European cargo monthly: Demand slips in June

Cargo traffic at some of Europe’s major combination carriers declined in June, a reflection of the strong market this time last year and a general slowdown in trade on major lanes.
Europe’s largest cargo carrier group, Lufthansa, saw cargo traffic across its airlines decline by 0.6% in June to 913m revenue cargo tonne kms.
With capacity increasing faster than demand, its cargo load factor also suffered, slipping to 65% from 68.8% during June last year.
It is the first time this year that the airline has seen cargo traffic decline and over the first half demand is up by 2.9%.
IATA said demand growth at European airlines has slowed over recent months, reflected in a slowdown in North American and Asian trade lanes.
There was a similar performance at IAG Cargo where traffic declined by 4.3% year on year in June to 458m cargo tonne kms, led by a decline at British Airways.
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This is the biggest year-on-year percentage decline registered by the airline group so far in 2018, while traffic over the first six months has declined by 0.6%.
It should be pointed out that last June was particularly strong for the airline as demand for fidget spinners, new services and IT issues in June propelled it to a double-digit percentage increase.
In contrast, Air France KLM saw cargo demand increase during the month, with a 3.2% year-on-year increase pushing traffic to 723m revenue tonne kms.
This is the airline group’s biggest traffic increase of the year so far and compares to a decline of 1.4% over the first six months of 2018.
Over recent years the airline has been reducing its freighter fleet, which has had an impact on year-on-year comparisons.
Finally, Finnair saw its cargo volumes decline by 0.5% in June to 88 revenue tonne kms, while capacity increased by 19% due to the use of larger aircraft.
As a result, its cargo load factor slipped to 60.3% compared with 71.8% this time last year.
“Cargo flight volumes decreased from the comparison period, when Finnair rented cargo space from Japan Airlines,” the airline said.
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