SWISS posts better seat load factors for first six months

12. July 2004

Swiss International Air Lines carried a total of 4.6 million passengers in the first half of 2004. Cumulative seat load factor for the period amounted to 73.4 per cent, a 4.7-percentage-point improvement on the prior-year result. Seat load factors were increased on both the intercontinental and the European network. The best monthly seat load factor performance during the period was April’s, with 77.2 per cent. Seat load factor for the second quarter of the year stood at 75.4 per cent, 5.9 points up on its 2003 equivalent.

SWISS’s modifications to its route network had a positive impact on its seat load factor results in the first half of 2004. Average seat load factor for the period amounted to 73.4 per cent, an improvement of 4.7 percentage points on the same period in 2003. The company carried some 4.56 million passengers in the first six months. A year-on-year comparison of actual passenger numbers is not meaningful, however, in view of the sizeable capacity reductions which resulted from network modifications in the intervening months. SWISS’s total capacity for the first half of 2004 was 20.1 per cent less than for the same period last year. But the associated decline in demand was limited to 14.6 per cent, with a corresponding improvement in load factor results.

Some 3.44 million passengers were carried on SWISS’s European network in the first half of 2004, generating an average seat load factor of 60.3 per cent, a 5.6-point improvement on the prior-year result. The increases were encouragingly strong in the key European markets, some of which saw their results improve by more than ten per cent. Total capacity on SWISS’s European network was 24.2 per cent down on January-to-June 2003; but demand declined by a far smaller 16.5 per cent.

SWISS carried a total of 1.12 million passengers on its intercontinental network in the first six months of the year. The average seat load factor of 79.1 per cent was 3.8 points up on the same period in 2003. While demand declined slightly in the first two months, load factors since March have been consistently above their prior-year equivalents. SWISS’s first-half intercontinental production was 18.2 per cent lower than in the previous year, while the decline in demand over the same period was limited to 14.0 per cent.

Second-quarter results

SWISS carried some 2.41 million passengers in the second quarter of 2004. The corresponding seat load factor of 75.4 per cent was a 5.9-point improvement on the prior-year period. Seat load factor on European services amounted to 65.0 per cent, 4.1 points up on its 2003 equivalent; and the 80.0 per cent seat load factor recorded on intercontinental services was a 6.7-point improvement on the same period last year.

Swiss World Cargo

Swiss World Cargo, SWISS’s airfreight division, posted an overall load factor of 85.4 per cent for the first half of 2004, more than two percentage points up on its prior-year equivalent. The division transported a total of 567 663 revenue tonne-kilometres of cargo during the period – a volume which, given the interim reductions in airfreight capacity, was also a slight improvement on its prior-year performance. Encouragingly, the improvements were due in no small part to the division’s adopted strategy of putting a stronger focus on niche products and markets.

Key SWISS scheduled services results for the first half of 2004

Total passengers carried: 4 564 979
Total flights performed: 71 985
Available seat-kilometres (million): 13 958
Revenue seat-kilometres (million): 10 250
Seat load factor: 73.4%