Lufthansa Cargo, IAG Cargo and Finnair all managed to record increases in freight demand during July
02 / 09 / 2016
Lufthansa Cargo, IAG Cargo and Finnair all managed to record increases in freight demand during July, while Air France KLM saw traffic decline.
Lufthansa saw cargo demand increase by 1.6% year on year during July to reach 854m revenue cargo tonne km. The largest increase was recorded on demand out of Asia Pacific, which increased 3.3%, while these was slight growth on traffic from the Americas but declines from the Middle East and Africa and Europe.
The improvement is only the second demand increase it has managed to record so far in 2016 and at the six-month mark, traffic was down by 2.5% on the 2015 level.
While there may have been good news for the German airline on the demand front during July, capacity increased by a higher – 4.7% − amount than demand despite the airline group’s decision to lay-up two freighters at the start of the year.
As a result its load factor slipped to 61.4% for the month compared with 63.3% during July 2015.
There was also an increase in demand recorded by IAG Cargo, which yesterday announced the launch of a new freighter service through its capacity partnership with DHL, thanks largely to its acquisition of Aer Lingus.
The Iberia and British Airways parent saw demand increase by 5.9% year on year to 447m cargo tonne km.
The demand increase was not solely attributable to the Aer Lingus acquisition as British Airways registered 2.1% improvement for the month and Iberia an 8.1% jump.
Finnair also continued its good run of demand improvements, with traffic up 12.7% year on year in July to 78.1m revenue tonne km.
It is the airlines seventh monthly increase in a row and its fourth double-digit improvement this year.
The airline is taking delivery of a series of Airbus 350-XWB aircraft that will result in a 50% increase in cargo capacity by 2020.
It will also open a new larger and state-of-the-art cargo handling facility at Helsinki Airport next year.
Capacity at the Helsinki-hubbed airline increased by 7.5% on last year, meaning its load factor reached 59% compared with 56.3% in July 2015.
Meanwhile, Air France KLM continued to have a tough time on the demand front. The Franco-Dutch airline group saw recorded a 6.7% decrease in demand to 700m revenue tonne km.
It has been taking steps to mitigate demand weakness and it retired an MD-11 freighter during the first quarter, with a second taken out of action in July.
July’s belly figures would also have been affected by a cabin crew strike running from July 27 until August 2.
The withdrawal of capacity helped reduce cargo space during the month, but this was not enough to stop load factors slipping to 55.5% compared with 57.6% in July last year.