Despite what it described as a difficult overall market situation, Cargolux Airlines International S.A. ended 2014 on a positive note. “While the industry continued to suffer from overcapacity and noticeable pressure on yields, Cargolux benefited from a very strong last quarter in 2014. Combined with a rapidly declining oil price, the airline achieved record levels of block hours and tonnages while enjoying a welcome increase in yields,” it said.
This enabled Cargolux to complete the year with a profit of US$ 3 million despite having to impair its B747-400 fleet by US$ 40 million and providing for any potential anti-trust impact from the various legal actions that have been raised against the airlines. According to IATA statistics, Cargolux ranked 7th among the world’s cargo carriers at the end of 2014 and is the largest all-cargo airline in Europe.
In 2014, the company sold 828,658 tonnes of freight, 9.9 per cent more than in 2013, with revenues growing by 10.1 per cent to US$ 2.098 billion. Freight tonne kilometers grew by 11.2 per cent to 6.36 million and the loadfactor reached 66.9 per cent. Cargolux has a global market share of 3.7 per cent.
At the end of 2014, the airline operated 11 B747-8 freighters and 11 B747-400 freighters, the largest fleet in Cargolux’s history. This fleet flew a record number of 95,522 block hours on 19,195 network sectors.
Since April 2014 when the Henan Civil Aviation and Investment Co., (HNCA) took a 35 per cent stake in the Luxembourg carrier, Cargolux has focused its efforts on the development of Zhengzhou as a major cargo hub. Flights commenced in June 2014 and Cargolux built up its frequencies to five per week by the end of year. Barely five months after the start-up of flights between Luxembourg and Zhengzhou, Cargolux celebrated the first 10,000 tonnes of freight carried between the two hubs and, by the end of the year, total tonnage carried exceeded 15,000 tonnes.
“Against prevailing economic difficulties, low yields and severe competition, I am proud to say that Cargolux has achieved a solid result in 2014,” says Dirk Reich, Cargolux’s president & CEO. “During the last quarter especially, we registered record tonnages and revenues and flew an unprecedented number of block hours. We have grown our market share in all areas and achieved a net profit; a strong signal that our strategy bears fruit and we are on the right track.”
“Cargolux has done its homework and will continue to do so to remain sustainable,” Reich noted. “It will help us to secure the future of the company and the jobs of our employees worldwide. I want to thank our staff for an exceptional performance and our shareholders, as well as the Government of Luxembourg, for their continued valuable support and their vision for the future of Cargolux.”