IAG Cargo’s Q1 2020 results report commercial revenues of €246m over the period from January 1 to March 31, 2020, a decrease of 11.6 per cent on the same period in 2019 at constant currency.

Overall yield for the quarter was up 4.8 percent when compared to the same time last year at constant currency. Sold tonnes were down 14.9 per cent and CTK volumes were down 15.7 percent whilst capacity declined by 13.8 per cent.

Lynne Embleton, CEO at IAG Cargo, commented: “The air freight market conditions during Q1 were dominated by the impact of Covid-19.

“In January and early February our performance was solid; Europe and Latin America were stable, there was a noted dynamism in North America where our premium products were performing strongly and the Asia Pacific region showed promise for the year ahead.

“However, like many global businesses with an active Chinese market, IAG Cargo felt the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic early. The expected dip in activity around Chinese New Year was followed by a prolonged drop in manufacturing which continued throughout February and March as the Corona outbreak took hold. This saw our APAC & Middle East business affected the most with a 19.2 per cent revenue decline versus the same period last year.

“The majority of air cargo arrives into Europe in the bellyhold of passenger aircraft. When large numbers of passenger flights were suspended, IAG Cargo took immediate steps to provide creative solutions for our customers. We adapted quickly and we were one of the first airline groups to announce scheduled cargo-only flights using passenger aircraft. In doing so we have kept routes around the world open to cargo.

“Our commercial team were also quick to establish and communicate charter opportunities; offering our customers and governments a further solution for their capacity requirements.

“The first quarter of 2020 has posed unprecedented challenges – for the air cargo industry, for businesses, and for society at large. It has called for adaptability, resilience and co-operation. The essential role that IAG Cargo performs; maintaining vital supply chains and supporting global trade has never been so visible or more evident.”