Lufthansa Cargo posts its best result in its 26-year history as the global pandemic stokes demand, with the carrier saying it will acquire another B777 Freighter.
Revenue rose by 11 per cent to EUR 2.76 billion, while adjusted EBIT amounted to EUR 772 million (previous year: EUR 1.0 million). This corresponds to a margin of 28 per cent (previous year: 0 per cent).
A total of 6.5 billion freight tonne kilometres (-27 per cent) were sold last year, the carrier says. Average load factor improved by 7.8 percentage points to 69.1 per cent, while cargo capacity shrank by 36 per cent on the back of the collapse of passenger markets and associated belly capacity.
“We are pleased to close what was probably the most challenging year in our company’s history with a record result,” Dorothea von Boxberg, chairperson of the Executive Board and chief executive officer of Lufthansa Cargo.
Von Boxberg also credited “the commitment and flexibility of our workforce,” alongside cooperation with the cargo carrier’s partners and customers.
“This success enables very decisive investments in our future. We want to make airfreight sustainably better and further strengthen our home base in Frankfurt. That is why we will gradually modernise our cargo centre in the coming years and continue to drive forward digitalisation along the entire transport chain,” von Boxberg says.
“This year, we will add another highly efficient Boeing 777F aircraft to our freighter fleet,” she adds. In addition to the bellyhold capacities of Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings and SunExpress, the cargo airline will offer, later this year, the capacity of 14 wide-body freighters. The additional freighter is scheduled to arrive in Frankfurt by fall 2021.
“Now that we are optimally positioned with one of the world’s most modern freighter fleets, we will work with our customers to drive forward the regular use of sustainable fuels,” von Boxberg says. In November 2020, Lufthansa Cargo had already become the world’s first cargo airline to operate a rotation fully compensated with Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).
Lufthansa Cargo initially started the financial year with cautious expectations. Influenced by a noticeable cooling of the airfreight market, the cargo airline had already launched a structural cost-cutting programme in the previous year, which also contributed to the current result, it says.
In an extremely challenging environment for the entire aviation industry, the Lufthansa Group’s logistics subsidiary succeeded in maintaining its global connections with cargo aircraft at all times, it highlights.
The cargo airline countered the pandemic-related, continuous changes in entry regulations for crews, for example, with flexible network planning. In order to compensate, at least in part, for the loss of bellyhold loading capacities largely associated with passenger traffic, Lufthansa Cargo, together with the Group airlines Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Eurowings, made hundreds of flights with passenger aircraft available to its customers solely for the transport of cargo, which it dubbed ‘preighters’.