Lufthansa sees cargo business continue to improve in third quarter

Lufthansa’s cargo and logistics division saw revenues and operating profits continue to improve during the third quarter of the year as the market maintained its upward trend and the carrier offloaded two MD-11Fs.
The German airline’s logistics division, which includes Lufthansa Cargo, Jettainer, time:matters and an equity investment in AeroLogic, saw third-quarter revenues increase by 17.4% year on year to €594m.
Earnings before interest and tax (ebit) for the period improved to a profit of €21m compared with a €17m loss in 2016. It is the third quarter in a row that the logistics business has reported a profit after a run of seven quarters of losses.
The increase comes as the air cargo market continues to improve – IATA estimates cargo traffic has increased by around 10% this year – and the airline continues to benefit from its cost-cutting programme.
Overall cargo traffic at the group was up by 6.9% year on year during the quarter to 2.3bn cargo tonne kms (CTK), capacity was up by the lower amount of 1.4%, helping load factors increase to 67.4% from 63.9% last year.
Over the first nine months, cargo demand from the Asia Pacific region improved by 7.2% to 3bn CTK, there was a 6.7% improvement to 2.8bn CTK for the Americas, 3% at its Middle East business to 439m CTK and Europe reported a 0.1% decline to 251m CTK.
During the period, the airline sold two MD-11Fs that have been held for sale since 2016, while another de-commissioned MD-11F was re-activated due to good business performance.
The expansion of its cool centre continued to progress and its road feeder service for cool cargo was introduced.
It also continued with its strategic cost-cutting programme. Looking ahead, the company said it would continued to push for the digitisation of its logistics business and further extend partnerships, such as those established with ANA Cargo and United.

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