What’s been on the books for some months has now become reality. Lufthansa Cargo and United Airlines inked the deal on May 3rd for their air cargo joint-venture. This is now the third cargo J/V which Lufthansa Cargo has signed up for.
Now with three carriers in cargo J/V’s
It follows on the previous deals made with All Nippon Cargo (ANA) and Cathay Pacific Cargo (CX), which according to sources, are both running well. The United deal runs more or less along the same lines as the other J/Vs, in that both carriers jointly manage sales and bookings of normal (standard) and express shipment bookings on their routes between Europe and the U.S. They state that they will for a start introduce selected routings from the U.S., Germany, Great Britain, Italy and Ireland and will then expand these further within the coming months along with the introduction of additional product lines. Peter Gerber, LH Cargo’s Chairman and CEO commented that: “The joint venture was designed to provide enhanced value to our customers. The combination of the two strong networks offers new routing options.” United’s Cargo President Jan Krems added that: “Cargo customers worldwide value speed, convenience and reliability.” He went on to say that “through our joint-venture, United and Lufthansa Cargo offer transatlantic shippers more options that produce these benefits.”
Ideally complementing each other
Thanks to the deal based on metal neutrality, both carriers are able to considerably expand their networks for freight carriage. In one respect, however, the pact differs from the existing joint venture agreements inked by LH Cargo, ANA and Cathay Pacific. In contrast to those three carriers, Chicago-based UA does not have a single freighter aircraft in their fleet, restricting it to focus on selling the lower deck capacity of their passenger fleet.
However, with the new pact in place, UA can offer their customers also the shipping of large and voluminous items, including the mass transport of 80 or more tons per flight across the North Atlantic, fitting into the freighter’s main decks operated by Lufthansa Cargo. Therefore, it can be said that concerning the networks and fleet structure both companies ideally complement each other.
LH Cargo gets two additional B777Fs
In today's meeting (7 May), the LH Supervisory Board has decided to add 16 aircraft to the airline group's fleet. Among the order are two Boeing
777Fs that will be operated by LH Cargo. Once delivered, the Triple Sevens are scheduled to replace some of the freight carrier's aging MD-11Fs. Thanks to the modern freighter aircraft, LH Cargo
will be able to further reduce the fuel burn of its freighter fleet, lower noise and greenhouse gas emissions and cut unit costs as well.
Simultaneously, the LH controllers also gave green light for two passenger Boeing 777-300 long-haul aircraft that will up the intercontinental fleet of LH daughter Swiss, enabling the Zurich-based carrier to expand its global network.
In the first three months, traditionally a weak quarter for airlines, SWISS had a profit margin of over nine percent; Lufthansa Cargo’s was over ten percent, announces LH in their release.
John Mc Donagh / Heiner Siegmund