In 2019, no one at Lufthansa Cargo would have predicted that the mighty cargo airline, which was in the midst of rolling over its aging MD11 fleet to a highly modern B777F line-up, would one day be welcoming A321 freighters into the fold – and yet, here they are!
“Hey, world! Here we are!” Ok, Lufthansa Cargo did not actually say that, but with heyworld in the Group, a medium-haul network launch with converted A321 freighters makes complete
sense. Would it have also happened without the disruption of the pandemic? “Lufthansa Cargo is thus responding to the continuing growth in demand from the eCommerce industry and can offer
customers even more capacity and additional fast connections,” the press release explains as the reason for the implementation of the new medium-haul freighter network.
Partially new destinations from 15MAR22
The first commercial A321F flight will leave from Frankfurt for Dublin on 15MAR22. The initial A321F route offers will include Istanbul (IST), Tel Aviv (TLV), Malta (MLA), Tunis (TUN), Dublin (DUB), and Manchester (MAN), all starting from the week of 15MAR22, with booking windows opening on 01MAR22. Cairo (CAI) flights will begin on 29MAR22. These “partially new” freighter network stations will be served two to three times a week from and to Frankfurt (FRA).
Closing the delivery and capacity gaps
“With the added medium-haul freighters, we are opening up a whole new strategic business segment. In the future, the A321F will offer attractive same-day and eCommerce solutions within Europe and to selected medium-haul destinations, and the new network represents a major step towards the fast-growing eCommerce segment,” Ashwin Bhat, Chief Commercial Officer Lufthansa Cargo, explained. “On one hand, available capacity in the global airfreight market continues to be scarce and, at the same time, end consumers expect short delivery times for their ordered goods. With the medium-haul freighter, we can close this gap and continue to reliably and quickly provide our customers with the capacity they need with the same quality and expertise for which Lufthansa Cargo is known.”
Creating mini freighters
“The conversion of the first aircraft with the registration D-AEUC has already been completed. Among other things, the floor has been reinforced accordingly, a roller system for moving cargo, and a large cargo door were installed,” the press release explains, going on to detail that the aircraft, capable of carrying up to 28 tons, has 14 main-deck pallet positions and 10 lower-deck ones. It will be joined by a second medium-haul freighter near the end of the summer. Flying under Lufthansa Cargo flight numbers, both aircraft will be operated under a wet lease agreement by Lufthansa CityLine, which “has been working intensively on the technical and operational preparations of this first A321 converted freighter. The twin-engine Airbus A321 is one of the most versatile aircraft in its class: Being able to carry containers in the main deck, it offers fast loading and unloading and therefore enables very efficient flight operations,” the release proclaims.
Protecting the climate, together
Efficient flight operations are also what it is all about when it comes to reducing aviation’s negative impact on the environment. Lufthansa Cargo announced last week that the latest partner to join it in its mission for better climate protection, is Röhlig Logistics. With immediate effect, Röhlig Logistics has invested in CO2 emission compensation projects on four freight routes from Frankfurt/Main (FRA) to Atlanta (ATL), Mexico City (MEX), and Shanghai (PVG), as well as from Hong Kong (HKG) to Frankfurt/Main (FRA). All CO2 emissions of the freight carried on behalf of Röhlig Logistics will be 100% offset through the promotion of myclimate projects, and are expected to result in the offsetting around 1,000 tons of CO2 emissions.
Philip W. Herwig, Managing Partner at Röhlig Logistics, commented: “Röhlig is committed to promoting sustainability in all its business activities and decision-making processes. Therefore, we are particularly pleased to be a partner of Lufthansa Cargo and to take a measurable step in our sustainability efforts with this commitment. With immediate effect, we are offering our customers CO2-neutral freight transport on selected routes. In doing so, 100% of the CO2 emissions are offset by supporting projects of the international and non-profit climate protection organization, myclimate.”
It has selected ten myclimate carbon offset projects which have been curated by the Lufthansa Group. These include projects such as using wood-based biomass instead of gas boilers in Brazil, supplying efficient cook stoves to returnees in Burundi, or biogas plants for 9,000 Families in India, for example.
Aiming to become the most sustainable cargo airline
“We are delighted to have Röhlig Logistics as another partner at our side, actively contributing to make air freight transports more sustainable. Our goal is to become the most sustainable air cargo airline. That is why we are investing in a modern fleet, innovations such as AeroShark, which reduces air resistance, and the latest generation of lighter loading equipment. These investments help to significantly reduce our CO2 emissions. On the other hand, we offer our customers sustainable transport solutions that reduce the remaining carbon footprint. In addition to Sustainable Aviation Fuel, this also includes offsetting CO2 emissions by investing in high-quality climate protection projects,” Dorothea von Boxberg, CEO at Lufthansa Cargo, concluded.
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