Japan's two largest airlines reported dramatic declines in their international cargo volume in December amid the deepening global economic slump.
Japan Airlines, Asia's biggest air carrier, said its international cargo volume plunged 38.5 per cent year-over-year, to 40,711 tonnes. It was the fifth consecutive month that volume declined. The pace of decline quickened from the previous month's 25.1 per cent.
JAL transported 153,162 tonnes of cargo on international routes during the October-December quarter, down 25.2 per cent from a year earlier. But domestic cargo continued to rise at a double-digit pace so far in fiscal 2008, after dipping 1.7 per cent in fiscal 2007. JAL transported 54,318 tonnes of cargo on domestic routes in December, up 18.5 per cent from a year earlier, taking the volume of its domestic cargo during the first nine months of 2008 to 395,916 tonnes, up 13.7 per cent from the same period of 2007.
All Nippon Airways, Japan's second-largest air carrier, said its global cargo volume declined for the second consecutive month in December.
ANA transported 22,127 tonnes of cargo on international routes in December, down 26.9 per cent from a year earlier. The pace of decline quickened from the previous month's 7.7 per cent.
On domestic routes, ANA transported 47,312 tonnes in December, up 0.4 per cent, taking the volume of its domestic cargo between April and December to 357,945 tonnes, up 3.6 per cent from a year earlier.
Meanwhile, TNT, Europe's second-largest mail and express delivery company, reported a 37 per cent plunge in fourth-quarter operating profit as the global economic downturn hit demand for its air and trucking express services.
The Amsterdam-based group posted earnings before interest and tax of €160 million (Dh756m) in the quarter, down from €253m a year earlier. Revenue fell 2.3 per cent to €2.9bn.
Net profit was €207m, off 60 per cent from €250m a year earlier.
TNT recorded a €152m charge during the quarter to restructure its express and mail units, including 1,000 job cuts.
Full-year operating profit fell 17.6 per cent to €982m, while revenue grew 1.2 per cent to €11.2 billion.