Passenger rise fails to aid Air Macau
Air Macau has reported a net loss of 75.7 million patacas last year compared with a net profit of 79 million patacas in 1997.
Air Macau president Leonel Miranda said the airline's main objective this year was to break even and to set up an air cargo subsidiary.
He said Air Macau also planned to launch its first flights to Europe in April next year.
Despite sliding into the red, Air Macau saw passenger numbers rise 14 per cent to 1.13 million last year compared with 1997.
The firm's cargo division saw turnover rise 42 per cent year on year to 15,000 tonnes.
Air Macau officials blamed the Asian financial turmoil and the subsequent depreciation of the region's currencies for the airline's full-year loss.
Air Macau presently operates scheduled passenger flights to the mainland, Taiwan, Manila and Bangkok.
Quasi-direct flights between Taiwan and the mainland form the core of the airline's business.
The Sino-Portuguese joint-venture airline has a fleet of eight Airbus Industrie aircraft.