British Airways, Europe's third-largest airline, reported cargo revenues surged by 18.8 per cent in the first three quarters from a year ago, but traffic is now plunging amid the global economic downturn.
The airfreight unit, BA World Cargo, booked revenue of $784 million (Dh2.8 billion) in the nine months to December 31. Traffic, measured in cargo ton-kilometers, declined 1.7 per cent, driven by a softening third quarter. But this was offset by higher revenue on each ton of cargo flown due to fuel surcharge increases and the rise of the dollar against the pound.
Cargo traffic is now falling sharply, with January shipments down 16.7 per cent from a year ago, following a 14.7 per cent decline in December.
The carrier posted a net loss of $185.4m in the first three quarters against net income of $937.3m in the year-earlier period.
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