Lufthansa Cargo’s freight traffic fell 12.9 percent in February from a year ago, slightly outpacing a sharp reduction in capacity as Europe’s largest scheduled cargo airline continued to align supply and demand in a bid to remain profitable.
The decline, to 125,000 metric tons, was also in part attributable to the closure of factories during the Chinese New Year holiday, which reduced export shipments to Europe and other key air freight markets.
Cargo revenue dipped 11.2 percent, reflecting weakening freight rates, while capacity was cut 12.6 percent from a year ago, which pushed up the load factor by 1.1 percentage points to 72.1 percent.
The Lufthansa group, which includes SwissWorldCargo, saw freight shrink by 11.7 percent to 144,000 tons on 13 percent less capacity, which boosted the load factor by 3 percentage points to 71.1 percent.
The Asia-Pacific region took the biggest hit, with traffic plunging 18.9 percent to 34,000 tons, while shipments on the Americas network declined 6.8 percent to 47,000 tons.
The usually resilient Middle East/Africa market also softened, with traffic rising just 0.3 percent from a year ago to 16,000 tons as revenue declined 6.8 percent.
Lufthansa Cargo is due to report its 2012 financial results on March 14.