Air France-KLM’s freight volumes plunged 5.1 percent, year-over-year, in February, on a capacity increase of 0.8 percent. Such discrepancies led to a 4 percent, year-over-year, decline in load factor, which totaled 63.7 percent last month, according to a press release.
Regionally, Air France-KLM saw the biggest losses in the Americas, with revenue-tonne kilometers shrinking 12.5 percent, year-over-year, and load factor dropping 8 percent from February 2010. These numbers were partially offset by a 1.8-percent capacity reduction, however.
The carrier’s freight operations in Africa and the Middle East also declined in February. RTK in this region fell 8.7 percent, year-over-year, on a capacity decrease of 4 percent. Air France-KLM reported losses in Europe as well, highlighted by a 3 percent, year-over-year, RTK drop amid a 1.6 percent, year-over-year, capacity surge.
Not all regions experienced declines, however. Freight traffic in the Asia-Pacific and Caribbean/Indian Ocean grew 4.2 percent and 3 percent, year-over-year, respectively, in February, according to the press release.
On the passenger side, traffic surged 6.2 percent from February 2010. Regions of particular improvement included the African/Middle Eastern and European networks, with the Americas leading the way in growth. Traffic in the Caribbean and Indian Ocean also improved slightly, increasing 1.1 percent, year-over-year.
The carrier hopes the re-commencement of freight service to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport will help cargo volumes to follow suit. After a three-year hiatus, Air France-KLM Cargo will begin operating twice-weekly Boeing 747 freight flights to Atlanta from Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport on March 27.
The freight route is estimated to impact metro Atlanta and the Southeast’s economy by $8 million to $12 million, annually, according to a company press release.