Air France posts almost 5% rise in traffic

Carrier reports 4.9% rise in passenger traffic for February and stable load factor

The French flag carrier’s results for February 2011 seem excellent. The airline explains, however, that the month of February 2010 had been impacted by adverse weather conditions and four days of strikes by French air traffic controllers, which affected medium-haul in particular, creating a favourable comparison basis.
Traffic rose by 4.9% for capacity up by 5.1%, leading to an almost stable load factor of 77.6% (-0.1 point). The number of passengers rose 5.7% to 5.1 million. The unfavourable geopolitical context continues to affect the Africa/Middle East region, much of which is French-speaking (Libya, Ivory Coast, Tunisia, Egypt). Unit revenue per available seat kilometre (RASK) excluding currency was stable compared with February 2010.
For the summer 2011 season, Air France-KLM plans a capacity increase of 5.7% compared with summer 2010. Eight new routes will enhance the Asia, Americas and Africa networks. The Airbus A380 has been a great success since it went into service in November 2009, welcoming no fewer than 800,000 passengers on the four aircraft in the Air France fleet. KLM, meanwhile, announced the opening of the Amsterdam-Buenos Aires and Amsterdam-Havana routes as of 31 October 2011.
On the Americas network, traffic and capacity rose by 2.8% and 5.1%, respectively. Load factor declined by 1.7 points to 78.3%. The Asia network was affected by the Chinese New Year celebrations. Nevertheless, activity remained dynamic with traffic up 6.3%. With capacity up 8.1%, load factor declined by 1.5 points to 84.6%. The Africa and Middle East network recorded a rise in traffic of 1.4% for capacity up 2.5%. As a result, load factor declined by 0.8 points to 74.6%. The Caribbean and Indian Ocean network remained robust with traffic up 6.0% for capacity up by 4.0%. Load factor therefore gained 1.6 points to 85.6%. And on the medium-haul network, traffic was up by 8.8% for capacity up by 4.3%. Load factor rose 2.8 points to 66.4%.
Air Transport News

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