SWISS posts very encouraging load factors for the first nine months

11 October 2005

SWISS reports an average seat load factor of 79.1% on its scheduled services for the first nine months of 2005, an improvement of 3.9 percentage points on the same period last year. Seat load factor for intercontinental services stood at 85.0%, a year-on-year increase of 4.1 percentage points. European seat load factor was also an improvement on the same period last year, rising 4.7 percentage points to 66.8%. SWISS carried 7.33 million passengers in the first nine months of 2005, an increase of 4.6% on the prior-year period.

SWISS posted a seat load factor of 82.2% for September 2005, up 4.2 percentage points on the same month last year. September seat load factor on intercontinental services stood at 87.4% (up 3.6 percentage points), while the European seat load factor of 71.3% was a 6.0-percentage-point improvement on September 2004.

September seat load factor on SWISS’s intercontinental services amounted to 87.4%, which compares to 83.8% for the same month last year. As in previous months, available seat kilometre (ASK) capacity was reduced from its prior-year level, by 3.1%; but revenue passenger kilometre (RPK) traffic for the month was a 1.0% improvement on the prior-year period.

As in previous months, most traffic regions contributed to the year-on-year improvement in September long-haul seat load factor. North Atlantic services saw their seat load factor rise 4.9 percentage points to 91.5%. Seat load factor on Far East services stood at 86.6%, a 3.6-percentage-point improvement on the prior-year period. Services to the Middle East posted another year-on-year improvement: the 82.5% seat load factor was a 7.3-percentage-point increase on September 2004. Services to Africa reported a seat load factor of 80.4%, down 2.9 percentage points from its prior-year level. South America flights saw their seat load factor improve 5.0 percentage points to 89.4%.

Seat load factor on SWISS’s European services for September stood at 71.3%, a 6.0-percentage-point improvement on the prior-year period. ASK capacity was 1.1% up on September 2004. The additional capacity was more than absorbed by demand, which produced a 10.5% increase in traffic in RPK terms. SWISS raised capacity year-on-year on its European network in September while simultaneously reducing the total number of flights, which was 9.2% lower than a year ago. The use of larger-capacity aircraft on its European routes helps lower unit costs per ASK and gives SWISS more scope to compete, especially against the budget carriers, and to further enhance its competitive position at its Zurich Airport hub.

SWISS’s cargo business showed positive overall trends for the first nine months of 2005. Cargo load factor (by volume) did suffer a slight 0.1-percentage-point year-on-year decline to 85.7%; but the total airfreight carried by SWISS’s Swiss WorldCargo business unit was 0.9% up on the prior-year period at 853.6 million cargo tonne-kilometres.

Key SWISS scheduled services results for January to September 2005
Total passengers carried 7 329 983
Total flights performed 102 670

Available seat-kilometres (million) 19 781
Revenue passenger-kilometres (million) 15 640

Seat load factor 79.1%