Virgin Atlantic offers warning on yields

Virgin Atlantic Cargo saw tonnage rise one per cent in the first six months of 2014 to 111,196 tonnes and a three per cent increase in its load factor to 76 per cent network-wide.


Virgin Atlantic offers warning on yields


Virgin Atlantic Cargo saw tonnage rise one per cent in the first six months of 2014 to 111,196 tonnes and a three per cent increase in its load factor to 76 per cent network-wide. The increases were achieved despite a three per cent reduction in the airline’s cargo capacity in the six months to the end of June. However, overcapacity in the industry on major routes continued to suppress yields, Virgin said.

John Lloyd, director of cargo, said: “In terms of revenue, we are slightly ahead of our target for the year but the level of capacity some airlines are bringing onto the main markets is driving yields down to a level that will be unsustainable for many operators. This needs to be seen as a warning message for the industry.”

Yields in the first half of the year were flat in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region as well as in Asia Pacific. The drive for all-in ULD rates in the American market and increased customer buying power due to excess market capacity meant this was the market most impacted by falling yields.

Highlights for Virgin Atlantic in the first six months included a four per cent increase in tonnage on its flights from the Americas and the consistency of its year-on-year tonnage levels out of Asia Pacific despite a six per cent reduction in capacity from the region, largely due to the end of the airline’s Hong Kong-Sydney route in May. Virgin Atlantic’s partnership with Virgin Australia continued to perform strongly with a 20 per cent increase in tonnage and a nine per cent revenue gain.