Johannesburg - Domestic and regional airline SA Express increased its net profit by 10% to R250m for the financial year ended March 2010. This was achieved despite the tough operating environment, primarily caused by low passenger numbers due to the volatile economic conditions.Sikhumbuzo Zulu, Chief Financial Officer of the airline, said the airline's adherence to its stringent cost control measures ensured that operating expenditure was contained and that efficiencies in the business maintained.Although SA Express was affected by the 2% decline in domestic passenger numbers on an industry level, the 3% increase in regional traffic further entrenched the airline's strategy of expanding in the region.In addition to its lucrative Johannesburg-Lubumbashi route, SA Express launched Congo Express in February 2010. The airline owns 49% of Congo Express which, in its first phase, operates between Lubumbashi and Kinshasa. CEO Inati Ntshanga said SA Express plans to continue with its regional expansion strategy - the success of the Johannesburg-Lubumbashi route highlights the demand for regional air travel.The airline has increased its modern fleet from 23 to 25, resulting in an increase of seven hours aircraft utilisation. Looking forward, the airline aims to continue to build on its current strategy, remain competitive and seize the myriad of opportunities in the industry. SA Express recently announced Ntshanga as its current CEO, succeeding Siza Mzimela, who is currently Chief Executive at SAA.