First half cargo demand up at IAG and Finnair but down for Lufthansa and AF KLM
04 / 08 / 2016
Major European airlines’ cargo divisions have had a mixed first half of the year, with Air France KLM and Lufthansa recording demand declines while increases were registered for IAG Cargo and Finnair.
The monthly statistics released by airlines has revealed that at the half way point of 2016, Europe’s largest cargo carrier, Lufthansa, saw its cargo demand decline by 2.5% year on year to 4.8bn revenue cargo tonne km (RCTK).
In June, the German carrier recorded a 2% demand decline to 829m RCTK. It has now registered demand declines in five of the first six months of the year.
To counteract lower demand, Lufthansa Cargo has taken two freighters out of service this year but this hasn’t offset capacity additions elsewhere in the business.
Capacity during the month was up again in June and as a result its load factor for June stood at 63.8% compared with 65.8% a year earlier.
The cargo division also remained in the red during the first quarter of the year and has announced plans to reduce employee numbers by as much as 800 people.
The largest demand decline recorded during the first quarter came from Air France KLM, which registered a 7.5% slip in traffic to 4.1bn RCTK.
In June, demand was down by 9.4% on a year earlier to 680m RCTK. It has been taking steps to mitigate demand weakness and it retired on MD-11 freighter during the first quarter, with a second taken out of action in July.
Despite this move, its load factor for June was 57.2% compared with 60% a month earlier. Yesterday, the cargo division reported a first-half operating loss of €106m.
IAG Cargo, on the other hand, has managed to record an increase in demand during the first half of the year, thanks to its parent company’s acquisition of Aer Lingus.
The cargo business of Iberia, British Airways and Aer Lingus saw first half demand increase by 1.8% year on year to 2.6bn freight tonne km, while June demand was up 3.1% on a year earlier.
However, if the June figures are adjusted to take into account the acquisition of Aer Lingus, the increase was by the lower amount of 0.2%.
IAG will be reporting its 2016 half year results tomorrow Friday (July 29).
The airline recording the largest growth of those monitored in the monthly report was Finnair, which saw demand increase by 15.3% year on year during the first six months to 427m FTK.
In June, the Finnish airline saw demand increase by 15.7% which outstripped capacity additions of 10.8%.
Its cargo load factor for the month stood at 60.7% compared with 58.1% during June 2015.
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.
It has registered demand increases in each of the months so far.