IAG Cargo reported improvements in revenues, traffic levels and yields in its second quarter results just published. IAG Cargo reported commercial revenue of €260m over the period from April 1 to June 30, 2017, an increase of 7.6% on 2016 at constant exchange. Overall yield for the quarter was up 1.1% at constant exchange. Volumes were up 6.4 per cent, while capacity grew by 5.9 per cent.
Lynne Embleton, CEO at IAG Cargo, commented: “The air freight market continues to be very competitive. Our overall performance has been robust and the market has gradually improved through the first half of 2017.
“This improvement has come from ongoing growth in cross border e-commerce and pharmaceutical shipments, with encouraging regional performance in markets such as Asia Pacific and Europe.”
She said demand from Asia Pacific had been strong throughout Q2 2017, with volumes up 8.7% versus 2016. Embleton noted: “Part of this increase has been driven by the two-way sea freight congestion between China and Europe, although volumes have also been boosted by strong consumer demand for products ranging from high-end electronic tech to the globally trending fidget spinners.”
She said India had also performed well, mainly due to a high demand for express and time-sensitive freight. “Our time and temperature sensitive offering, Constant Climate, continues to support a burgeoning pharmaceutical industry in India,” she added.
This month, the carrier announced that its ‘Critical’ emergency shipment product would now be available to forwarders transporting Constant Climate shipments.
“This means that customers shipping pharmaceutical products can now upgrade emergency medical shipments to Critical, giving them non-off loadable status,” Embleton said. “This follows the continued success of Critical, which recently surpassed 2,000 shipments since launch.”
She also highlighted the launch in May of a new loyalty programme, FWD. Rewards, “which has been specifically designed to meet the needs of small and medium sized forwarders. Since its launch, we have already seen over 500 forwarders join the scheme and begin to earn points that can be used to pay for cargo shipments, hotel stays or reward flights,” she noted.
“Meanwhile, the integration of ‘Level’, IAG’s new low-cost long haul operation, into our network has offered our customers further breadth and flexibility with a new wide-body cargo gateway based in Barcelona. This follows the successful integration of Aer Lingus and opens up three new routes into the Americas from Barcelona to Los Angeles (LAX), Punta Cana (PUJ) and Buenos Aires (EZE).”
She concluded: “While IATA’s revised forecasts for 2017 are positive, we anticipate that the challenges we face as an industry, with increasing competition and capacity coming from road, rail and sea freight, will continue. In this competitive market we're focused on developing our products, embracing digital innovations and always looking to improve how we deliver for our customers.”
IAG Cargo is the single business created following the merger of British Airways World Cargo and Iberia Cargo in April 2011. Following the integration of additional airlines and operations into the business, including Aer Lingus, Vueling, bmi and Level, IAG Cargo now covers a network of over 350 destinations.
In 2016 IAG Cargo had a commercial revenue of €1.022 billion. It has a combined workforce of more than 2,470 people covering a global network of over 350 destinations. Its parent company, International Airlines Group, is one of the world's largest airline groups with 549 aircraft. It is the third largest group in Europe and the sixth largest in the world, based on revenue.