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European Airlines Suffer As Freight Demand Tails Off

European Airlines Suffer As Freight Demand Tails Off

European Airlines have been hit by a decreasing demand for cargo over the course of the last month.

Both Lufthansa and Air France KLM were among those to register a fall in freight demand, despite reporting year on year increased in demand back in April.

Other companies who posted an increase in April were Finnair and IAG Group, but analyst ‘World ACD’ issued a warning with the figures released that month.

The body said that the April figures were boosted by an extra weekend in the month, which is the busiest section of the week for cargo.

Air France KLM saw the biggest decrease in May, with the firm registering a decline in demand of 5.8% year on year to 698m revenue tonne km (RTK).

The company has reduced its cargo capacity, which has seen a 2.9% decrease from May last year, however this was not enough to prevent cargo load factors falling to 57.6% in comparison with the previous year’s 59.4%.

The airline this year plans to phase out the last of the MD-11Fs, along with the Air France Combis over the course of the next five years, which will result in a fleet of all cargo aircraft.

The fleet will include two B777Fs and four Boeing 747Fs, both of which are aircraft that are more ‘cargo friendly’, wide body machines.

Meanwhile, Lufthansa, the largest cargo carrier in Europe, recorded a decline of 2.7% to 827m revenue cargo tonne km in May.

The German airline’s capacity increased by 0.9% which means its cargo load factor now stands at 62.2% in comparison with 64.7% in the previous year.

This means that the company has now posted year on year declines in demand in four of the five months so far in 2016.

Elsewhere, the IAG Group (includes Iberia, Aer Lingus and British Airways) reported more positive news as it posted an increase in demand of 3.7% year on year to 453m cargo tonne km.

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