Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) transported 12,057,276 passengers in the first nine months of 2012, a 4.3% increase on the 11,564,481 passengers of the prior-year period. The airline operated 114,103 flights in the period, up 1.1% on the 112,915 flights of January-to-September 2011. The 83.5% systemwide seat load factor for the nine-month period was also a 1.4-percentage-point improvement on the prior-year result.
On its European network SWISS raised its available seat-kilometre (ASK) capacity 3.3% in the first nine months of 2012 compared to the same period last year. Total traffic volume for the period rose 4.1% in revenue-passenger-kilometre (RPK) terms. Systemwide seat load factor improved accordingly, rising 0.5 percentage points from the 74.9% of 2011 to 75.4%.
January-to-September ASK capacity on SWISS’s intercontinental routes was a 5.7% increase on the prior-year period. Here, too, the growth was outpaced by a 7.8% increase in RPK traffic volumes, raising systemwide seat load factor 1.7 percentage points from 85.9% to 87.6%.
The airfreight business of SWISS’s Swiss WorldCargo division posted a 6% increase in sales for the first-nine-month period in revenue-tonne-kilometre terms. Cargo load factor (by volume) stood at 78.7%, a 0.5-percentage-point improvement on the 78.2% of January-to-September 2011.
High load factors for September, but tough earnings environment prevails
A total of 1,396,884 passengers flew SWISS in September 2012, a 4.4% increase on the 1,337,619 of the same month last year. SWISS operated 12,620 flights in September, 1.3% more than in the prior-year period. Of these, 11,199 were in Europe (up 1.2%) and 1,421 on intercontinental routes (up 2.5%).
The earnings situation remained tough in September, too, even though ASK capacity was 6.5% up, RPK traffic volumes rose 8.6% and the 86.8% systemwide seat load factor was a 1.7-percentage-point improvement on the 85.1% of the same month last year. European seat load factor for the month stood at 79.6% (up 1.0 percentage points), while intercontinental seat load factor amounted to 90.5% (up 1.9 percentage points).
Swiss WorldCargo reported a September cargo load factor (by volume) of 79.4%, a 2.2-percentage-point improvement on the 77.2% of September 2011. Total cargo sales for the month were up 10.8% in revenue-tonne-kilometre terms.