In February, overall traffic was 4% lower than last year. This means that traffic is continuing to recover as it has over the past few months. The passenger as well as the cargo business contributed to this favorable development. As capacity was 8% lower, overall load factor increased 3.1 percentage points to 79.7%.
Whereas passenger traffic was down 10% and 7% in December and January respectively, February passenger traffic was 5% lower than last year. This trend confirms that passenger confidence is still increasing.
With capacity 9% lower than last year, passenger load factor increased substantially by 3.7 percentage points to 79.4%, the highest level during the month of February in the past 12 years.
Traffic on African routes increased by more than the 20% year-on-year, while traffic on European and Mid and South Atlantic routes was also well above last year`s levels. European traffic was positively influenced by succesfull promotional campaigns. Traffic on the North Atlantic continued to improve; it was 18% lower than in the same period last year, compared to a 20% year-on-year decline in January.
Although Business Class travel also improved slightly, the recovery of passenger traffic was most evident in Economy Class.
In February, cargo traffic was 3% lower than last year, a relative improvement compared to last month. As cargo capacity was 6% lower than last year, load factor increased by 2.0 percentage points to 75.2%. On Asia Pacific routes load factor improved by 1.6 percentage points to 83.4%. The impact of Chinese New Year was less significant than last year. In the North Atlantic route area, load factor improved by 3.6 percentage points to 74.9%. Traffic on African routes continued to develop strongly.
The summer schedule, as published last week, includes capacity levels which are currently 4% lower than last year. Passenger capacity will be 5% lower, whereas cargo capacity will be 3% below the level of summer 2001.