Lufthansa Cargo boosted freight volume 17.8 percent in March from a year ago as sharply higher German exports and strong growth in the Americas extended the recovery at Europe’s largest cargo airline.
The German carrier transported 183,000 metric tons in March, taking traffic for the first quarter to 469,000 tons, up 19.9 percent on the same period in 2010.
Growth in March slowed from the 25.2 percent year-on-year increase in February and revenue rose 15 percent compared with a 23.9 percent increase in the previous month.
Capacity jumped 19.2 percent from March 2010 and the load factor slipped 2.6 percentage points to 71.8 percent.
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The Lufthansa group, including Swiss, Austrian Airlines and British Midland, expanded cargo traffic 16.7 percent to 205,000 tons for a first quarter total of 528,000 tons, up 18.5 percent over the year earlier period.
Traffic jumped 22 percent on the Americas network to 61,000 tons, almost twice the 11.3 percent growth in Asia/Pacific shipments, to 57,000 tons.
Lufthansa, which placed an order last month for five 777 freighters to join its fleet of 18 MD-11 cargo aircraft, is growing much faster than its European rivals.
Air France-KLM ‘s cargo volume shrunk 0.3 percent in March from a year ago on a 2.9 percent increase in capacity which resulted in a 2.3 points drop in the load factor to
International Airlines Group, the newly merged British Airways-Iberia carrier, reported volume was up 5.6 percent in March, while revenue rose 7.7 percent on a 9.1 percent growth in capacity, which clipped the load factor 0.9 points to 72.7 percent.
The gap between Lufthansa Cargo and rival carriers is expected to widen in the next six months following the launch of new freighter services from its Frankfurt hub to China, the US, Spain, India and Pakistan at the end of March.
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