European airline Lufthansa Cargo transported 1.7 million tonnes of cargo and mail in 2013 to “almost equal” the previous year’s tonnage level, as it continued to struggle against what had been muted global airfreight demand since 2012.
“Lufthansa Cargo remains on course,” said CEO Karl Ulrich Garnadt in a written statement. “We are able to hold our own even in a difficult market environment and have laid the basis in 2013 for important developments in our company.”
He added: “If the welcome trends of recent weeks in global air cargo markets, particularly in Asia, continue then we can feel optimistic about the new year.”
Lufthansa Cargo said it will further modernize its freighter fleet in 2014. The company accepted delivery of two brand-new Boeing 777 freighters in November last year. Another two will be handed over to the airline in the first six months of the year. It also intends to completely revamp its IT landscape this year.
Meanwhile, Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, had a record-breaking year in cargo volumes in 2013.
It reported transporting 486,753 tonnes of freight and mail last year, a hefty 32 percent increase over 2012 volumes. The airline accounted for 89 percent of cargo imports, exports, and transfers at Abu Dhabi airport last year.
Volumes were boosted by improvements to the freighter fleet capability and more cargo in the bellyhold of passenger aircraft, said the airline.
Established markets such as China, Hong Kong, and India were top performers, while brisk business was recorded in its expanding markets such as the Netherlands and the United States.
Last year, Etihad Airways took delivery of eight Airbus aircraft (four A320s, one A321, two A330-200s, and one A330 freighter), eight Boeing aircraft (six 777-300ERs and two 777 freighters), and added further leased capacity which included the airline’s inaugural 747-8 freighter. Its fleet is now comprised of 89 aircraft, with an average age of 5.2 years.