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American Airlines announces Double-digit growth in cargo revenues boosts in 2017 profits

…adding cargo services to four more European destinations to network

American Airlines (AA) announced a full-year net profit of US$1.9 billion, or $2.4 billion excluding net special items, for 2017, which the carrier concluded was, “a remarkable year.”

While passenger operations were predictably robust, the fastest-growing segment was cargo, which registered a 14.4 percent, year-over-year, increase in revenues, to $800 million, driven by a 15 percent y-o-y jump in volumes to 2.8 billion cargo ton miles (CTM).

The Dallas-based carrier’s volumes benefitted from an especially strong holiday season, with fourth-quarter cargo revenues up 10.7 percent, y-o-y, to $232 million.

While cargo revenues and traffic rose, cargo yields per ton/mile edged down from the previous year, posting 28.70 cents, slightly lower than 2016’s 28.89 cents. That said, yields recovered in the fourth quarter, to 30.91 cents per cargo ton mile.

“We enter 2018 with strong momentum,” said AA CEO and president Doug Parker. “Our network is expanding, and the products we are bringing to the market are resonating with customers.”

Cargo destinations expansion

Starting early in the second quarter, American Airlines (AA) is launching cargo services to new destinations across Europe. On May 4, the carrier will begin flights from Philadelphia (PHL) to Budapest, Hungary (BUD), and Prague, Czech Republic (PRG), as well as flights from Chicago O’Hare (ORD) to Venice, Italy (VCE). AA is also launching a Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) to Reykjavik, Iceland (KEF) service, starting June 7.

Tristan Koch, AA’s regional managing director for Europe, Middle East and Africa added that, in addition to expanding the carrier’s aviation network, AA will also be “expanding our European trucking network this summer, so other offline destinations can feed into our growing network.”

Budapest and Prague will both be served using Boeing 767-300 aircraft. The Venice flights will be served with B787-8s. The service to Reykjavik will operate using a B757 aircraft and, is expected to mainly carry scientific equipment and fish products, which are Iceland’s major exports.

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The additional flights will increase AA’s total U.S.-Europe route count to 427 flights per week to 58 destinations.

The three European capital cities—Budapest, Prague and Reykjavik—are all new to AA’s network.

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