SWISS reports substantially higher load factors for the first quarter of 2005

12 April 2005

SWISS achieved a systemwide seat load factor of 74.2% for the first three months of 2005, a 2.6-percentage-point improvement on the same period last year. Seat load factor on intercontinental services rose 3.3 percentage points to 81.6%; and the 58.7% seat load factor recorded on SWISS’s European network was 3.2 percentage points up on the prior-year result. SWISS carried approximately 2.15 million passengers on its scheduled services in the first three months of the year.

Traffic results for the month of March saw a continuation in the recovery of load factors on European routes. The 65.7% seat load factor recorded on SWISS’s European network was a substantial 5.4-percentage-point increase on its prior-year equivalent; and the 84.2% seat load factor reported on intercontinental services was a year-on-year improvement of 3.1 percentage points, the thirteenth monthly increase in succession for intercontinental routes.

March seat load factor on intercontinental services amounted to 84.2%, compared to 81.1% for the same month last year. Available seat kilometre (ASK) capacity was 12.5% below March 2004, while revenue passenger kilometre (RPK) traffic saw a smaller 9.1% decline.

SWISS achieved excellent loadings on its intercontinental services in March. Services over the North Atlantic posted a seat load factor of 88.3%, an improvement of 3.0 percentage points. Flights to and from the Far East saw their seat load factor rise 4.4 percentage points to 84.4%. The 76.3% seat load factor recorded on Middle East services was a 3.6-percentage-point improvement. And flights to and from Africa posted a seat load factor of 78.5%, an increase of 6.8 percentage points. Services to Latin America were also well utilised, even though the 85.2% seat load factor recorded was a 2.9-percentage-point decline on the prior-year period.

March seat load factor for SWISS’s European services also showed a significant improvement on its prior-year equivalent, rising 5.4 percentage points to 65.7%. While ASK capacity for the month was 0.5% below March 2004 levels, SWISS achieved a sizeable 8.4% increase in RPK traffic volume.

The year-on-year improvement in March load factor on European services is due in no small part to the earlier start this year of the Easter holidays. SWISS’s intensified marketing and sales efforts also had their own positive effect. As a result, SWISS was able to improve its European seat load factor for the third month running.

The cargo business of Swiss WorldCargo showed encouraging overall trends for the first three months of 2005. Cargo load factor (by volume) stood at 87.5%, an increase of 0.5 percentage points on the first quarter of 2004.

Key SWISS scheduled services results, first quarter 2005

Total passengers carried 2‘153‘748
Total flights performed 34’309
Available seat-kilometres (million) 6’336
Revenue passenger-kilometres (million) 4’702
Seat load factor 74.2%