Czech Airlines (CSA) has joined the small group of European airlines which ended 2001 in the black, reporting a profit of around CKr260 million ($8 million), down from CKr408 million the year before.

Apart from the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, CSA blamed the fall in profits on lower economic growth in the USA and western Europe, plus strengthening of the Czech koruna against the euro and the dollar. Average load factor increased to 70.8%, aided by the airline's membership of the SkyTeam alliance.

CSA was less affected than other operators by 11 September as it operates a relatively low number of flights to North America. The number of passengers flown in 2001 totalled 2.87 million - up 16% compared to the year before - but freight transport decreased by about 2% to 16,000t.

The airline says it does not plan to expand its fleet before the end of the current year after putting its 20th Boeing 737 into service at the end of May, increasing its fleet to 31 aircraft.

Source: Flight International