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Lufthansa Cargo is continuing its turnaround from a terrible 2016, with profits up more than €167m after the first nine months of this year.

An improving third quarter and a more buoyant global air freight sector boosted nine-month earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) to €98m, a huge improvement on the €69m loss at this stage last year.

Cargo division yields increased by 10.6% in Q3, generating a positive contribution for the fourth quarter in a row.

Peter Gerber, chief executive of Lufthansa Cargo, said: “We are very happy to announce the fourth positive quarter in a row. Lufthansa Cargo has seen the continuing recovery of demand across all regions and will continue to digitisation in the industry.”

Year-to-date volumes reached 7.98m revenue tonne km (RTK), 8% up on last year, with RTK for the three months to September also up 8%, to 2.7m.

Regionally, the carrier saw growth in every market apart from Europe, where RTK fell just 0.1%, year on year, against a drop in available tonne km of almost 5%.

Asia-Pacific remained the carrier’s largest market, with RTK up 7.2% to just over 3m. The Americas came a close second, up 6.7% at 2.8m RTK, and the Middle East and Africa each recorded a 4.3% upswing.

A spokesperson for the carrier said the expansion of the Lufthansa Cool Centre was “progressing well”.

In other developments, LH Cargo has sold two MD-11 freighters and brought another back into service, citing “good business performance”.

Looking ahead, the carrier said it would be extending partnerships with ANA and United Airlines and had struck a wage agreement for LH Cargo pilots until 2022.

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