Luxembourg freight carrier Cargolux has turned in a full-year loss of $35 million, although the figure is far better than the $57 million expected in its budget.
Cargolux attributes the losses to a "steep decline" in the air freight market over the course of the year. But it says the situation improved in late 2012 and is "cautiously optimistic" for 2013 following "positive volume growth" in the first quarter.
The airline is aiming to return to profit in 2014.
"Depressed demand coupled with continued overcapacity resulted in significant pressure on yields and load factors for all freight operators," says the carrier. It turned in revenues of $1.74 billion in the year to 31 December 2012.
"Considering the state of the industry and the economic difficulties worldwide, Cargolux fared better than anticipated," says chairman Paul Helminger. "That gives me hope for the current year."
Cargolux is acquiring 13 Boeing 747-8 freighters to replace its 747-400Fs. Its fleet of 17 aircraft at the end of last year included six of the new type.