November figures seem to confirm the improvement in traffic levels that began in October. After a 9.8% drop in the last week of October, traffic was down by 5.5% during the last week in November.
** Passenger operations
Final figures for November break down as follows: * Capacity: +0.5% in ASK (Available Seat-km)
* Seat load factor: 69.2% (-5.7 points)
November is the first month to take the full impact of the new Winter 2001 flight schedule into account. Measures to cut capacity meant Air France has been able to maintain a programme similar to that of Winter 2000, with an increase of just 0.5%. Stabilized capacity levels combined with improved traffic levels meant that the drop in the seat load factor was restricted to 5.7 points for a total 69.2%.
After falling for two consecutive months, revenue per RPK (Revenue Passenger-km) excluding foreign exchange effects was starting to rise once more in November.
** Long- haul network
During November, capacity on the long-haul network increased by 1.1% on traffic levels down 6.9%. The seat load factor came in at 72.5% - a drop of 6.2 points.
The overall trend does not take into account the restructuring of the long-haul network by transferring capacity from the sectors hardest-hit, ie, North America and the Middle East, to more buoyant markets in Africa and the Caribbean/Indian Ocean.
* On North American routes, capacity was cut by 13.9% mainly by discontinuing one of the two daily frequencies to Boston, Miami and Washington and by using smaller-capacity aircraft on flights to Houston and New York. Passenger traffic, however, fell by 22.7%, taking the seat load factor down 7.4 points to 65.3%.
* On Latin American routes, traffic rose 6.5% on a 22.5% increase in capacity. This increased capacity is largely linked to the fact that Air France now operates a daily service to Rio de Janeiro. The seat load factor has fallen by 10.2 points to 68.3%.
In the Asian network, operations continue to feel the adverse impact of the economic slowdown. Traffic fell 11.4% on a slight capacity increase of 0.9%, while the seat load factor was down 9.9 points to 71.5%.
In the Africa/Middle East network, traffic improved by 10.5% on an 8.3% rise in capacity. The seat load factor improved by 1.6 points to 78.0%. The satisfactory overall performance, however, masks two contrasting situations:
The Africa network continues to register sharp increases in traffic (up 24.7%), well above the 16.0% increase in capacity, resulting in a 5.8-point improvement in the seat load factor to 83.7%.
The Middle East sector continues to suffer from the political situation, with a 24.9% drop in traffic and a 9.8% cut in capacity. The seat load factor fell 12.2 points over the period to 60.9%.
In the Caribbean / Indian Ocean network, activity is satisfactory, following a 2.6% increase in traffic on 8.5% higher capacity. The seat load factor came out at a high 80.4% (down 4.6 points on the earlier period).