Air cargo is mixed bag in June
Airlines in Europe and the United States experienced varied cargo numbers in June, but officials all agreed that the current cargo market is difficult.
Air France-KLM Martinair Cargo has continued its reduction in freighter capacity, dropping its measured capacity for June down by 9.4 percent compared to the same period in 2013.
On the whole, Air France’s cargo capacity declined 1.7 percent in June, year-over-year, and traffic dropped by 4.3 percent.
The carrier pointed to “persistently weak cargo demand” in the market as a reason for the declining numbers. This lackluster cargo activity is part of the reason Air France officials have modified their 2014 earnings outlook from 2.5 billion euros ($3.4 billion) to between 2.2 billion euros and 2.3 billion euros.
Reporting on the same day, Lufthansa Cargo said it saw a 6.9-percent reduction in cargo ton kilometers during June, and is 1.9-percent down during the first six months of the year compared to the same period in 2013. Capacity dropped 5.1 percent in June, and is down by 2.1 percent on the year. Lufthansa also reported that the number of cargo flights has dropped 16.1 percent this year and called the current market “a challenging environment.”
American Airlines carried 1.2-percent more cargo than in June 2013, seeing 193.419 million cargo ton miles route through its system. For the first six months of the year, the carrier achieved 9.1-percent growth, ending the period at 1.15 billion miles.
Last week, Delta officials said the airline carried 207.637 million cargo ton miles in June, a 5.9-percent increase, year-over-year. Delta’s six-month cargo total of more than 1.12 billion miles is off 2013’s growth pace by 0.9 percent.
In the most recent traffic report by the International Air Transport Association this month, the agency said European airlines grew their cargo activity by 3.4 percent in May, year-over-year, pointing out that "if GDP accelerates in the second quarter, that should support continued growth in air freight volumes in the coming months." Domestic airlines, it said, improved by 2.4 percent after a 3.5-percent growth rate in April. Overall, IATA found that worldwide cargo activity had expanded by 4.7 percent in May, year-over-year, and 4.4 percent during the first five months of the year.
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