European airlines' passenger traffic fell by 7.9 percent in March as carriers...
European airlines' passenger traffic fell by 7.9 percent in March as carriers offered fewer seats than in the year earlier month to counter a decline in travel after the September 11th attacks.
Capacity fell by 14.2 percent in March as load factor, or the proportion of seats filled, rose 5.2 percentage points to 76.9 percent, the AEA said in an e-mailed statement. Cargo traffic fell by nine and a half percent in March, it said.
European airlines usually pile on extra capacity in the northern summer, when they earn the bulk of their profit as more people travel. After the attacks on New York and Washington, they cut seating to match a fall in demand of as much as a third.
The figures were affected by the timing of this year's summer timetable. ?Last year, the final week of March was part of the summer timetable, with its increased volume of operations,? the statement said. ?This year, the whole month fell within the less- intensive winter schedule.?