Air France-KLM’s cargo traffic stalled 5.5 percent, year-over-year, last month, on a capacity reduction of 1.6 percent. The carrier’s load factor also contracted in July, sliding 2.5 percent, year-over-year, to 61.6 percent, according to a press release. Trouble in the Asia-Pacific and the Americas — AF-KLM’s top regions for cargo — contributed greatly to these declines.
AF-KLM saw cargo revenue fall 6.9 percent, year-over-year, in the Asia-Pacific in July. The carrier also slashed capacity to the region last month, offering 8-percent less freight space than in July 2011.
These declines are even more dramatic than those witnessed during the first seven months of 2012, according to the press release. AF-KLM curbed cargo capacity to the Asia-Pacific by 6.9 percent, year-over-year, from January to July; freight volumes to the region subsequently took a hit during this period, slowing 5.6 percent, year-over-year. According to the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines’ June numbers, AF-KLM’s experiences aren’t out of the ordinary. The organization recorded a June cargo demand drop of 0.8 percent, year-over-year, and a year-over-year capacity decline of 1.4 percent.
AF-KLM’s cargo traffic to the Americas also lagged during the first seven months of 2012, with traffic stalling 7.6 percent, year-over-year, amid a 0.2 percent, year-over-year, capacity increase. The carrier’s July statistics showed a similar imbalance between supply and demand. Freight revenue to the Americas fell 3.9 percent, year-over-year, last month despite AF-KLM offering 2.8-percent more capacity than July 2011.
The carrier’s cargo volumes to Africa/the Middle East and the Caribbean/Indian Ocean regions also slid in July, falling 4.7 percent and 3.7 percent, year-over-year, respectively. AF-KLM actually upped capacity to the Caribbean/Indian Ocean region last month, however, offering 6.7 percent more cargo space than in July 2011. In contrast, the carrier curbed freight capacity to Africa/the Middle East by 0.5 percent, year-over-year, in July.
For at least one Middle Eastern carrier, though, July was a banner month. Etihad Cargo carried nearly 33,000 tonnes in July, a record monthly figure and an 18-percent, year-over-year, increase. The carrier’s previous tonnage record of 31,700 tonnes occurred in March. The carrier’s first-half results showed a tonnage increase of 21 percent over the same period last year.
From a seven-month perspective, AF-KLM saw freight revenues plunge 6.3 percent, year-over-year, from January to July, on 2.3 percent, year-over-year, capacity reduction. Load factor also slid during this period, dropping 2.7 percent from the first seven months of 2011.
Despite these declines, AF-KLM has seen strong passenger volumes in recent months. The carrier reported a 2.9 percent, year-over-year, hike in passenger traffic from January to July, with load factor surging 1.9 percent, year-over-year, to 82.9 percent.
These somewhat sour results aren’t limited to AF-KLM. In a report covering the first half of the year released last week, Lufthansa detailed a mediocre cargo market. For January to June 2012, capacity was down, year-over-year, by 0.8 percent, but total revenue-tonne kilometers stayed nearly flat, falling 0.2 percent when compared to the same period in 2011. Mail freight was down, year-over-year, by 7.8 percent.