Austrian load factor rises to record level

Austrian Airlines said its overall load factor for the full year 2006 rose 0.4 pct points to a record high of 74.5 pct.

The overall passenger traffic rose in 2006 by 7.1 pct to a record high of 10.83 mln people, while the passenger load factor of the scheduled air service grew by 0.2 pct points to 74.0 pct, the airline said in a press release.

The main drivers of the passenger traffic growth were again flights to destinations in Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East, it said.


Traffic statistics of the Austrian Airlines Group, full year 2006


The Austrian Airlines Group welcomed a record number of passengers onto its scheduled and charter flights from January to December 2006 - at 10,834,747 passengers, the figure was 7.1% up on 2005. The Austrian Airlines Group achieved a traffic result which, when measured in revenue passenger kilometers on scheduled services (RPK) was 5.6% above the figure for the preceding year, while scheduled availability (ASK) grew by 5.3% compared to 2005. Viewed cumulatively, the resultant passenger load factor on scheduled services was 74.0%, or 0.2 percentage points above the preceding year’s figure. With approximately 9 million scheduled passengers, the total level of passenger growth was 9.4%. The Group also achieved an historic record when it increased its overall load factor on scheduled and charter services by 0.4 percentage points to 74.5%.

The number of passenger kilometers sold and therefore defined as generating revenue on scheduled services (RPK) fell slightly by 0.8% in December 2006 compared to December 2005, while available seat kilometers (ASK) increased by 1.4%. Around 679,000 passengers were carried on scheduled services in December, the equivalent of an increase of 5.5% compared to 2005. With a total passenger increase of 4.3% compared to December 2005, the Austrian Airlines Group succeeded in reporting further growth, and carried a total of 723,261 passengers on scheduled and charter flights combined.

Austrian Chief Executive Officer Alfred ?-tsch made the following comment on the all-time high figures experienced in 2006: ‘Compared to other renowned European network carriers, our passenger growth enabled us to position ourselves amongst the top 5 airlines in 2006. The growth drivers for our passenger record, once again, were our core geographical segments in Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East, and our targeted price and marketing campaigns in all markets. In 2007 we will reinforce our market position in the Focus East markets further still, especially in Russia through the cooperation with AiRUnion, and consistently expand the successful secondary market strategy. The long-haul programme will be consolidated to a total of ten destinations with a high share of direct traffic. The reorientation will see us incorporate Chicago into our network from the end of May, and increase capacities through the use of the Boeing 777 to Washington, Tokyo, Bangkok and Delhi. Due to the growth in our core markets, the long-haul consolidation will result in a reduced overall production, measured in available seat kilometres (ASK), of only 15%.’