FRANKFURT: Lufthansa Cargo (LC) has reiterated its commitment to a freighter fleet with the reporting of an €87 million net profit on revenue of €2.4 billion for 2014. The operating profit was €100.3 million – up from €79.3 million the previous year.
Airline CEO Peter Gerber said freighter aircraft would continue to play a "vital role" on main long-haul routes for the next decade. Between Asia and North America he expects the current 80:20 freighter/belly capacity split will change slightly to 78:22 – much less than on the North Atlantic that will see a move from 43:57 respectively to 30:70 by 2025. Citing data from Boeing and consulting company Ascend, he thinks the reverse will happen between Europe and Asia with the current 72:28 split changing to 75:25.
Forecasting an increase in operating profit for 2015, LC said the market between Europe and the rest of the world grew 3.7 percent overall last year. The company said it expects a 4.0 percent per annum increase in two-way Europe-Asia traffic, a 3.5 percent rise to and from South America and 3.1 percent growth in Europe-Africa routes by 2020.
In a bid to reiterate its position as a market leader, LC said the results of a customer satisfaction index produced during the first half of last year showed the airline scored higher than all its combination airline competitors with 79 points - except Cathay Pacific with 83. Emirates followed with a score of 77, Korean with one point less, Singapore Airlines with 75 and Air France-KLM with 72. According to LC the lowest score among the group last year was IAG Cargo at 68.
Cathay Pacific and Emirates proved to have the largest global market share in 2014 as measured in freight tonne-kilometres with 8.0 percent each, followed by Air France-KLM with 7.0 percent, LC and Korean with 6.0 percent respectively, and IAG Cargo with 4.0 percent, said the carrier.
Notwithstanding the effect of continued pilot strikes that lost the airline €8 million last year, Gerber said LC continues to gain from Frankfurt being much better positioned for cargo than London, Paris or Amsterdam because it is a hub for its major forwarder customers and "the epicentre of Europe's industrial sector".
With groundbreaking due in November next year for a new 'LCCneo' cargo terminal, he noted Frankfurt airport remains an "ideal location for us to continue investing".