SWISS substantially raises seat load factor for the first six months

12 July 2005

SWISS increased its seat load factor for the first six months of 2005 by 3.5 percentage points, compared to the same period last year. Average systemwide seat load factor amounted to 76.9%. Seat load factor on intercontinental services was increased by 4.1 percentage points to 83.2%. And seat load factor on SWISS’s European network totalled 63.8%, a 3.5-percentage-point improvement on the prior-year period. SWISS carried a total of 4.69 million passengers in the first half of 2005, a 2.7% increase on the same period last year.

Systemwide seat load factor for the month of June 2005 amounted to 81.5%, a 5.0-percentage-point improvement on the same month last year. Intercontinental seat load factor for the month was 5.7 percentage points up at 87.2%, while European seat load factor rose 4.6 percentage points to 70.0%.

June seat load factor on intercontinental services amounted to 87.2%, compared to 81.5% for the same month last year. Available seat kilometre (ASK) capacity was 4.4% below prior-year levels; but revenue passenger kilometre (RPK) traffic was a 2.2% improvement on June 2004.

Most traffic regions contributed to the increase in intercontinental seat load factor levels. North Atlantic services posted a very high seat load factor of 94.0%, up 2.3 percentage points, while seat load factor on Far East routes rose 7.4 percentage points to 86.9%. As it had in May, seat load factor on Middle East services posted a strong increase – up 18.3 percentage points – to stand at 79.7%. The surge in traffic to and from the region is due partly to a general rise in demand but also to the withdrawal of a competitor from the London-Riyadh route, with SWISS benefiting from the resulting reduction in capacity. Services to Africa posted a seat load factor of 75.6%, up 7.4 percentage points. Seat load factor on South America services showed a slight 0.8-percentage-point decline to 83.5%.

June seat load factor on European services amounted to 70.0%, up 4.6 percentage points on its prior-year level. ASK capacity for the European network was 2.5% up on June 2004. The additional production was more than absorbed, with RPK traffic for the month posting a far stronger year-on-year increase of 9.8%.

As it had done in previous months, SWISS increased its European capacity in June 2005 (in year-on-year terms) while reducing its total number of flights, which was 5.3% below June 2004 levels. SWISS is tending to use larger aircraft on its European services in order to compete more effectively, especially against the low-cost carriers. In expanding its seat capacity, SWISS is also strengthening its competitive position at its Zurich Airport hub.

The cargo business of SWISS’s Swiss WorldCargo unit reported positive overall trends for the first half of 2005. Cargo load factor (by volume) for the first six months stood at 86.1%, an increase of 0.2 percentage points on the same period last year.

Key SWISS scheduled services results for the first half of 2005

Total passengers carried 4 688 119
Total flights performed 68 981

Available seat-kilometres (million) 13 014
Revenue passenger-kilometres (million) 10 010

Seat load factor 76.9%