Cargolux puts forth stellar performance in 2020; net profit soars to $768.7 million
The year 2020 proved to be an exceptional year for the Cargolux Group, when it also celebrated its 50th anniversary. Cargolux earned a net profit after tax of $768.7 million with an EBIT margin of 31.3 percent.
2020 was marked by the outbreak of the Covid-19 global pandemic that heavily impacted the aviation industry, including air cargo. The outlook for the year was originally quite bleak with production halted in China, due to the outbreak of what ultimately resulted in the Covid-19 pandemic. The situation resulted in a significant shortfall in available air freight capacity due to the grounding of most, if not all, long haul passenger operations
“We experienced unprecedented demand for the transport of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) supplies as well as for other products which came to rely on air transport to keep logistics lines intact,” the company statement read.
Cargolux played a key role in delivering essential supplies throughout the Covid-19 crisis, alleviating the void left by grounded passenger aircraft and keeping supply chains moving. Cargolux continuously navigated changing restrictions worldwide to respond to market demand. Cargolux is currently (in 2021) ranked fourth in IATA’s ranking of the world’s top 25 international scheduled cargo carriers.
The emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of air cargo in the global supply chain. True to its flexible and agile processes, Cargolux strived to respond to the increased demand worldwide. The company adapted its network to optimize its services and operate according to global market needs. The airline’s dedicated 747 fleet proved to be a strong asset in an operationally challenging year. Demand for charter services also remained strong throughout the year.
Cargolux honoured all blocked space agreements, with its customers, that were concluded in 2019 when market conditions were significantly less favourable. At the end of December 2020, the total fleet of 30 aircraft comprised sixteen Boeing 747-400 freighters (10 B747-400Fs and 6 B747-400ERFs) and fourteen Boeing 747-8 freighters. This uniform fleet enables Cargolux to respond to changing market conditions in a flexible and timely manner.
Cargolux is also strongly committed to establishing itself as a socially, environmentally, and financially sustainable operation. As an energy-intensive industry, air cargo has recognized its responsibility and strives to mitigate the effects of its operations. Reduction of CO2 emissions is a primary focus of the airline in its efforts to establish a greener and leaner operation. Through increased efforts and drive, the carrier managed to improve its fuel efficiency by 3 percent in 2020 despite increased activity throughout the year.
Over a year after the initial outbreak, the Covid-19 pandemic is still not behind us and much uncertainty remains as to the evolution of the virus and the pace and effectiveness of vaccination programs. This development would indicate that the supply chain will continue to need to rely on freighters to keep logistics chains running as the bulk of long-haul passenger aircraft remain grounded.