‘Flat’ first nine months for Lufthansa Cargo
25 / 02 / 2015
Lufthansa Cargo’s transport figures remained flat in the first nine months of 2014, compared with a slight uptick in worldwide airfreight demand.
Freight and mail volumes at the German carrier fell 3.2 per cent to 1.2 million tonnes for the period from January to September.
The freight arm “did not meet the expectations anticipated at the beginning of the year,” said Lufthansa, adding: “The company continues to align its capacity strictly with the load factor, in order to stabilise income.”
The first nine months of 2014 for the Lufthansa Group, including cargo, were marred by strikes called by the Vereinigung Cockpit pilots’ union.
Revenue and earnings development revenue at Lufthansa Cargo contracted by 1.9 per cent year on year to E1.8bn in the first nine months of 2014, largely due to lower traffic revenue, down 2.0 per cent.
Only the Asia/Pacific region was able to report higher tonnage, up by just 0.9 per cent.
The Middle East/Africa region recorded a “significant downturn” in cargo volumes, with transported tonnage falling 8.9 per cent compared with the first nine months of 2013.
While sales to and from Egypt went up again, volumes in the two other primary markets for the region, South Africa and Kenya, were down “significantly”. Capacity was cut by 5.4 per cent.
Cargo volumes in the Americas dropped by 0.5 per cent year on year. Freight volumes within Europe fell by 7.3 per cent.
Other revenue at Lufthansa Cargo fell 2.4 per cent to E40 million, due mainly to lower income from aircraft charters.
The division’s cargo load factor was stable compared with 2013, contracting 0.2 percentage points to 69.1 per cent. Average yields remained “roughly stable”, with a 0.7 per cent decrease.
Lufthansa said that it continues to drive forward the SCORE cost reduction programme “with great determination”.
For cargo this means that “additional measures to cut costs and boost revenue will be implemented over the remainder of the year.
“The marketing of remunerative express products will be expanded, among other things. In particular, the use of the efficient Boeing 777F will cut costs significantly.”
In the first nine months, Lufthansa Cargo continued its 2020 programme, which includes a partial renewal of the fleet.
Lufthansa added: “The most visible signs of this are the four new Boeing777 freighters now flying for the company. Two of the older MD-11 freighters have been decommissioned in exchange, another has been retired and a fourth MD-11F will leave the fleet in the remainder of the year.”
Shanghai is the first key destination in Lufthansa Cargo’s global route network to be served by the new flagship, with daily flights taking place since the end of March.
Another “milestone” in the Lufthansa Cargo 2020 programme was the completion of negotiations with All Nippon Airways (ANA) for a strategic joint venture on routes between Europe and Japan.
As first joint venture of its kind in the global airfreight industry, ANA and Lufthansa Cargo will coordinate network planning, pricing, sales and handling on joint venture routes.
Lufthansa Group posted a nine-month operating profit of E 849 million and confirmed projected full-year operating profit of E1bn, with “substantial progress in reducing costs” across the company’s operating divisions.