Lufthansa carried 20.5 percent more cargo in September than a year ago, easily outpacing its main European rivals Air France-KLM and British Airways as the carrier prepares to boost freighter services on key routes.
The airline’s freight tonnage reached 1.47 million metric tons in the first nine months of the year, an increase of 19.3 percent on the same period in 2009.
Air France-KLM boosted cargo traffic 6 percent in September on a 2.7 percent increase in capacity and British Airway shipments grew 1.4 percent measured in cargo tonne kilometers.
The independent Lufthansa Cargo unit boosted September volume 20.8 percent to 159,000 metric tons, for a nine-month increase of 19.4 percent to 1.3 million metric tons.
Cargo revenue soared 21.3 percent from a year ago on a 15.4 percent increase in capacity, pushing the cargo load factor up 3.3 percentage points to 68.3 percent.
Lufthansa’s strong gains have started leveling off on a month-to-month basis heading into the peak shipping season, however. Cargo traffic grew 1.7 percent from August to September, and with capacity also up the load factor remained unchanged from month to month.
The Lufthansa group's Americas traffic jumped 25.6 percent in September over the same month a year ago while the Asia -Pacific network increased traffic 21.7 percent.
Lufthansa Cargo will almost double the number of weekly MD -11 freighter flights to Japan to 12 — seven to Tokyo and five to Osaka — in the winter season starting this month thanks to “ongoing strong demand from manufacturing industry and new opportunities in an evolving competitive landscape.”
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