Lufthansa Cargo’s Cool Center at its home base Rhine-Main is celebrating its fifth anniversary next Sunday. In time for its birthday, the management announced to enlarge the facility considerably. Concurrently, Lufthansa Group’s top deck said that Thorsten Dirks will become new CEO of low cost carrier Eurowings.
The basic decision to expand the carrier’s Cool Center dates back to last summer. But it took the management until now to reveal details. According to the announcement, the new facility will
comprise 3,500 square meters, adding to the 4,500 sqm offered by the existing Cool Center for storing and handling temperature critical items. When asked about the costs, the carrier remains
tight-lipped. All that spokesman Andreas Pauker said is that it’s an investment in the medium single-digit million euro range. It is financed out of the carrier’s own pockets, without any state
contribution in contrast to state subsidies granted to Gulf carriers by their governments in case they upgrade their ground infrastructure.
Special products fly high
These are growing constantly, said Andreas. "Basically, our shipments are sub-divided in Standard freight, Special consignments and Express products, each of them accounting for about one third of the entire tonnage flown by us." Andreas went on to say, “within the group of Specials, temperature critical items such as pharmaceuticals, perishables or foodstuff contribute a significant and steadily growing portion.”
Inauguration will take place next summer
To handle and accommodate this premium segment according to customer expects and self-imposed quality standards, the enlargement of the existing Cool Center become inevitable. Therefore, beginning in February the founding stone will be laid for the new refrigerated warehouse at Rhine-Main Airport, Lufthansa Cargo’s home base, with construction works expected to last until late summer. “After five years of success, we want more. That is why we intend to further upgrade and significantly expand our Cool Center,” commented Alexis von Hoensbroech, Board Member Product & Sales at LH Cargo.
Alexis also said that simultaneously to building the new facility the infrastructure of the existing Cool Center will be upgraded.
Only recently, IATA awarded LH Cargo and its Cool Center the CEIV seal for pharma transports. Further to this the carrier points out that since last summer the throughput of sensitive items is monitored by its “Cool Control Tower,” offering clients transport conditions of utmost transparency.
Thorsten Dirks to head Eurowings
The Hamburg-born telecommunications expert will become CEO of Eurowings as of May 1, 2017. He will follow Karl Ulrich Garnadt who decided to retire at the age of 60. The nomination of Dirks breaks with a Lufthansa tradition, to appoint top-level executives from the company’s own ranks. Dirk has no Lufthansa “smell” since the 1963-born Hamburg University graduated master of engineering has worked his entire life in the field of international telecommunication. And since October 2014 up to now as CEO of Telefónica Germany. Prior to this, Thorsten was a member of the board of Dutch telecommunications company KPN, responsible for its international mobile business.
As Eurowings CEO he is facing two major challenges: The integration of 40 wet leased Air Berlin aircraft into Eurowings’ operation and network and the affiliation of Brussels Airlines under the Eurowings brand.