The fall in fuel prices and growth in its passenger traffic helped the Air France-KLM group post its first profit since 2008, posting a healthy operating profit of €816 million for the full year 2015, compared with a loss of €129 million in 2014, but unfortunately for the cargo division red ink still runs rampant.
Air France-KLM Cargo’s full-year loss increased to €245 million from €212 million on revenue down 9.5 per cent at €2.4 billion as the group continued to scale back its full freighter capacity. Cargo volume was down 7.7 per cent at 309,000 tonnes for a full-year total of 1.2 million tonnes, a 7.5 per cent decline on 2014.
The cargo division’s loss shrank to €23 million in the fourth quarter of 2015 from €31 million in the same period last year while revenue declined by over 14 per cent to €612 million from €714 million.
The carrier slashed maindeck capacity by more than 23 per cent during the year by phasing out five aircraft, which helped to cut the loss of the all-cargo fleet to €42 million from €55 million in 2014. The ultimate aim is to operate only five full freighters by midway through this year, a mere shadow of its former self when in its heyday operated 26 freighters when the French and Dutch airlines merged in 2005.
“This reduction should enable the full-freighter business to return to operating breakeven in 2017,” the carrier said.