Lufthansa Cargo Says Market Getting Tougher

October 13, 2011

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The cargo market has become increasingly tough and fourth-quarter demand is uncertain, the chief executive of Lufthansa's Cargo unit said.

"Growth, particularly in Asia, has been weaker than in the previous year," Karl Ulrich Garnadt said after Lufthansa reported September traffic figures.

At Germany's flagship airline, passenger traffic, measured in revenue seat kilometres, rose 4.6 percent in september, while the amount of freight and mail transported by Lufthansa group companies fell 4.1 percent.

Lufthansa, which warned on profit last month and said it would offer fewer seats than planned this winter after bookings weakened, said on Wednesday passenger growth was mostly driven by routes to the Americas and Asia-Pacific.

The numbers come a day after Lufthansa Cargo received a setback when a court unexpectedly put a temporary halt on night flights from its Frankfurt hub.

Equinet analyst Jochen Rothenbacher said the decision could wipe out fourth-quarter operating profit at the unit, which he had forecast at EUR€36 million (USD$49 million).