As of September 1, the lower deck capacity of Brussels Airlines’ ten long-haul A330 passenger aircraft will be marketed by Lufthansa Cargo. The decision follows the role model of Austrian Airlines and Eurowings, whose freight operations are also orchestrated by LH Cargo.
Spohr puts his foot down
Lufthansa Cargo’s step to take over the freight activities of Brussels Airlines became apparent on February 5th. On that very day, the German Airline’s CEO Carsten Spohr announced profound management changes at Brussels Airlines (SN), replacing their long-time CEO Bernard Justin by Lufthansa’s Christina Foerster with effect from 1. April. A strategic decision aimed at better integrating the Belgian carrier, that belongs 100 percent to LH since December of 2016, into the German airline group’s operational activities.
Mixed steering team
A major result of Mr Spohr’s strategic ukase can be seen now: Lufthansa Cargo will take over the freight business of SN. As LH Cargo’s Head of Communications, Jacqueline Casini, told CargoForwarder Global, beginning next September, a mixed team consisting of Lufthansa Cargo and Brussels Cargo managers and based at Brussels Airport will become responsible for marketing the capacity of the lower decks of Brussels Airlines’ wide-body fleet. Part of the deal is that the Belgian carrier’s staff, working in the cargo department, will change employers, switching to Lufthansa Cargo.
According to information obtained by CFG, the current contracts between SN Cargo and their different sales agents, particularly those located in Africa, will be reviewed and decided on a case by case basis if they will be prolonged or not. Should agents generate additional business they chances are good that they stay on board, indicates Mrs Casini.
This point is strongly emphasized by Alexis von Hoensbroech, Chief Commercial Officer at LH Cargo: “Brussels Airlines' African destinations are complementary to our existing network, thus fitting our own connections ideally," he states. Conversely, Brussels Airlines customers have full access to Lufthansa Cargo’s own network, including that of Austrian Airlines, SunExpress, AeroLogic and the long-haul routes of budget carrier Eurowings.
Growing freight empire
With the lower deck compartments of 10 wide-body A330 passenger aircraft operated by Brussels Airlines, substantial capacity will be added to Lufthansa Cargo’s freight empire.
In a release, Christina Foerster, CEO of Brussels Airlines as of 1st of April, emphasizes the advantages of the upcoming partnership: "Lufthansa Cargo has a lot of experience in marketing the cargo capacities of passenger airlines. This cooperation will help us to make even better use of the holds of our fleet.” Conversely, Frau Foerster points out that Brussels Airlines as European Africa specialist “can add new destinations to Lufthansa Cargo's offering."