BA World Cargo’s volumes up despite crisis

Although the European air cargo market has become tough ground for carriers, British Airways World Cargo (BAWC) is counting on its above market performance and solid network in India and China to tide it through the downturn.

Strongly impacted by the global financial tsunami, Europe is presently a tough market for all carriers, reflected by the recently released International Air Transport Association (IATA) statistics which shows air cargo volumes were down by 5.4 per cent in October year-on-year across Europe.

According to British Airways World Cargo’s senior vice president for Europe and the Americas, David Shepherd, despite these challenging conditions and a 6.4 per cent drop in capacity, BAWC’s cargo volume has, however, been outperforming the market average.

“Competition is fierce in Europe but we have done a good job of protecting our market share and our performance for the half year ending November 2008 saw an improvement in our European performance,” he said.

“Our premium products continue to do well and over the last half year we’ve seen a 29 per cent growth in premium services through Northern Europe.”

However, BA World Cargo’s parent company, British Airways reported recently that its cargo traffic, in cargo tonne kilometres (CTK), was down by 7.2 per cent in November, versus the same month in 2007. This compared to a 5.9 per cent fall in passenger traffic in November, measured in revenue passenger kilometres.

Traffic steady
BA World Cargo’s financial controller, Sean Doyle, in announcing the airline’s first half results recently, said traffic had remained steady out of most areas, including Europe due in part to the improved product mix which has helped to drive yield.