Austrian Airlines has today announced its traffic results for 2019. While passenger numbers continue to rise, they ‘do not reflect’ the carriers financial figures, says CEO Alexis Van Hoensbroech.
Austrian Airlines reported a 5.1% increase in passenger numbers for the full year, totalling about 14.7 million. This represents an increase of approximately 800,000 passengers. The airline also recorded the highest capacity utilisation in its entire history. Austrian says its average load factor for the year stood at 80.8%.
Austrian Airlines CCO Andreas Otto said: “In over 60 years of company history, our planes have never been as full as in 2019 - and this despite strong competition in Vienna.”
Otto continued: “At the same time, the past year was challenging in terms of earnings. We will continue to work hard to strengthen our company. Austria needs a strong hub provider like us who can fly both short- and long-haul routes.”
However, according to Austrian Airlines CEO, Alexis von Hoensbroech, the positive traffic results do not match its financial figures. Hoensbroech tweeted: “Unfortunately, the traffic result does not reflect the financial result. Nevertheless: 800,000 more passengers in 2019 proves one thing: we are and will remain number 1 in Austria, I thank you all for your trust!”
The financial figures for the entirety of 2019 have, as of yet, not been published. However, the carrier had warned back in November that the possibility of a full-year loss cannot be ruled out. Austrian Airlines’ third quarter results showed a significant decline in earnings – from EUR110 million to EUR17 million. The airline put the losses down to heavy low cost competition in Vienna and rising fuel prices.
According to the carrier’s press releases, the first three quarters of 2019 saw low earnings and overall, disappointing financial figures.
The first quarter saw a loss of EUR99 million, however the carrier managed to climb back up into positive figures, reporting a EUR46 million profit for Q2. However, the airline described the latter as “insufficient to offset [the] Q1 loss.”
Overall, financially 2019 hasn’t been entirely good for Austrian Airlines. However, despite disappointing financial results, the carrier’s traffic figures show continuous improvement. If Austrian Airlines manages to turn around its operation into a more profitable model, the carrier could indeed become a leader within Europe’s aviation industry.