Air Cargo Europe was Munich Airport’s President and CEO Michael Kerkloh’s last trade show he co-hosted in his role as airport boss. Sitting in MUC’s drivers’ seat since 2002, he will exit the operator Flughafen Muenchen GmbH at the end of this year. At ACE he took the opportunity to thank Lufthansa and their freight arm LH Cargo for a close and productive relationship with the airport.
Kerkloh’s message could hardly be more intensive: “Our joint venture with Lufthansa aimed at mutually utilizing Terminal 2 and our large Satellite building is worldwide a flagship model of a
successful partnership between an airport and an airline.” This partnership, Mr Kerkloh went on to say, includes close ties with Lufthansa Cargo. “They are by far the largest operator at MUC,
utilizing our ground infrastructure, although they are serving our airport only with passenger aircraft, not freighters.”
For Lufthansa Cargo “Munich is still a pure belly airport,” the manager stated.
Growing lower deck capacity
In the same breath he pointed out that Lufthansa’s intercontinental network served from and to Munich is growing rapidly. “And the new A350s they utilize on an increasing number of routes has a superb lower deck capacity,” CEO Kerkloh stated. He went on to say: "LH Cargo is by far our largest freight operator and I am confident that they’ll keep staying up front in future.”
In his reply, CEO Peter Gerber of LH Cargo pointed out that his airline turned over 260,000 tons of freight at Munich last year. “And in contrast to the general downward trend, our volumes grew ten percent at MUC since the beginning of this year,” the manager stated.
Munich offers more potential for LHC
He emphasized that Lufthansa’s growing passenger network makes Munich increasingly attractive for cargo customers because more intercontinental services lead to additional belly-hold capacity that LHC can offer the market. However, “our main hub Frankfurt is much better known among our suppliers,” he said. “So we still have some work to do to push Munich up front as well,” he stated, announcing to add 700 square meters storage space to his carrier’s pharma facility at Munich Airport.
“Michael Kerkloh International?”
“Expansion by Lufthansa Cargo at Munich is always warmly welcomed,” replied Michael Kerkloh. He reacted amused when CargoForwarder Global suggested to rename Munich Airport rebranding it “Michael Kerkloh International” after his tenure ended, to honor him for his outstanding contributions to put MUC on the international map.
“Interesting idea. You should present this thought to the Bavarian politicians, although I fear they will not agree.”
WFS takes it all
During the Supplier Award ceremony last Wednesday evening, Thomas Sonntag, LH Cargo VP Procurement & Infrastructure, stated that “thanks to their know-how, motivation and commitment, our service providers are a vital component of our performance promise and contribute to the long-term success of Lufthansa Cargo.” It was his last speech in this role because beginning of July he’ll become MD of ULD manager Jettainer (we reported).
Overall winner in the category “Best Cooperation Global” became Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) for outstanding contributions in their role as LHC supplier.
Tri-Star also wins important accolades
Sao Paulo and Miami-based ground handler and forwarding agent Tri-Star, a spin-off from LH Cargo some 20 years ago in Brazil, was awarded two accolades: Best performer USA and Canada and Best Performer Latin America and Caribbean. “That’s a great honor and motivation for our teams in both North and South America,” stated Tri-Star founder José Antonio de Oliveira Ferreira.
It was late evening that the Suppliers Award came to an end at the Paulaner Bar.