Lufthansa Cargo boosted traffic by a modest 1.6 percent in December from a year ago, but this was sufficient to end 2011 up 5 percent year-over-year and hit record tonnage.
The German all-cargo carrier’s freight revenue grew 2.4 percent in December on 2.1 percent less capacity, which lifted the load factor by 3.1 percentage points to 71.7 percent.
The carrier said an 8.6 percent in capacity 2011 was due mainly to the integration of the belly capacity of Austrian Airlines and the expansion to eight 777 freighters in the fleet of the Autologic joint venture with DHL express. Cargo revenue increased 6.5 percent on 2010.
“Especially in our German home market, we made full use of strong export demand to grow market shares,” said Lufthansa Cargo CEO Karl Ulrich Garnadt.
“On the other hand, the economic climate in the important Asian air freight market became increasingly bleak over the course of the year and led to over capacities and increased competition for all airlines.”
Garnadt is “cautiously optimistic” for 2012 but said the outlook is crucially dependent on a final court ruling, expected in March, on the current ban on night flights at Lufthansa Cargo’s Frankfurt hub.
The Lufthansa group, which also includes Swisscargo, increased cargo traffic by 1.3 percent in December and 4.8 in 2011.
The Americas was the best performing region in December with traffic up 7.3 percent, while revenue was 8.7 percent higher on 5.9 percent more capacity. For the full year traffic was up 9.6 percent.
The Asia-Pacific network, by contrast, saw traffic shrink 6.9 percent in December and decline 2.9 percent .
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