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SWISS reports CHF 30.7 million operating result for the first-quarter period


SWISS International Air Lines navigates a challenging Q1 with a CHF 30.7 million operating result. Focus shifts to enhancing service reliability and punctuality for the upcoming summer travel season.

SWISS achieved an operating result (Adjusted EBIT) of CHF 30.7 million for the first three months of 2024, in what is traditionally a very challenging quarter for the air transport sector. The result is some CHF 48 million below comparable first-quarter earnings for 2023, for reasons which include lower yields, weaker cargo business and higher costs, especially in terms of personnel expense. SWISS has set itself the prime goal of providing both reliable and punctual air services in the coming summer months. It has launched a companywide programme to this end, and is also working closely and intensively with all the partners involved.

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) has reported an operating result (Adjusted EBIT) of CHF 30.7 million for the seasonally weak first quarter of 2024. The result is some CHF 48 million below the prior-year period (Q1 2023: CHF 78.4 million). Total first-quarter revenues for 2024 amounted to CHF 1.2 billion, up 8.1 per cent on their prior-year level.

“As anticipated, the exceptional market conditions that our industry experienced immediately after the pandemic have continued to fade,” explains SWISS Chief Financial Officer Markus Binkert. “Demand for travel remains high. But many airlines have further increased their capacities. This is tending to bring yields down from their prior-year levels – at our company, too. We have also seen a sizeable weakening in our air cargo business, which benefited from particularly strong tailwinds during COVID times.”

SWISS’s first-quarter earnings were also reduced by rising costs. In addition to the adverse effects of inflation and higher fuel prices, a rise in personnel costs was particularly felt as the terms of the new collective labour agreements for cockpit and cabin personnel were reflected in staff expense.

“Given that the first quarter of the year tends to be one of the weaker ones for seasonal reasons, we are satisfied with this earnings result,” CFO Binkert continues. “Our business has returned to normality at a high level. For our full-year results, though, the next two seasonally strong quarters will be key.”

Focus on stability and punctuality in the peak travel season

Having delivered a solid business and operating performance over the Easter period, SWISS is now preparing for the busy summer travel months. In doing so, the company is putting customer satisfaction firmly centrestage.

“Last year we were Europe’s stablest airline,” CEO Dieter Vranckx explains. “We want to be so this summer, too, and offer our customers the kind of reliability that they should be able to expect from us. For a premium airline like ours, though, stability alone is not enough. So this year we aim to substantially improve our flights’ punctuality as well, in collaboration with our partners. To this end we have launched a companywide programme that is firmly focused on the satisfaction of our customers. We’re already working intensively on this, and are developing a wide range of actions to help us achieve these objectives.”

Passenger volume growth

SWISS transported some 3.7 million passengers in the first three months of 2024 – just under 17 per cent more than in the same period last year. Almost 31,000 flights were operated in the period, a 14.5-per-cent increase on the first quarter of 2023. Systemwide, first-quarter production was raised 11.6 per cent in available-seat-kilometre terms. Total first-quarter traffic volume, measured in revenue passenger-kilometres, was up 11.3 per cent. Systemwide seat load factor for the first-quarter period stood at 80.7 per cent, down 0.2 percentage points from its prior-year level.

Vicky Karantzavelou
Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | Website

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.