Air France-KLM’s cargo operating losses more than tripled to 222 million euros ($293 million) in 2012 from 60 million euros a year earlier even as Europe’s largest scheduled freight airline cut capacity in line with falling global traffic.
The Franco-Dutch carrier’s strategy started to pay dividends in the final quarter as it trimmed the loss to 25 million euros from break- even in the same period in 2011.
Full-year cargo revenue slipped 2.7 percent to 3.1 billion euros, but fourth quarter sales declined by just 1.4 percent to 791 million euros.
Traffic declined 5.9 percent on 5.6 percent less capacity in the fourth quarter, leaving the load factor down just 0.2 percentage points at 67.4 percent.
The Air France-KLM group, Europe’s largest airline, narrowed its operating loss to 300 million euros from 353 million a year earlier as it cut 3,300 jobs and froze passenger capacity to boost load factors and fares, particularly on North Atlantic routes.
Chief Financial Officer Philippe Calavia declined to give an earnings forecast for 2013. “The context is too uncertain,” he said.