Swiss International Air Lines transported a total of 2.9 million passengers on its scheduled services in the past 3rd quarter (July - September 2003). Up from 77.3% to 77.6%, the average seat load factor was marginally better than in the same period of the previous year; this is essentially due to high passenger volumes on European routes. Cargo business development was encouraging, with performance maintained at last year’s level.
On the European network, the average 3rd quarter seat load factor was 68.6%, up 4.9% over the same period in the previous year. There was a significant double-digit improvement of between 10% and 24% in seat load factors in the markets in England, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Scandinavia, Poland and the Czech Republic. The capacity reduction on European routes, with 25% fewer available seat kilometres for just 20% fewer tickets sold, has contributed to this positive result. Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria were the only markets in which a marginally lower load factor was noted in comparison to the 3rd quarter of the previous year.
The 3rd quarter seat load factor on intercontinental routes was 81.4%. This is 3% below the previous year’s figure of 84.4%. North Atlantic traffic was just under 4% lower than last year’s equivalent figure, but was compensated by a better class mix. In the Middle East, the seat load factor has already improved by 2.2% to 75.9% following the end of the war in Iraq.
Whereas passenger volumes on North Atlantic services were just under 4% below the same period of the previous year, we have already seen a 2.2% improvement in the seat load factor in the Middle East, which now stands at 75.9% following the end of the war in Iraq. Load factors on flights to the Far East have increased steadily since the end of the SARS epidemic. In September, the load factor on aircraft operating in this region Êwas 78.2% (6.2% down on the same period of the previous year). Overall, August was the busiest month of 2003 with 265,112 passengers.
In the first nine months of 2003, Swiss International Air Lines transported a total of 8.2 million passengers on its scheduled services. The average seat load factor between January and September was 71.6% (71.0% in the same period of the previous year). At 77.6%, this year’s 3rd quarter seat load factor was slightly better than the previous year’s figure (77.3%), mainly due to high load factors on European routes.
Swiss WorldCargo, the Freight Division of Swiss International Air Lines, made another substantial contribution to the overall SWISS results in the 3rd quarter of 2003. The load factor (volumes) on the intercontinental routes so important to cargo operations was maintained at last year’s high level, consistently hitting the upper 80% mark. The solid basis of these results is confirmed by the FTK value (Freight-Tonne Kilometre). Overall performance values are on a par with targets, despite the reductions in the SWISS network, which had a particularly big impact on cargo destinations in the strong Asian market. Over the past two months, however, the Cargo Division has already successfully compensated for part of its lost capacity by entering into various partner agreements in the freight industry.
The full traffic statistics are available at www.swiss.com (“Our Company” ? “Investor Relations” ? “Presentations”).