Subdued half year for Lufthansa

Lufthansa’s group cargo volumes fell 3.1 per cent in the first six months of 2014 to 932,000 tonnes in a “subdued” freight market for the German carrier’s airline businesses which include Lufthansa Cargo, Swiss and Austrian Airlines.
In its half-year financial review, Lufthansa said: “The global cargo business was more subdued than the passenger business in the first half-year. Revenue tonne-kilometres climbed 4.4 per cent year on year in the first five months of 2014.
“As in passenger traffic, there were regional disparities. The volumes of freight providers from the Middle East grew by 10.6 per cent, those from Europe by 4.1 per cent and those from North America by 1.8 per cent.”
The Lufthansa Cargo segment saw a 3.8 per cent decline in half year volumes to 807,000 tonnes as revenues fell 4.8 per cent to €1.2 billion at the business which includes airfreight container specialist Jettainer and the equity investment with DHL in the cargo airline Aerologic.
Available tonne-kilometres at Lufthansa Cargo for the half year were reduced by 2.1 per cent and cargo tonne-kilometres fell by 1.9 per cent. The cargo load factor went up by 0.1 percentage points compared with the first half of 2013. Average yields fell slightly by 2.9 per cent.
The airline stated: “Although global demand for airfreight picked up slightly in the first half of 2014, traffic at Lufthansa Cargo remained at the same level as last year and was therefore below the expectations at the beginning of the year.
“The company continued its policy of adjusting capacities to maximise load factors. Thanks to its flexible and demand-oriented management of freighter capacities, Lufthansa Cargo was able to keep the cargo load factor at a high level of 70.1 per cent.”
Lufthansa Cargo recorded a “significant downturn” of 11.2 per cent in cargo traffic for Middle East/Africa. While sales to and from Egypt went up again, volumes in the two other primary markets, South Africa and Kenya, went down.
Only the Asia/Pacific region was able to report higher tonnage. Freight volumes increased by 1.2 per cent in this traffic region, although capacity was cut by 1.7 per cent.
Cargo volumes in the Americas traffic region dropped by 1.6 per cent year on year, and freight volumes within Europe fell by 7.8 per cent.
Lufthansa said that additional measures to cut costs and boost revenue will be implemented over the remainder of the year.
“The marketing of lucrative express products will be expanded, among other things. In particular, the use of the efficient Boeing 777F will cut costs significantly. Close cooperation with the Japanese airline ANA has been announced for the future.”

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