Lufthansa Cargo, Europe's biggest scheduled airfreight carrier, said cargo volume in October plunged nearly 10 percent from a year ago, more than twice the rate of decline at its closest rivals, Air France-KLM and British Airways.
Lufthansa blamed a "faltering economy" for the 9.9-percent slide in volume to 150,000 metric tons in October that followed an 11.4-percent retreat on-year in September. Cargo volume for the year to Oct. 31in the first ten months of 2008 was still 4.2-percent higher than in the same period in 2007 at 1.44 million tons.
Lufthansa raised cargo capacity by 2 percent in October but revenues were off 4.2 percent and the load factor, or capacity utilization, was down four percentage points at 65 percent.
Volume on North and South America routes tumbled 14.8 percent to 48,000 tons in October but was up 6.9 percent at 471,000 tons through October as Lufthansa boosted capacity by almost a quarter from 2007 levels.
Asia/Pacific traffic was flat in October at 47,000 tons but 8.2-percent higher in the first 10 months at 440,000 tons.
Air France-KLM reported cargo volume in October fell 4.4 percent from the same month in 2007 and British Airways' freight traffic declined 4.2 percent.