Air France-KLM blamed a weak global economy and the timing of the Chinese New Year for cargo revenue slumping 10.3 percent in January from a year ago.
Europe’s largest scheduled cargo airline trimmed capacity by 6 percent from January 2010, limiting the decline in the load factor to 3 percentage points to 61.4 percent.
Asia-Pacific was the worst performing region as the ongoing effects of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami contributed to a 15.8 percent drop in traffic on a 15.2 percent cut in capacity, leaving the load factor down 1.2 points at 63.9 percent. Traffic shrunk 10.1 percent on the previously resilient Americas network on 4.4 percent less capacity, which trimmed the load factor by 4.4 points to 63.9 percent.
Cargo shipments were disrupted for a second day today as a strike by Air France pilots, cabin crew and ground workers forced the cancellation of around 15 percent of long-haul fights and 25 percent of medium-haul services.
The strike, planned to run through Feb. 9, is to protest planned legislation that would oblige all employees to give 48 hours notice of strike action to allow airlines to gauge the impact on cargo and passengers.
International Airlines Group, the merged BA-Iberia carrier, reported a 0.9 percent increase in January cargo traffic from a year ago, a strong performance at the U.K. airlines outweighed by the impact of a five-day pilots strike at its Spanish partner. Iberia’s traffic was down 7.4 percent from January 2010 as it cancelled about 35 percent of flights, while BA’s volume was up 3.4 percent.
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