FRANKFURT, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Germany air freight carrier Lufthansa Cargo expects it will return to growth in cargo volumes this year as the world economy picks up, an executive said.
The company, part of Germany’s largest airline Lufthansa , forecasts global growth in freight tonnage of around 4 percent and expects it will outperform the market, with its own tonnage rising 5 percent.
“At the end of 2013, we can see growth and in the first couple of days and weeks in 2014 we have seen a continuation of that trend and hope we can keep it going,” sales chief Andreas Otto told journalists at an event in Frankfurt on Thursday evening.
Lufthansa Cargo saw volumes drop 1 percent in 2013 after an expected recovery in the second half of the year did not materialise and it predicts 2013 operating profit of under 100 million euros ($135.6 million), compared with 104 million euros in 2012.
The airline has ordered five new 777 freighters from Boeing , and a decision on whether to cancel, delay or exercise an option for a further five will be taken later this year, Otto said.
Four of the new freighters will be in service by mid-2014, replacing four older MD-11s.