AEA airlines: Alitalia’s traffic and load factor both down as KLM maintains load factor lead

Logo: AEA Airlines

The winter season brought the predictable slump in load factors for AEA member airlines though they have started to improve in March.

Chart: Major AEA airlines: Passenger growth
Source: AEA

Swiss and Turkish remain the major airlines showing the most positive growth. British Airways and Iberia have now been joined by Alitalia in consistently reporting year-on-year traffic reductions. Alitalia’s big dip in March coincides with the transfer of many flights from Malpensa to Rome and the termination of several routes. In fact, six out of the nine major AEA airlines showed a reduction in traffic, possibly impacted by the early arrival of Easter which may have reduced core business traffic for some airlines.

Chart: Major AEA airlines: Load factors
Source: AEA

Alitalia’s problems have resulted in the airline falling to the bottom of the load factor rankings for the last four months. KLM and Iberia continue to achieve the best results with Iberia actually beating KLM in February for the first time.

Chart: Other AEA airlines: Passenger growth
Source: AEA

Among the medium-sized carriers Brussels Airlines’ dramatic growth achieved through its merger with Virgin Express is about to come to an end as it is now one year since the merger took place. TAP Portugal and Tarom continue to report impressive growth, while Czech Airlines and Olympic show renewed signs of traffic stagnation.

Chart: Other AEA Airlines: Load factors
Source: AEA

Austrian emerged as the load-factor champion among these carriers topping the rankings every month so far this year. Olympic’s woeful load factor performance in February was even worse than its performance the previous year. Tarom’s rapid growth has rather cost it in terms of average loads and it has failed to achieve 60% in any of the first three months of 2008.


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