IAG Cargo saw its revenue rise 7.2 per cent in the full year 2018, year-on-year, on the back of an 8.1 per cent yield growth and cool chain revenue growth of 9.0 per cent.
The cargo division of IAG reported commercial revenues of EUR 1.17 billion over the period from 1 January to 31 December 2018, an increase of 7.2 per cent on 2017 at constant currency.
Overall yield for the year was up 8.1 per cent at constant currency while sold tonnes were up 0.2 per cent, cargo tonne kilometres were down 0.9 per cent and capacity grew by 3.8 per cent.
Lynne Embleton, CEO IAG Cargo, comments: “2018 saw our business delivering record revenues in a market that became more challenging as the year went on. Growth in our Constant Climate and Critical products contributed to a notable year for the business and helped differentiate IAG Cargo’s customer offering.
“Revenues from our Constant Climate product have increased by 9.0 per cent, and we have invested in a new multi-million Euro Good Distribution Practice certified Constant Climate Centre in Madrid to help meet growing demand for pharmaceutical shipments, in particular to the South American market.
“The importance of our Constant Climate service was highlighted in August when we transported over 5.3 tonnes of the diphtheria vaccine to Venezuela to fight an outbreak of the disease,” she adds.
“In July we launched a new Critical Service Centre with a specialised customer service team dedicated to serving customers of our highest priority, non-off-loadable product.” The group’s Critical consignment count grew by 35 per cent, supporting must-fly shipments of products including aerospace and machinery parts, in-demand retail products, and technology components, Embleton says.
A global rebrand in 2018 also saw the group’s carriers put together under one brand, highlighting the strength of its network with 350+ destinations. IAG Cargo also grew its network capacity on key routings into Latin America, as well as adding a new destination between London and Nashville.
IAG says the strong growth across its hubs was supported by additional Aer Lingus capacity out of Dublin, carrying pharmaceuticals, automotive and aviation parts, and a popular local beer.
“We continue to focus on innovation to provide the best customer service and improve how air cargo works,” Embleton says. “IAG Cargo undertook the first airside trial of an autonomous vehicle at a UK airport this year, and as part of the Hangar 51 global innovation programme, we have been working alongside three innovative start-ups to trial new technologies to improve our operations.
The group has invested heavily in IAGCargo.com, she highlights, with a significant increase in online bookings and the addition of a new in-house web development team that works closely with customers to make monthly improvements to its website. And the FORWARD.REWARDS programme helped the carrier substantially grow its SME revenue, with membership continuing to grow to nearly 1500 members worldwide, it says.
Looking forward, Embleton says 2019 looks set to be, “a more challenging year, with airfreight capacity growth outpacing growth in demand. Our focus on customer service, products and technology will allow us to continue developing our business as we seek to become the carrier of choice for customers worldwide.”