International Airlines Group, the owner of the merged British Airways-Iberia carrier, boosted cargo traffic in September by 1.6 percent year-over-year as the Spanish airline’s growth compensated for the U.K. carrier’s flat performance.
The September increase bucked the downturn in the global air cargo market and was an improvement on a 2 percent on-year decline in August. But IAG cautioned that “indications for October point to a softer demand picture … in cargo.”
IAG’s cargo revenue grew 3.7 percent in September while capacity was up 4.2 percent from a year ago. The load factor declined 0.4 percentage points to 75.5 percent.
Iberia’s cargo traffic jumped 7.8 percent in September, reflecting the carrier’s strong position in the resilient South American market, while British Airways traffic was unchanged from last year.
This left traffic 5.3 percent higher in the first nine months of the year while revenues grew 7.2 percent on 8 percent more capacity.
British Airways World Cargo is due to take delivery of the first of three Boeing 747-8 freighters in late October. The aircraft, which are being wet leased from U.S.-based Atlas Air, will replace the current fleet of 747-400 freighters.
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