airBaltic: 7-8% of planes fully oc­cu­pied in sum­mer months

Baltic News Network - - News -

In sum­mer months 7-8% of pas­sen­ger air­craft of Lat­vian na­tional airBaltic air­line are fully oc­cu­pied, says airBaltic CEO Martin Gauss.

He says av­er­age pas­sen­ger load fac­tor was 70-75% in sum­mer. This can be ex­plained with much lower in­dexes dur­ing the win­ter sea­son. The air­line’s goal is reach­ing pas­sen­ger load fac­tor at 80%, but no higher than that. «Statis­tics show that if pas­sen­ger load fac­tor ex­ceeds 82%, the num­ber of pas­sen­gers who are left out also in­creases, which is some­thing we want to avoid. Of course, in­creas­ing av­er­age pas­sen­ger load fac­tor also means more air­craft with 80-90% load fac­tor,» ex­plains Gauss. airBaltic CEO says ev­ery air­line has its own pol­icy in re­la­tion to over­loaded flights. «Such sit­u­a­tions ap­pear be­cause some pas­sen­gers never ar­rive for their flights. airBaltic’s ap­proach, it seems, works rather well, be­cause it has been a long time since we’ve heard com­plaints from pas­sen­gers left out from flights. We also ben­e­fit from the fact that our av­er­age pas­sen­ger load fac­tor is not as high as other low-cost air­lines,» says Gauss. He says more than 90% of seats for more than half of airBaltic flights in sum­mer months. 7-8% of all flights were filled 100%. «If all seats are booked and all pas­sen­gers ar­rive for their flights, we may ex­pe­ri­ence over­load,» adds Gauss.

Ac­cord­ing to him, in such cases airBaltic al­ways tries find­ing vol­un­teers who would be fine de­part­ing later. «For ex­am­ple, if pas­sen­gers pay EUR 69 for a flight, and are of­fered EUR 250 to depart later, many peo­ple agree to trans­fer to a dif­fer­ent flight. There are very few sit­u­a­tions when pas­sen­gers are not de­liv­ered to their de­sired des­ti­na­tions, which we com­pen­sate in ac­cor­dance with EU re­quire­ments. If we do not act hon­estly, there will be a lot of press cov­er­age in the me­dia. There is no air­line in the world that would want re­ports or video footage of pas­sen­gers be­ing pushed off their flights,» said airBaltic CEO.

Com­ment­ing on whether or not other air­lines be­have sim­i­larly, he said ev­ery air­line has its own ap­proach. Nev­er­the­less, at in­ter­na­tional air­ports, es­pe­cially dur­ing sum­mer, air­lines can be heard an­nounc­ing re­quests for vol­un­teers. «Many air­lines do this, but the ques­tion is com­pen­sat­ing pas­sen­gers for in­con­ve­niences,» added Gauss.

He also al­lows that low-cost air­lines may have an eas­ier time deal­ing with such sit­u­a­tions and find­ing vol­un­teers. «If you have an air­plane full of busi­ness­men, and each of them paid EUR 1,000 for their seats, no one will agree to wait four hours for a EUR 300 com­pen­sa­tion. Young­sters most of­ten agree to depart later be­cause the com­pen­sa­tion usu­ally cov­ers their travel ex­penses. Sit­u­a­tions differ de­pend­ing on fre­quency of flights to spe­cific des­ti­na­tions,» said airBaltic CEO. airBaltic con­cern earned EUR 353.639 mil­lion last year, which is 19.6% more than the year be­fore. The air­line’s rev­enue reached EUR 4.703 mil­lion.

AirBaltic ser­vices di­rect flights from Riga to more than 70 des­ti­na­tions around the world, in­clud­ing Scan­di­navia, Europe, Rus­sia, CIS and the Mid­dle East. The air­line also of­fers di­rect flights from Tallinn and Vil­nius.

Ieva Leiniša/LETA

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Latvia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.