A rise in yield or a loss of market share

REBUILDING load factor and yield is the focus at Air France-KLM Cargo, as the carrier lags behind its Asian rivals in traffic performance, but reports continued improvement in unit revenues.In December, the group’s traffic, as measured in freight tonne kilometres, was down 8.5 per cent year-on-year, while in November it was down 14.7 per cent. In both cases the falls were in comparison with already bad results in 2008, when traffic was down 13.2 per cent in November and 20.4 per cent in December over the previous year.In comparison with 2007, Air France-KLM has in fact gone backwards in recent months. Comparing the same months in 2009 and 2007, it was down 1.1 per cent in October, 5.5 per cent in November and eight per cent in December. The fall is in fact much worse than that because the 2009 figures include the traffic of Martinair, which accounted for 20 per cent of total group cargo traffic when it was taken over by Air France-KLM at the end of 2008.Meanwhile IATA figures show that cargo traffic at European carriers was 17.7 per cent down year-on-year in November, against a global average of 12.7 per cent.However, Marc Baan (right), vice-president marketing for Air France-KLM Cargo, says the traffic figures only tell part of the story. He points to the fact that while group cargo capacity was down 19.4 per cent year-on-year in December, traffic was down only 8.5 per cent. In November, the capacity fall was 19.1 per cent, while traffic was down just 14.7 per cent.For the full story read the latest issue of Air Cargo News, dated 29 January. To subscribe, click on ‘Subscribe’ above.

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