DUTCH CHARTER carrier Transavia Airlines reports a steep slide in profits for its last financial year, blaming the slump on a stagnant Dutch holiday market and a resultant dip in yields.

President Peter Legro, announcing the results at the airline's base in Schiphol Airport, reported that operating profits were down to DFl4.5 million ($2.6 million) for its year to the end of March 1996. Twelve months ago, operating profits had been nearly four times higher at DFl16 million.

The drop comes despite a 14% rise in passenger numbers, to reach a new record of 2.3 million, with a quarter of those on the airline's growing scheduled business. Sales revenues have also grown by 7%, to DFl552 million, largely because of operations in France, Germany and Italy. The gains were wiped out, however, by an 8% drop in yields.

Net profits came in at DFl17.6 million, after gains on three ageing Boeing 737-200s. Transavia now operates a fleet of ten 737-300s and three Boeing 757s, but has ordered eight 737-800s, with an option on another 12. The aim is to expand the fleet to 30 aircraft by 2002.

Legro says that the decision to replace the older 737-200s has been made on noise grounds. He adds that Schiphol, where a fifth runway will soon be operational, could grow to accommodate 44 million passengers a year, but may be stopped short of that expansion because of noise limits.

Source: Flight International