IAG Cargo has reported a 50 per cent year-on-year revenue increase at constant currency in the first quarter of 2021, to €350 million. That figure represents a first quarter record for the company.

    The increase was attributed to the fact there were 1,306 cargo-only flights operated in the first quarter, up from 969 in the fourth quarter of 2020.

    Overall yield for the quarter was also up 106 per cent at constant currency versus last year, the cargo arm of International Airlines Group (IAG) said, reflecting the ongoing market supply and demand imbalance. Sold tonnes were down 20.9 per cent.


    Video: IAG Cargo is celebrating 10 years of operations (click above to view)

    Despite an increase in load factor, total cargo carried, measured in cargo tonne kilometres, fell by 27.2 per cent due to a reduction in passenger schedules.

    IAG Cargo noted that its premium ‘Critical’ service for urgent and emergency shipments experienced its highest ever booking volumes in March as demand increased for high priority shipments. “There was real variety in these critical shipments with movements including ophthalmic instruments, aircraft parts and a generator from Sweden to Jamaica following multiple power outages on the island,” the company said.

    “We have made a strong start to 2021, building on the success of 2020. Through hard work and dedication, our team continued to provide solutions for our customers to keep world trade operating, drawing on an extensive charter offering and our global network,” said IAG Cargo’s chief financial officer Elizabeth Haun.

    “We continued to play our part in the fight against Covid-19, transporting PPE and testing kits around the world and in February we were appointed as an airline partner to UNICEF’s ‘Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative’, supporting the COVAX facility.

    “Importantly, it was a quarter that saw us further diversify our revenue base with more routes, a broader product mix and charters taking us to more new destinations.”