All Nippon Airways (ANA) reported its worst-ever annual loss on Friday while cargo remained one of only a few bright lights, posting a 56 per cent growth in revenue.
For the past year to March, Japan’s largest airline ANA Holdings posted a record net loss of JPY 404.6 billion (USD 3.7 billion), compared with a profit of JPY 27.6 billion the year before.
Revenue from international cargo service increased by 57.8 billion yen (up 56.3 per cent year-on-year).
But in what may seem overly optimistic – at least at this point in time – ANA says it expects to see a JPY 3.5 billion net profit for the year to March 2022, as travel is anticipated to rebound once the coronavirus restrictions begin to ease.
Ichiro Fukuzawa, executive vice president and chief financial officer says the airline is now seeing “the light at the end of the tunnel”.
Like virtually all carriers, international passenger service plunged 95.5 per cent to 427,000 passengers last year, while domestic flights experienced a 70.5 per cent fall to 12.6 million customers.
This reduction in passenger flights constrained available cargo capacity, while at the same time the carrier saw increased transport demand for emergency supplies such as face masks during the first quarter (April – June), a situation played out across the industry.
ANA says demand for vehicle components, as well as semiconductors and electronic equipment, began to recover beginning in August, and as a result of marine transport congestion during the fourth quarter (January – March), air cargo demand continued to be strong, it says.
In order to accommodate demand, ANA Cargo began operating B777F freighter aircraft on the Narita (NRT)-Frankfurt (FRA) route in October and on the Narita-Bangkok (BKK) route in December.
ANA Cargo also actively responded to demand by operating additional one-time cargo flights and utilising passenger aircraft to fly cargo dedicated flights.
Going forward the carrier says: “We will continue to aggressively capture demand for international cargo, as supply constraints are expected to continue due to strong cargo demand that has occurred as a result of the economic recovery.”