It is no secret that Europe has not enjoyed the economic recovery seen elsewhere in the world, but despite the tough economic conditions that have kept its rivals in negative territory, and in the face of continuing strikes by pilots, Lufthansa reported increased cargo traffic in November. Compare the details below to Air France-KLM and IAG.
Lufthansa Cargo reported November traffic up 1.4% y-o-y to 822 million RTKs. This does not sound like something to be excited about, given that worldwide cargo traffic for the month is likely to be up about 5%, but Lufthansa’s result comes despite ongoing strikes by pilots. Absent the strikes, the growth in traffic would likely have been significantly higher, and the result represents a turnaround from the disappointing performance so far this year. For the Lufthansa Group as a whole, November cargo traffic was up 2.3% to 969 million RTKs. On a regional basis, Group cargo traffic was up 4.6% to 423 million RTKs on the trans-Atlantic lane, down marginally (0.3%) to 426 million RTKs on the Asia-Pacific lane, and up 8.0% to 85 million RTKs on the Middle East/Africa lane. For the first eleven months of 2014, Lufthansa Cargo’s traffic was down 1.2% to 7.94 billion RTKs, while Group cargo traffic was down 0.2% to 9.43 billion RTKs.
Air France-KLM continued to report declining cargo traffic, with November down 3.6% % y-o-y to 859 million RTKs. The decline was the result of an 8.5% drop in traffic to/from the Asia Pacific region to 325 million RTKs, while traffic on the trans-Atlantic lane was down 0.8% to 358 million RTKs. For the first eleven months of 2014, AF-KLM’s cargo traffic was down 2.3% to 9.03 billion RTKs.
International Airlines Group reported November cargo traffic down 7.7% y‑o‑y to 492 million RTKs. The result was driven down by an 11.1% drop in cargo traffic at subsidiary carrier British Airways to 393 million RTKs. We point out that BA terminated the leases of three 747-8Fs in April of this year, cutting its capacity substantially. IAG’s other subsidiary carrier, Iberia, reported its September cargo traffic up 8.8% to 99 million RTKs. For the year through November, IAG’s cargo traffic was down 3.5% to 5.00 billion RTKs.