“All options” on the table for AF-KLM group

The Air France-KLM-Martinair Cargo group has said it is currently studying the future of its cargo business and the role of dedicated freighters within that business. The results of this study, expected to be announced by mid-July, cover anything from continuing with the status quo, to drastic action that could include exiting dedicated freighter operations altogether, the group’s senior cargo management said recently. Donald Urquhart reports from Amsterdam.


“All options” on the table for AF-KLM group


Speaking at a press conference at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in mid-April, executive VP Cargo, Eric Varwijk, said that “times have radically changed” in the air cargo sector. He believes these changes are structural requiring not short term fixes, but a long term strategic view as a result of the ongoing flood of widebody passenger belly capacity in the industry that is rendering maindeck capacity not just surplus, but highly unprofitable.

“What we see that this moment is that the results from our bellies, the results from our combis – thanks in part to the recovery and also as a result of our cost reductions – are improving and we believe we are on good plan,” said Varwijk.

“But on a number of freighter lanes we don’t see the results, at least not improving results. So that is why we continue to study the future of some of those freighters. We constantly study our freighter fleet and we will continue to do so for the next couple of months and we will also discuss with our supervisory board… and all options being from simply continuing with the ten aircraft to further reducing to partnerships with other outside parties and any other option is on the table,” he said.