Air France traffic back to year-ago levels
By Kevin Done, Aerospace Correspondent
Published: February 6 2002 20:30 | Last Updated: February 6 2002 20:58
Air France said it was aiming to achieve "positive operating income" for the current financial year to the end of March, dispelling previous fears that it could slip into loss in the wake of the turmoil created in the aviation industry by the terrorist attacks in the US.
The group also became the first European flag carrier to report that its traffic in January had climbed back to the level of a year ago, only four months after September 11.
Traffic in January was 0.4 per cent higher than a year ago, and Air France said that yields or average fare levels in the month were also at the same level as last year.
The group said that advance bookings were "looking good for the months ahead" and confirmed the rebound of traffic to last year's level.
The third quarter loss would be less than expected helped by the falling oil price, which had allowed it to cut its fuel bill by more than 30 per cent to E353m in the three months to the end of December.
The airline said that traffic had been recovering faster than expected from the low point of September and October and the positive trend had continued in January.
Its traffic last month across the North Atlantic was still running 10.6 per cent below the level of a year ago, but traffic was significantly higher on services to Africa, Latin America and Asia. There was a small decline of 1.1 per cent on intra-European routes, while domestic traffic in January fell year-on-year by 8.7 per cent.
Turnover in the the months to December fell by 7.8 per cent to E2.9bn, while turnover in the first nine months of the financial year rose by 2.2 per cent to E9.5bn