Cargolux Group has announced record financial results for 2020, the year in which it celebrated its 50th anniversary.
In 2020, Cargolux earned a net profit after tax of $768.7 million with an EBIT margin of 31.3%, up from $20 million and 5.1% respectively the previous year. The result achieved further strengthened the Luxembourg-based company's balance sheet.
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 led to a significant shortfall in available air freight capacity due to the grounding of most, if not all, long haul passenger operations
The industry experienced unprecedented demand for the transport of personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies as well as for other products which came to rely on air transport to keep logistics lines intact. 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 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. Cargolux strived to respond to the increased demand worldwide. The company adapted its network to optimise its services and operate according to global market needs. The airline's dedicated 747 fleet proved to be an asset in an operationally challenging year. Demand for charter services also remained strong throughout the year.
Cargolux also 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 has enabled Cargolux to respond to changing market conditions in a flexible and timely manner.
Corporate Social Responsibility
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% 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 programmes. 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. Cargolux has said that it remains committed to continue adapting its services to market demand and ensure supply chains keep moving and goods are delivered where required.