Air France Says Passenger Traffic Rose as Cargo Declined in 2012

Air France-KLM Group boosted passenger traffic in 2012 by 2.1 percent, led by Europe, as cargo traffic dropped.

The number of passengers carried rose by 1.8 percent to 77.4 million, the Paris-based airline said in an e-mailed statement today. The airline increased capacity by 0.6 percent and filled more seats than in the prior year as its planes were 83.1 percent full, 1.2 percentage points more than in 2011.

The biggest jump in traffic, or revenue passenger kilometers, came in Europe, up 3.6 percent on a 2.9 percent jump in capacity.

Cargo carriage fell 6.3 percent, declining more than the 3.5 percent drop in capacity, with the load factor, or percentage of available space filled, dropping 1.9 percentage points to 64.5 percent.

December traffic was affected by severe weather conditions, the carrier said, particularly in North America. Passenger traffic in the month was stable on an 0.4 percent reduction in capacity. The number of passengers carried fell by 2 percent to 6 million. Unit revenue per available seat kilometer was up relative to the year-earlier month, Air France KLM said, without providing a figure.

Air France will serve six destinations with its Airbus SAS A380 superjumbos for the winter season, the carrier said. Those are New York-JFK, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Johannesburg, Tokyo-Narita and Singapore. Air France carried its three-millionth passenger on an A380 in December.

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