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            september 20, 2019

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European cargo airlines report slow growth in 2018


European Cargo monthly data shows that major European cargo airlines saw freight traffic growth slow in 2018 in line with the general market slowdown.
Last year, both Air France KLM and Lufthansa saw their cargo volumes grow at lower levels than the previous year, while IAG registered a decline.
The result shouldn't be too surprising as the stellar year for growth the industry had in 2017 was always going to be difficult to repeat.
Lufthansa registered a 0.8 per cent increase in traffic last year to 10.9 billion revenue cargo tonne kms, which is down on the 7.4 per cent improvement it recorded in 2017, when the market enjoyed a resurgence thanks to inventory re-stocking and e-commerce growth.
The German carrier's average cargo load factor for the year was down to 66.4 per cent compared with 68.7per cent in 2017. In December, it registered a 0.4 per cent year-on-year increase in cargo traffic.
It was a similar story at Air France KLM where it saw cargo traffic increase by 0.7 per cent to 8.6 billion revenue tonne kms, which is behind 2017's 1.9 per cent improvement. Its load factor for the year stood at 60.3 per cent compared with 59.9 per cent in 2017 as it adjusted its freighter fleet during the year.
The Franco-Dutch carrier group enjoyed a stronger end to the year than Lufthansa as it saw demand increase by 1.3 per cent in December.
IAG had an even tougher year on the cargo front as it saw demand decrease by 0.9 per cent to 5.7 billion cargo tonne kms, with a decrease at British Airways offsetting improvements at Iberia and Aer Lingus.
Its performance was fairly even throughout the year with the final three months registering a cargo traffic decline of 0.7 per cent year on year. December registered an increase of 2.7 per cent.
Finnair saw cargo demand increase by 3.2 per cent year on year to 1 billion revenue tonne kms in 2018 as it continued the roll out of A350 widebody capacity on long-haul routes.
The year ended on a high for the Helsinki-hubbed carrier as it recorded an 11.2 per cent increase in cargo traffic for December. It said the end of year improvement was mostly driven by the strong cargo market development in Japan, western Europe and the Nordic markets, reports London's Air Cargo News.

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