Air France KLM sees cargo revenues improve despite volume decline

By Damian Brett

The Air France KLM Group (AFKLMP) continued to see an improvement in cargo revenues during the third quarter despite a decline in volumes.

The airline group registered 31.7% year-on-year increase in cargo revenues during the quarter, while cargo volumes dropped 20% compared with last year to 220,000 tons.

As a result of the coronavirus, cargo capacity for the period was down by 33.3% to 2,537m available tonne kms and the cargo load factor improved by 13.4 percentage points to 68.4%.

AFKLMP said that the reduction in cargo capacity was primarily driven by the reduction in belly capacity of passenger aircraft, partly offset by the increase of the full freighters’ capacity and ‘mini cargo flights’ – passenger aircraft carrying only cargo.

On the demand side, worldwide airfreight volumes are down due to Covid-19 crisis but are expected to rebound “to 90 to 95% of pre Covid-19 levels in 2021”, the group said.

Adriaan den Heijer, executive vice president of Air France-KLM Cargo, said: “We continued to demonstrate our commitment to the industry in the third quarter by offering an extensive network of full freighter aircraft and passenger belly capacity, spanning freight routes to more than 95 long-haul destinations.

“We couldn’t have done this without the commitment of our loyal customers, partners and our great teams. We will do our utmost to make these efforts a success while ensuring the continuity of our operations and the health of our staff.”

The group also pointed out that is making preparations for the launch of a Covid-19 vaccine: “Air France KLM Martinair Cargo is preparing itself, together with other directly involved partners, for the future transport of Covid-19 vaccines.

“This includes expansion of handling facilities, improved monitoring and intervention management, strategic partnerships with pharmaceutical container suppliers and many more activities. We have created a Covid-19 Task Force to ensure that we can successfully execute this logistics challenge from an airfreight perspective.”

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