.2% of turnover.
The wage costs of Company President and CEO Eliezer Shkedy came to NIS 2 million in 2012.