The freight carrier announces the introduction of a new customer offer dubbed “Sustainable Choice“. It is scheduled to go online in mid-September, complementing the carrier’s SAF initiative to reduce its own and its customers’ environmental footprint.
When talking about climate change and the commitment of the cargo industry shown so far, Ashwin Bhat, Chief Commercial Officer of Lufthansa Cargo gets very serious. “This is a topic affecting the entire mankind. We all need to become much more ambitious than we have been so far in order to fight global warming or, even better, avoid it altogether,“ the executive urges.
Climate protection has utmost priority
For his company, this means that everything is being put under scrutiny to protect the climate in the best possible way. This is evident in the planned modular development of a new Cargo and Logistics Center at Frankfurt Airport where environmental considerations play a decisive role, in waste avoidance, the fleet rollover from MD-11F to less fuel-consuming B777F, a new type of engine washing process to optimize combustion and thus reduce CO2 emissions, sharkskin foils affixed to the fuselage and wings of the 11 B777 freighters operated by Lufthansa Cargo thereby enhancing their aerodynamics, as well as in product initiatives.
Customers are offered booking options to reduce their CO2 footprint
And on this latter aspect, the airline has a new offer in the pipeline, which will be officially launched in mid-SEP21. Its name: "Sustainable Choice." Mr. Bhat illustrates: "We are offering the Add-On Service by booking, giving customers the choice to compensate or reduce the CO2 emissions caused by the air transport of their goods, be it small or large consignments.”
Lufthansa Cargo will offer two options for transporting consignments more sustainably. When buying Sustainable Aviation Fuel, a certain amount of sustainable biofuel is mixed into the conventional kerosene and thus proportionately avoids fossil CO2 emissions that are normally produced when conventional fuel is burned. In addition, further CO2 emissions that arise, for example, during the production and transport of SAF, are offset through compensation with environmentally friendly climate protection projects, e.g. reforestation. The complete CO2 neutrality of a freight shipment can be achieved either by combining both options or by 100% compensation in climate protection projects. Up until now, DB Schenker was exclusively offering CO2-neutral shipments together with Lufthansa Cargo on a weekly basis since April this year between FRA-PVG-FRA.
“In the run-up to the offer‘s launch, we spoke with our prime customers but also mid-sized and smaller forwarding agents, with very encouraging results,“ says CCO Ashwin Bhat.
Progressive market introduction
“Sustainable Choice“ is already being marketed to customers in Asia Pacific and will be rolled out in Europe next, Lufthansa Cargo’s home market, followed by North America. During its introductory phase, it is limited to shipments booked on freighter flights operated by Lufthansa Cargo. However, “as soon as we have gained sufficient experience, we will scale it up and utilize the lower deck capacity of our passenger fleet as well, thus taking Sustainable Choice to the next level,“ the executive announces.
Will more A321F be leased?
Commenting on the announcement to operate 2 A321-200 P2F beginning in 2022, Mr. Bhat says that the fleet decision is a reaction to consumer behavior that has changed in COVID-19 times, leading to an avalanche of e-commerce shipments. A trend that is supposed to last with 20% annual growth rates expected until the mid-2020ies at least.
Given this market forecast, the Lufthansa Cargo management decided to expand the service portfolio by introducing a same day product. However, this is only possible if the fleet structure is designed to meet the requirements, as are the ground handling and other processes. Mr. Bhat did not exclude leasing more A321 freighters if there is sufficient market demand for same day pan-European air transports. “Time will tell,” he states.
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