Air France KLM Martinair Cargo (AFKLMP) saw revenues and demand decline in the first quarter of the year as the market slowdown affected performance. The Franco-Dutch airline group saw first-quarter cargo revenues decline by 26.1% year on year to €672m, while cargo traffic was down 11.8% on a year earlier to 1.6bn revenue ton-km.
The average load factor for the period was down 12 percentage points to 47.3% on the back of a 10.7% increase in capacity as a passenger – and therefore bellyhold – operations were ramped up following the Covid pandemic.
“After the first quarter last year the demand for air cargo decreased due to slower growth of global trade and the partial rebound of sea freight,” Air France KLM said. “The first quarter last year still showed an exceptionally strong demand.” It added: “The yield declined as well resulting in a decrease in unit revenue per available ton-km of almost 35% against a constant currency.”
Rival European carrier IAG Cargo also reported its first quarter results today, with revenues falling and traffic increasing. The increase in demand at IAG reflects the lack of freighter capacity at the disposal of the group, meaning it had more to gain from the restart of passenger operations than AFKLMP.
Lufthansa saw its cargo volumes decline by 3% – against AF KLM’s near 12% decline – as it took delivery of extra freighter capacity.