Aeroflot has made less profit and seen its load factor fall in the the first nine months of this year, compared to 2013, despite dropping its freighters in the third quarter last year in a bid to improve the business.
By September last year Aeroflot had ceased operations of its Boeing MD-11 Freighter fleet and it would only carry cargo in bellyholds. In its latest data, Aeroflot reveals that its September cargo volumes dropped by 1.7 per cent year-on-year to 13,091 tonnes. In previous months Aeroflot has referred to the ending of its freighter operations as the reason its month-on-month comparison shows a fall in volume.
While a 1.7 per cent drop in tonnage is small, the load factor in September also declined and by a similar amount. It fell 1.1 percentage points to 65.6 per cent. This reflects Aeroflot’s fleet expansion, adding Airbus, Sukhoi Superjet 100 and Boeing aircraft over the last 12 months, including Boeing 777-300 extended range.
The load factor has been down in every month of 2014 except July when it increased by 1.4 percentage points to 67.6 per cent. The load factor was highest in August when it was 69.9 per cent, but even that was a 0.2 percentage point year-on-year decline. The international load factor saw the biggest decline of 2.3 percentage points to 62.7 per cent over the nine months.
The domestic load factor bucked the trend and at 70.9 per cent is an increase of 0.6 percentage points on September 2013. The YTD load factor was 63.6 per cent, down 0.9 percentage points. The YTD international load factor was down 1.9 percentage points to 61.5 per cent and the domestic load factor was up 0.4 percentage points to 67.5 per cent.
While cargo volumes and load factors have continued to fall in the wake of the freighter decision, Aeroflot has also seen its nine month profit drop. It fell from 19.2 billion roubles ($413 million) in 2013 to 15 billion roubles for the same period of 2014. This is despite the nine month revenue rising 14 per cent to 176.7 billion roubles.
The biggest cost rise came from commercial expenses, which was up 47 per cent to 24.6 billion roubles because of the exchange rate, increased spending on advertising and greater traffic volumes.