In business year 2002, Swiss International Air Lines Ltd. carried a total of 11.6 Million passengers on its scheduled flights. This was well above the 9.8 million passengers foreseen in the Business Plan. The SWISS fleet seat-load factor was 71.0%. In intercontinental traffic the seat-load factor attained was 80.3%, whilst, on the European routes, the seat-load factor was 56.9%. There were pleasing traffic developments in southern Europe, West Africa, North America and Asia.
In the fourth quarter, 2.92 million passengers were carried. Compared with the third quarter, this represented a drop of 16.3%. In Europe,in particular, fewer passengers were carried. On the intercontinental routes, there was a lesser drop of 10.4%. The reduced demand is traditional during the Winter season, amplified on this occasion by the current unfavourable economic situation and geopolitical uncertainties, all of which served to dampen the desire to travel by the clientele. Following a reduction in the offer, the seat-load factor in the fourth quarter was 70.7%, 7.9 percentage points below the highest level of the third quarter.
In Europe, 9.3 million passengers were carried during the year under review. Very good results were obtained in the southern European region, particularly Greece. Flights to the Iberian peninsula were also well filled. Business in Scandinavia and Germany, on the other hand, was below average. This was due to the stagnating economic development in these countries, but also indicating a loss of market share. The improvement of business to destinations in these countries remains, as before, a major priority.
With the start of the Summer timetable, the SWISS route network to intercontinental destinations was expanded. In the period between April and December, 2.3 million more passengers flew overseas.
The connections between Switzerland and North America to New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Washington and Montreal enjoyed good passenger loads. Collaboration with American Airlines went very well and made a contribution to the satisfying results. These served to dampen the effects of the continuing unfavourable economic conditions, combined with currency turbulence, which had a negative effect on the overall business.
There were mixed business results in Africa: whilst the results in East Africa and Egypt deteriorated in the fourth quarter because of the terrorist attack in Kenya and the uncertain political situation, the positive development on the West Coast continued.
The increasing political uncertainty caused payloads of the aircraft flying to destinations in the Middle East and the seat-load factors to drop over the last few months. In this difficult environment, only Teheran did well.
Traffic to destinations in the Far East - including Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong, Manila, Singapore and Tokyo - recorded good results. In Japan the results were exceptional.
Key figures of SWISS scheduled traffic in 2002:
Total passengers 11,569,753
Total number of flights 226,613
Available seat kilometres (millions) 31, 520 // Revenue passenger kilometres (millions) 22, 371
Seat-load factor 71.0%
The comprehensive traffic statistics may be found on the Homepage www.swiss.com (in the column ?our company” > ?Investor Relations” > ?Presentations”). The financial results for the business year 2002 will be given by SWISS on March 25.