Air France-KLM’s cargo traffic declined 6.9 percent, year-over-year, during the second quarter of 2012, a decrease that is in line with the carrier’s 6.5 percent, year-over-year, plunge in freight volumes from January to June. To compensate for these declines, AF-KLM slashed capacity by 3 percent, year-over-year, during the second quarter.
From a six-month perspective, the carrier offered 2.5 percent less freight space in the first half of 2012 than in January-to-June 2011. Unfortunately, AF-KLM’s capacity-reduction measures couldn’t offset the level of space utilization, with cargo load factor falling 2.8 percent, year-over-year, to 64.5 percent, during the first half of 2012. The carrier’s freight load factor totaled 64.1 percent during the second quarter, according to a press release.
Such declines contributed to AF-KLM Cargo’s operating loss of €62 million during the second quarter — a much steeper decline than the €14 million loss the freight carrier posted during the second quarter of 2011. Cargo revenue also slid in the second quarter, falling 4.4 percent, year-over-year, to €764 million. In a press release, AF-KLM blamed these declines on the “weak global trading environment” and staggering fuel prices.
Despite these challenges, the carrier’s passenger business performed particularly well during the second quarter, with traffic and capacity rising 2.4 percent and 0.3 percent, year-over-year, respectively. Still, AF-KLM’s net loss grew to €895 million during the second quarter from – €197 million in the second quarter of 2011. The carrier explained in the press release that this loss is partially attributable to the €368 charge it incurred from payments related to AF-KLM’s more than 5,000 planned job cuts.
Jean-Cyril Spinetta, chairman of AF-KLM’s board of directors, defended these cuts, calling them essential to profitability. “In an increasingly uncertain global economic environment, compounded by oil price and exchange-rate volatility, an improvement in our productivity and costs is even more necessary,” he said in a statement.
“Along with the board, I’m pleased that the majority of the group’s employees are understanding and supportive of this demanding recovery plan,” Spinetta continued.