Air France-KLM’s cargo traffic in September dipped 3.4 percent year-over-year as a steep decline on the Asia-Pacific network outweighed a small increase in Americas traffic.

The announcement comes a month after Air France-KLM chief executive Pierre-Henri Gourgeon said the airline would no longer seek to be remain among the leading cargo operators because the industry is too cyclical.

Capacity was just 1 percent higher than in September 2010 and the load factor shrunk by 3 percentage points to 64.7 percent. Unit revenue, excluding currency movements, was “slightly down” from a year ago.

The lower September figure, following a 0.2 percent year-on-year decline in August, was largely due to a 6.1 percent drop in Asia-Pacific revenue on 1.4 percent less capacity, and a similar drop in the previously resilient Africa/Middle East region, where capacity was cut by 3.9 percent. The Americas continued to grow, but the year-on-year increase slipped to 0.5 percent from 1.1 percent in August.

Air France-KLM’s performance contrasts with a 1.6 percent increase in September cargo traffic at IAG, the merged British Airways-Iberia carrier, that was driven by a 7.8 percent rise at the Spanish airline.

– Contact Bruce Barnard at brucebarnard47@hotmail.com.