Enlarged market access, improved load factors, increased number of shipments: the joint venture kicked off by ANA Cargo and Lufthansa Cargo at the end of 2014 has proved to be beneficial for both sides. Forwarders and shippers are offered greater network options and enhanced uplift capacity.
ANA Cargo’s Kiyohisa Nakazawa, VP Cargo Marketing & Mail Europe, Middle East and Africa, who is one of ANA Cargo’s responsible managers for the JV, is more than content with the outcome of
the agreement up to this point. “It’s a win-win situation for both carriers, but particularly our clients are proportionally gaining the most from our pact,” he states. This, because they are
offered more uplift options and an extended network which a single carrier could not provide to the market by himself. This is confirmed by Lufthansa Cargo manager Annette Kreuziger and her
colleague Feliks Wandt, both in charge of the JV by pointing out that the load factor of both carriers went up by 3 percentage points on routes last year linking Europe and Japan.
Common cash box
Currently, over six percent of the entire tonnage flown under an ANA or LH AWB from Europe to Japan is transported on the partners’ aircraft. “This is what we call a Cross-Booking,”Annette states. Eastbound the Cross-Booking ratio is only marginally
The revenues are flowing into a common cashbox and are split between the carriers depending on volumes, routes and a number of other parameters.
“Our operation is based on metal neutrality so it doesn’t matter if shipments are loaded on board an ANA aircraft or if our partner LH Cargo provides the capacity,” explains manager Nakazawa. “At the end of the day it is important that we offer our customers the most convenient and fastest uplift option,” adds Feliks always looking for the transport solutions that fit our customers best,” adds Feliks.
Currently, Japan’s largest carrier ANA serves six destinations in Europe: Frankfurt, Munich, Dusseldorf, Brussels, Paris CDG and London Heathrow, adding to 49 flights a week, mostly operated by Boeing 787s or 777s passenger aircraft. Lufthansa connects Germany and Japan 312 times per week by 747-800, 747-400 or A340, but also by operating a daily Boeing 777 freighter on the sector Frankfurt-Narita. Due to this main deck offering the capacity share of both airlines is almost equal.
“The basic principle or our Joint Venture is that all benefits are available through both partners’ booking channels and especially also bookable via each eBooking service.” “Our Lufthansa flights are displayed in ANA’s system and vice versa,” states Mrs Kreuziger. She further points out that handling procedures have been harmonized leading to quality improvements.
Meanwhile, the market seems to be increasingly aware of the joint capacity offered by ANA Cargo and LH Cargo. “Shipments are coming from all over Europe,” states Annette which is proof that our Joint Venture is very well established throughout Europe.”
Additional products available for booking
It might sound bizarre, but one turning point for the acceptance of the JV were the repeated walkouts of Lufthansa pilots last year. During that critical period, many goods that were supposed to be flown in the lower decks of LH were shifted to ANA, thus preventing leaving them on the ground.
So far, general cargo and express products could be booked under the Joint Venture label. However, since yesterday (15 May) the portfolio has been enlarged by adding perishables to the joint offering. Next the JV is looking into further products and network extensions. “So you can be sure to face some new opportunities with the ANA Cargo and Lufthansa Cargo Joint Venture also in future”, Nakazawa provides a look ahead.