Ã¢â‚¬Å“The industry registered a decline in freight volume of well over 20 per cent during the year compared to 2008,Ã¢â‚¬Â which led to over capacity with Ã¢â‚¬Å“dire consequences for all players, including Cargolux.Ã¢â‚¬Â FTKs were down 11.3 per cent to 4.8 billion on a 9.3 per cent reduction in capacity to 6.95 billion ATKs. Load factor declined 1.6 points to 69 per cent. Volume carried fell 10.8 per cent to 627,813 tonnes and yield dropped by more than 26 per cent.
In response to the crisis, the carrier temporarily reduced capacity on all routes and closed a number of destinations, including Istanbul, Toronto, Helsinki and Cairo. It kept its fleet of 16 747-400Fs in operation throughout most of the year, but a lower utilisation of each aircraft meant that, in practice, it had the equivalent of two aircraft on the ground during the months of June and July.
In September and October, Cargolux delivered two B747-400 aircraft to UPS in a deal that had been concluded before the crisis hit and was intended to facilitate the planned delivery of our new B747-8 freighters in 2009. Ã¢â‚¬Å“However, by the time those two aircraft left our fleet, we actually found us in need of more capacity, as the markets began to rebound. To cover the demand, we leased-in up to three B747-200Fs for the peak season in the last three months of the year,Ã¢â‚¬Â the carrier said. The first of its order for 13 new B747-8 freighters are expected to be delivered from this December. Despite the worldwide decline and operating with reduced capacity, Cargolux said it kept its market share stable at around four per cent.