Glad that our flag carrier was able to post for the second time a Qprofit in it's young life!
Here is the press release:
SN Brussels Airlines reports a net profit for the third quarter of EUR 2 million. This profit is due to the combination of a passenger increase, higher loadfactors and cost reducing initiatives.
Total revenues of the 3rd quarter (period July-September 2003) increased by 17 per cent to EUR 153,8 million. This resulted in a net profit of EUR 2 million compared to a loss of EUR 19,9 million for the 3rd quarter of 2002.
These positive figures are the result of higher load factors, cost reducing initiatives and a new commercial approach.
During the entire summer season SN Brussels Airlines succeeded in maintaining its excellent on time performance. Moreover, according to the official controlled statistics of the Association of European Airlines, SN Brussels Airlines was in September even the most punctual airline in Europe. 93,3 pct. of all flights were on time.
Thanks to its well over 800.000 passengers SN Brussels Airlines was clearly the market leader at its Brussels home base throughout this summer season.
On the European network over 700.000 customers were welcomed during the third quarter. The load factor of the European fleet increased with 4 points to 59 pct, fully in line with the capacity expansion of the European network.
Between July and September more than 100.000 clients flew with SN to and from Africa. Thanks to this higher passenger volume, the load factor on board the long haul aircraft climbed to 76 pct. This is an expansion with 15 load factor points while the offered capacity only incremented with 1 pct.
Although the passenger volume increased substantially, the total expenses of SN Brussels Airlines fell down. The ‘Cost per Available Seat Kilometer’ (CASK) of the European flights has decreased with 8,5 pct since the beginning of the year. This resulted in a saving of more than EUR 5 million during the third quarter. The CASK of the African flight operations went down by 12 per cent during the 3rd quarter.
The termination of the partnership with Virgin Express and the introduction of 3 Airbus A 319 aircraft to the medium haul fleet, aircraft which are highly appreciated by our passengers, has undoubtedly led to cost reductions. The operational flight costs went even down with more than EUR 7 million in the 3rd quarter compared to the same period in 2002.
Other reasons for costs reductions are the successful renegotiations of several contracts with third parties (ground handling, catering, fuel hedging, …). The flight frequencies to typical business destinations were reduced during the summer months due to the traditional weaker demand.
Also thanks to the newly created Project Management Department considerable cost savings have been realised. All the initiated projects will also have a positive impact on our cost position and evolution during the next months.
Many innovative commercial initiatives were developed during the course of the year and had a clear impact on the passenger volumes during the summer season. Thanks to our Best Buy offer, lower One Way fares to more than 30 European destinations, SN Brussels Airlines clearly became more attractive for the leisure travellers. Also the Weekend Fares and the Visiting Friends & Family actions were warmly welcomed by the market.
The newly created Strategic Account Department negotiated successfully long term contracts with several multinationals. Also the several so called ‘Passes’, offered to the small and medium sized companies, aimed at making SN more attractive for frequent business travel, found their way to the markets.
The new destinations Tel Aviv and Athens (in code share with Hellas Jet) were launched successfully during the summer months. Also the decision to operate the London Gatwick flights with own SN aircraft proved to be economically justified. The partnership with American Airlines, launched shortly before the start of the summer season, already gave very good results during the third quarter.
Sales via our website flySN.com, now translated in several European languages, increased with 134 pct. during the third quarter 2003 versus last year.
SN Brussels Airlines clearly played the role of pioneer in the discussions with the Belgian travel industry regarding the travel agent commissions.
A branding campaign that differentiates SN Brussels Airlines from the competition supported all the commercial initiatives.
“For the second consecutive quarter we have posted a profit”, says Chief Executive Officer Peter Davies. “We are very happy because these results have been realised in a still weak economic market situation. The positive figures reflect how determined our entire hard working staff is. They are also an illustration of supreme confidence of the customers and the travel industry. Although it is tremendous news, there is still much work to be done. We will continue to direct our efforts in a way that SN Brussels Airlines becomes a sustainable airline and a true success story.”
SN Brussels Airlines is prudently optimistic about the fourth quarter. The results for the month of November, traditionally a weak month for the European aviation industry, are better than expected. Nevertheless it is too early today to make a forecast for the year end result.
The last quarter of the year will be very busy one for SN Brussels Airlines. Last month Budapest was added to the European network and as of 3 December three weekly flights to Vilnius (Lithuania) are offered thanks to a codeshare agreement with Lithuanian Airlines. With these two new routes SN Brussels Airlines anticipates the market demand following the EU expansion. As of 7 December SN Brussels Airlines will fly weekly to Mombasa Kenya. SN will be the only European regular airline linking Mombasa with Europe. Mid December, the highspeed Thalys train will arrive at Brussels Airport for the very first time in history. The Thalys will connect the network of SN Brussels Airlines with the Paris Nord railway station located downtown. As of mid December SN will connect its Brussels homebase three times a week with Casablanca, the business centre of Morocco. Several other new route developments are in the pipeline.