Brazil airline Gol slashes capacity after heavy quarterly loss
SAO PAULO, March 30 (Reuters) - Brazilian airline Gol Linhas Aereas made deeper capacity cuts following a heavy fourth-quarter loss as an economic crisis sapped demand and weakened the local currency, driving up the cost of servicing hefty foreign debts.
Gol reported a quarterly net loss of 1.130 billion reais ($311 million) in a late Tuesday securities filing, 79 percent bigger than its loss a year earlier. The airline has posted a loss in every quarter of the past four years. Its net loss in 2015 nearly tripled from a year earlier to 4.291 billion reais.
To cut costs in the face of stiff inflation and shrinking demand, Gol said it planned to slash departures by 15 percent to 18 percent in 2016, deepening cuts from a prior forecast of cutting 4 percent to 6 percent in the first half of the year.
Capacity measured by an industry gauge known as available-seat-kilometers (ASK) is now expected to fall between 5 percent and 8 percent this year.
Fourth-quarter earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, a gauge of operating profit known as EBITDA, tumbled 92 percent from a year earlier to 22 million reais.
Excluding aircraft rental costs, which are often denominated in U.S. dollars, the industry measure known as EBITDAR dropped 17 percent to 399 million reais.
Gol announced on Monday it had hired PJT Partners to advise on bolstering its capital structure and improving its debt profile.
($1 = 3.632 Brazilian reais) (Reporting by Brad Haynes; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)
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