Airline Cargo Joint Ventures – The New Model?

The  cargo airlines have been busy these past couple of years in trying to enhance revenues in low margin markets as well as finding added value products in order to keep some form of financial sanity.
The joint-venture road is one which carriers are now exploring closer.
Lufthansa Cargo and All Nippon Airlines is one example and IAG Cargo and China Southern, another.

Lufthansa Cargo & ANA got off to a good start
The German and Japanese carriers entered into a cargo joint-venture in late 2014 on their East-West routings from Japan. At phase 1, this J/V was purposely restricted for the carriage of cargo between Japan and Europe on both carriers’ regular flights.
It seems that the venture has started to pay off and on the 3rd of August LH Cargo and ANA initiated their second step in this cooperation.

At exactly 10:00 hours on 3. August both LH Cargo and ANA Cargo opened their booking systems for Standard and Express shipments on the Europe to Japan sectors.
With the opening of this second phase in the J/V both carriers offer their clients more than 90 weekly direct flight connections between Europe and Japan.
This new service is available straight away for customers in Germany, Austria, Great Britain and France.
All other European countries will be added step by step in the near future.
The first express shipment was transported on the same evening on an ANA flight from Munich to Tokyo.
Matthias Brazel, Manager of the Cooperation Programme at LH cargo states that “this programme is an important part of Lufthansa‘s strategy for the future and their “Lufthansa Cargo 2020“ plans.
Both carriers claim that the joint-venture gives clients more flexibility and time gains due to the increased number of direct connections and feeder services.
According to LH manager Brazel, the flexibility factor kicks in by clients having direct access to the common LH-ANA network and the numerous combination of booking possibilities available.

The very first shipment sent August 3, on behalf of the ANA / LH Cargo route JV from Munich to Tokyo  -  courtesy: LH Cargo
The very first shipment sent August 3, on behalf of the ANA / LH Cargo route JV from Munich to Tokyo - courtesy: LH Cargo

IAG Cargo adds China Southern to its Partner Plus Programme
IAG Cargo‘s decision to do away with their own freighter fleet has seemingly not affected their cargo flows at all.
On the contrary, it looks as if the British-Spanish cargo daughter of British Airways and Iberia has found another partner to join the Partner Plus Programme.

China Southern Airlines is the latest member of the club which now boasts six members including Qatar Airways, Japan Airlines, the Avianca group, American Airlines and Finnair.
The Chinese carrier with its main base in Guangzhou and Shanghai joined as from August and both carriers state that clients can benefit from confirmed space bookings on China Southern aircraft to a range of new destinations which include Auckland, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Urumqi in China

China Southern operated Boeing 777F
China Southern operated Boeing 777F

Steve Gunning, CEO of IAG Cargo is proud to add a new member and states that “with the addition of China Southern, our programme now offers our customers extended network reach across all the world’s key markets.”
His sentiments are echoed by China Southern’s SVP Cargo, Zhao Fengsheng, who adds that “IAG Cargo has a strong global network reach and will prove an important partner in helping us to connect our customers with markets in Europe, the Americas and elsewhere.”

Who says airlines cannot cooperate with each other!
Main thing is that the carriers can enhance their bottom lines and give clients a far better service and market reach.
It seems to be heading this way for LH/ANA and IAG

John Mc Donagh

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