Passenger stats boost Austrian in Q1

Austrian Airlines have reported strong Q1 returns as passenger volume and load factor continue to rise.Asked to comment on the latest quarterly figures issued by the Austrian Airlines Group, Chief Executive Officer Alfred ?-tsch made the following statement: ‘We managed to achieve above-average traffic growth in the first quarter of 2007, above all in the short- and medium-haul segment, and remain firmly in the ascendant where measured by all of the key parameters, such as passenger volume, load factor and the traffic result. With the reorientation of our long-haul segment currently underway and the simultaneous expansion in the Focus East areas, with new routes being incorporated into the network and increases in frequency in our core markets, this year’s summer schedule is set to make a very positive impact.’

Short- and medium-haul routes see double-digit rise in passenger numbers
By posting a double-digit rise in passenger volume of 12.3%, the Austrian Airlines Group reported above-average rates of growth in the short- and medium-haul segment compared to the previous year. Compared to 2006, revenue passenger kilometers (RPK) on these scheduled services increased by a substantial 16.9%, while available seat kilometers (ASK) increased by 11.8%. The resultant passenger load factor of 66.6% was 2.9 percentage points higher than last year.

In cumulative terms, around 1.73 million scheduled passengers were transported in the short- and medium-haul segment in the first quarter, 10.1% more than in the comparable period in 2006. While availability on scheduled services (measured in ASK) expanded by 9.7%, revenue passenger kilometers (RPK) on these scheduled services increased at the unusually strong rate of 13.6%. The passenger load factor in this segment reached 62.7%, or 2.2 percentage points higher than 2006.

Higher load factor in long-haul
According to plan, scheduled availability (ASK) in the long-haul segment was reduced by 10.4% in March, while revenue passenger kilometers in the long-haul segment (RPK) fell at the slower rate of 5.5%. The resultant passenger load factor, at 80.5%, was 4.1 percentage points above the figure for the previous year.

Cumulatively speaking, the first quarter saw around 359,000 scheduled passengers carried in the long-haul segment, a 0.6% rise on the same period in 2006. With availability on scheduled services (ASK) being reduced by 8.0%, revenue passenger kilometers (RPK) on these scheduled services fell by just 4.9%. The passenger load factor in the long-haul segment reached 82.1%, or 2.7 percentage points higher than last year.

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Overall view
The Austrian Airlines Group welcomed approximately 785,500 passengers onto its scheduled services in March 2007, an improvement of 10.5% compared to 2006. The traffic result, measured in revenue passenger kilometers on scheduled services (RPK) was 2.0% above the figure for last year, while scheduled availability (ASK) fell slightly, by 2.0%, compared to 2006. The passenger load factor, at 74.5%, was 2.9 percentage points above the 2006 figure. Due above all to the reduction in the number of low-result long-haul charter routes, 15.7% fewer passengers were carried in the charter segment than in 2006. The load factor, on the other hand, improved by 2.4 percentage points in this segment.

Cumulatively, the traffic result in the first quarter of 2007, measured in revenue passenger kilometers on scheduled services (RPK), was slightly (0.9%) up on the comparable figure for the previous year, while available seat kilometers (ASK) were reduced by 1.4% compared to 2006. The resultant passenger load factor, at 74.1%, was 1.7 percentage points above the 2006 figure. With around 2.1 million passengers carried on scheduled services, the rate of growth was 8.4%. In total the Austrian Airlines Group carried 2.24 million passengers on its scheduled and charter flights in the first quarter of 2007, an increase of 6.0% compared to 2006.
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