PARIS: Air France-KLM says it took a €106 million charge in its second quarter as a result of continued losses on its freighter operations.
Group chairman Alexandre de Juniac commented: "Faced with the slower-than-expected recovery of cargo demand, we will further decrease our full-freighter exposure but will remain a key player in the cargo business."
The company announced it was deferring any decision on the future of its freighter fleet that includes two Air France B777s and Martinair-operated B747s and MD-11s until after the August holiday period.
Q2 cargo revenue totalled €669 million, down 5.1 percent compared to 2013 and freighter capacity fell 8.6 percent. Cargo revenue for the first half of 2014 was €1.34 billion - a drop of 4.3 percent year-on-year.
The airline group reported a 1.8 percent drop in revenue to €12 billion for the first half; a €614 million net loss and an increase in net debt to €5.4 billion.
In contrast to the continuing decline of the AF-KLM cargo business, Kuehne+Nagel reported a four percent increase in airfreight volumes for the first half of 2014.
The company cites its custom solutions for the automotive, pharmaceutical and aviation verticals "as well as the increase in tonnage especially in the European and South American export business". The K+N EBIT-to-gross profit margin rose from 24.9 to 27.8 per cent for the period.
Panalpina airfreight volumes also grew four percent in the first half of 2014 but the company said strong rate pressure prompted its EBIT-to-gross-profit margin to fall from 19.1 percent to 18.4 percent year-on-year.
Unlike the Franco-Dutch group, K+N reported an 8.3 percent increase in net earnings of CHF313 million for the first half on revenue of CHF8.5 billion. Meanwhile Panalpina's net profit rose from CHF38.4 million to CHF44 million on revenue of CHF3.2 billion.