In its last quarter, from January to March 2002, before the start-up of SWISS, Crossair carried 1,9 million passengers. Compared with last year`s figure of 1,1 million for the same period, this represented an increase of 67%. The increase was largely due to the expansion of European business. The seat-load factor also showed a continuing improvement in this quarter, rising from 46.2% to 50.9%.
Starting on January 15, Crossair expanded its European network to several destinations. This concerned mainly services from Zurich and Geneva, which were served by the Airbus 320 family. This led to a marked broadening of business activity and the traffic results achieved.
The seat-load factor also developed in a satisfactory manner compared to last year and in the quarter under review: this important figure was increased month by month and, in March, reached 56,3%.
The seat-load factor in this quarter was 4,7 percentage points above last year`s figure. Of this increase, 40% was due to the changed composition of the fleet and the route network. The seat-load factor in regional business, on a comparative basis, rose by a remarkable 0,7%, despite the unfavourable economic environment.
Exceptionally good traffic results were obtained in the important U.K market, particularly to the destinations of Heathrow, Manchester and Birmingham. Business to Spanish destinations was also very good. Traffic to France and Germany lay somewhat below the average. On the other hand, the development of business to destinations in Ireland, Finland, Hungary, Macedonia and Yugoslavia was very successful.
With the introduction of the Summer timetable on March 31, the brand name Crossair was removed. The new intercontinental airline is flying under the brand name SWISS. The name reflects the Swiss multicultural, cosmopolitan character and reputation for quality.