Cargolux reported a net loss of $18.3 million in 2011 from a $59.8 million profit in 2010, as Europe’s largest all-cargo airline battled record oil prices, higher leasing costs and excess capacity in the global air cargo market.
The Luxembourg-based carrier said results were also impacted by the delayed deliveries of Boeing 747-8 freighters, which reduced its network flexibility.
Revenue rose 8.4 percent to $1.87 billion from $1.72 billion in 2010 while volume shrank 3.6 percent to 658,000 metric tons from 683,380 tons. The load factor was 2.5 percentage points lower at 70.8 percent.
Supply exceeded demand by 5.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, Cargolux said.
“Looking to 2012, we expect trading conditions to remain more than challenging,” said Cargolux chairman Albert Wildgen.
Asian shipments declined 15.4 percent in 2011 and African tonnage was down 14.3 percent, while export traffic from the Americas grew 10.1 percent.
Export traffic out of Europe was “relatively strong” with Germany shipments hitting an all-time high and traffic to Asia stabilized.
“The weak [global] economy mostly affected our import business into Europe, mainly out of Asia, but also from flower markets like Kenya and Ecuador,” the carrier said.
“We have developed a comprehensive action plan for 2012 to respond to the current downturn but also to take advantage of any potential upswing in global air freight markets,” said Cargolux CEO Frank Reimen.
Cargolux took delivery of the third of 13 747-8 freighters on order on March 23, swelling its fleet to 15 Boeing freighters.
Qatar Airways acquired a 35-percent stake in Cargolux for about $225 million-$295 million in June 2011.
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