May traffic decreased by 1%, while capacity increased by 4%. Consequently, overall load factor decreased by 3.4 percentage points from 77.3% in May 2000 to 73.9% in May this year, a continuation of the trend already visible in March and April. Load factor mainly decreased in the route areas North Atlantic and Asia Pacific, as a result of deteriorating economic conditions.
Passenger load factor decreased by almost 4 percentage points to 76.1% in May 2001. Traffic decreased by 3%, whereas capacity increased by 2%. The impact of the economic slowdown is most significant on North Atlantic and Asia Pacific routes, where traffic is clearly below the level of May 2000. Traffic increased in the route areas Middle East, Africa, and Central & South Atlantic. In Europe, there was a slight increase in load factor to a level of 74.7% in May 2001.
The load factor of KLM`s World Business Class was around the same level as last year, which is relatively good, given the economic slowdown. The load factor for European Business Class was clearly under pressure, decreasing by 5 percentage points.
Cargo traffic increased by 2%, whereas capacity increased by 8%. Overall cargo load factor decreased by 3.3 of a percentage point to 64.9%, mainly due to a significant decrease in traffic inbound from Asia, as a result of the economic slowdown. Lower traffic from Asia was compensated by higher traffic in the areas USA/Mexico, Middle East & South East Asia, and Mid-Atlantic.