American Airlines Cargo on the up in Q4

American Airlines managed to reverse a run of seven straight quarterly declines in cargo revenues at the end of last year thanks to a later surge in demand and improving airfreight rates.
The US carrier saw fourth quarter cargo revenues increase by 1% year on year to $194m, which is the first time it has registered an increase compared with the previous year since the fourth quarter of 2014.
The improvement in fourth quarter revenues comes after the airline saw fourth quarter traffic increase by 12% to 670m cargo ton miles (CTM).

As well as improving market conditions in the fourth quarter, the airline has been expanding its international network in line with a fleet upgrade.
The airline also recorded demand improvements in the second and third quarter – of 2.5% and 5.6%, respectively.
Although airfreight rates improved in general during the final quarter of the year, it appears American’s revenue growth was largely down to the traffic improvement as the airline was still taking less per mile than a year ago.

In 2015, the airline was generating 32.07 cents per CTM during the fourth quarter, while this year that figure stood at 28.89 cents.
The news was not quite so positive for the full year as revenues declined by 7.9% compared with 2015 levels to $700m.
Traffic improved by 4.7% to 2.4bn CTM and cents per CTM slipped to 28.89 from 32.84.
American’s cargo revenue and traffic figures for the year also compare favourably with Delta Air Lines, which registered a 17.8% decline in revenues to $668m, while traffic was down 9.5% to 2bn CTM.

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