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SN Brussels Airlines Posts Positive 2003 Results

Tue Mar 16, 2004 9:01 pm

SN Brussels Airlines, the Belgian airline flying from the capital of Europe, posts its first positive end year result. Despite the economic downturn and the continuing uncertainty in the markets SN Brussels Airlines was able to post a small net profit in 2003.

SN Brussels Airlines has generated euro 533, 5 million net revenue
The company has achieved a net result of + 0,6 million euro and ended 2003 with a cash position of 138,4 million euro.

Direct employment was provided for 1.977 employees (plus 5,8 pct compared to 2002)

Thanks to new own flight operations and code share agreements the network expanded with 13 EU destinations, 1 extra Africa route and transatlantic flights to the US

Block hours ‘production’ increased with 12,7 pct. to 106.578 hours

SN Brussels Airlines was in 2003 Europe’s second most punctual airline.

SN Brussels Airlines concludes 2003 with a net revenue of euro 533,5 million. This is an increase of 30 percent over 2002. Main contributing factor for this positive revenue evolution is a new commercial approach leading to passenger growth and higher load factors. Also the first full year of Africa Operations and Cargo had an impact on the revenue growth.

Thanks to strict cost control discipline the total cost growth was limited to 7 pct. and amounted to a total of euro 551,1 million.

The company achieved a positive net result of euro 0,6 million compared to a loss of euro 36,7 million in 2002.

“In two years time and despite the worst ever market conditions for the aviation industry we turned SN Brussels Airlines into a profitable company”, says Executive Chairman Rob Kuijpers. “I would like to thank all staff and clients for this result. We continue to create a solid base for the further development of SN Brussels Airlines.”

SN Brusssels Airlines welcomed more than 3,273 million passengers on its own flights and on the flights operated by its codeshare partners. The load factor increased from 49,8 percent in 2002 to 57,3 percent in 2003.

The airline offered at the end of the year almost 300 regular flights a day to 54 European, 14 African destinations and transatlantic services to the States in partnership with American Airlines (22 destinations).

All these activities were realised by 1.977 employees. 110 new employees joined the company in 2003.

SN Brussels Airlines further increased its market share.

According to the official statistics of the Association of European Airlines, SN ended the year as Europe’s second most punctual airline.

The European network welcomed 2.6 million passengers. This is an increase of 6 pct compared to 2002 in market environment without growth. The European load factor was up with 4,4 points. Highlight was the introduction of new own operated flights to Tel Aviv, Casablanca, Budapest, London Gatwick. As a consequence of the contract termination with Virgin Express own operated flights to Nice, Barcelona, Madrid and Rome were introduced.

Thanks to new codeshare agreements with other airlines the network offer grew significantly. In the course of 2003 code share agreements were signed with British Airways, Iberia, Alitalia, Maersk, TAP Air Portugal, Portugalia, Croatia Airlines, Hellas Jet, Ukraine Int’l and Cyprus Airways. These partnerships allowed SN to expand the already dense European network with Southampton, Billund, Lisbon, Oporto, Zagreb, Split, Athens, Kiev, Larnaca and Paphos. In December 2003, the daily flights between Brussels and Paris were replaced by a Thalys highspeed train connecting Paris Nord Railway station with Zaventem Airport.

The African network, created in Spring 2002, was for the first time fully operated in 2003. Despite the unstable situation in Monrovia and Ivory Coast, the results were excellent. More than 331.000 passengers (plus 80 pct.) were welcomed on board of the 3 Airbus 330-300 aircraft. This resulted in a load factor growth of 11,4 percent points. 7,6 million kg cargo and mail was transported to Africa, and more than 10 million kg was transported northbound from Africa to Europe.In December a new route to Mombassa (Kenya) was opened.

Since May 2003 SN Brussels Airlines offers its clients direct flights to the United States thanks to a partnership with the world’s largest airline American Airlines. SN actively sold tickets on the daily direct Brussels-Chicago services and on 21 destinations beyond in the US. The partnership with American Airlines resulted also in extra passengers for the African flights.

2004 will be very busy for SN Brussels Airlines. The airline will fine tune its network further connecting the capital of Europe. On the first of March Istanbul was added to the network. Since the beginning of the month SN Brussels Airlines also connects Geneva with Marseille. Direct services to Moscow and St-Petersburg will be inaugurated end of March. As of the 17th of May SN will fly five times a week to Oporto. One day earlier, the 16th of May, a new daily transatlantic service Brussels – New York will start in partnership with American Airlines.

This spring all passengers will enjoy several product enhancements highlighting once more the full service of SN Brussels Airlines: new ‘Brussels Bistro’ catering in economy class, new first class style catering for business class passengers longhaul.

“We are confident about the 2004 results”, says Chief Executive Officer Peter Davies. “We continue to build on the base of our success. There are signs that the global economy is beginning to improve and that the consumer confidence is growing slowly again.Both elements are important for sustainable growth and profit.”

About SN Brussels Airlines:
SN Brussels Airlines is the new Belgian full-service airline based in Brussels offering its customers a gateway to Europe, Africa and the States. The company, which employs more than 1.950 people, guarantees more than 300 punctual flights a day to 54 European and 14 African cities, as well as 1 direct daily flight between Brussels and Chicago and 22 US destinations beyond. As from Spring 2004 a daily connection Brussels – New York JFK will be offered as well. SN Brussels Airlines’ modern fleet consists of 38 aircraft configured in business and economy class. SN Brussels Airlines has commercial partnerships with world-class companies. As from 14 December SN Brussels Airlines also offers a daily high-speed train service ‘Thalys’ between Brussels / Zaventem Airport and Paris Nord Railway station.

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