enzo011 wrote:I still see a lot of statements still that belly cargo is "highly profitable" and no facts or links are given. So I would conclude that this is merely opinions that aren't backed by facts
Did you read this:
Matt6461 wrote:rom 2014:
This can lead to a 60%-70% profit margin on belly freight, according to Aspire Aviation‘s understanding and Cathay’s executives have lamented during the cargo doldrum since 2010 that dedicated freighters can often cover only their cash costs, but not capital costs.
http://www.aspireaviation.com/2014/10/0 ... ke-flight/
Notice the distinction here: Dedicated freighters are operating at a loss; belly freight is operating at a huge profit margin. The cargo market was bad in 2014 too, but belly cargo was still profitable.
Also from 2014:
What is the impact for the freighter business – new builds and conversions? Old fuel inefficient platforms are out and what Fred Smith described as ‘low cost belly space’ is in. Airline cargo managers are moving out of main deck freighters (IAG, JAL, United, American, Delta to name a few) and befriending their passenger colleagues for space below the main deck to accommodate their cargo which they can sell at rates and profit margins not dreamed of before.
https://leehamnews.com/2014/04/13/the-d ... reighters/
Again from 2014:
Roslyn Wilson, author of the annual "State of Logistics Report," whose silver anniversary edition is released today, estimates that airlines generate margins of around 65 percent on their belly cargo.
http://dcvelocity.com/articles/20140616 ... argo-unit/
So we have copious evidence that belly cargo was highly profitable as of 2014.
Regarding today, we have two facts that produce an ambiguous outcome: Yields have fallen but costs (price of fuel) have fallen as well.
What is actually the case is that we have multiple posters providing opinion - with some analysis - that the profitability picture has changed. I actually find some of this analysis somewhat convincing - I'm at least beginning to think that airlines are driving down actual belly yields by engaging in competitive practices like rebates (per planesmart's intimation).
Nonetheless, the only direct evidence on A.net indicates that belly cargo was highly profitable as of 2014.