The freight carrier pools its global sales regions, reducing the areas from formerly seven to five. It is one of the largest structural and personnel reorganizations ever in the history of the freight airline. Simultaneously, Digital Sales is enhanced and defined as a customer-facing function. A response to the growing role of electronic booking channels.
Since 01MAR21 Ashwin Bhat is heading Lufthansa Cargo's Product and Sales division. With the streamlining of the sales areas, he has now set the first striking sign since taking office one and a half years ago. And quite discreetly, because until the official announcement of the new structure on 02NOV22, not a word of the plans had leaked out.
This is what the new sales landscape of Lufthansa Cargo looks like since the beginning of this month:
1. The Americas
The previous separation of the sales regions North and South America will be abolished and merged into one region "The Americas". The new area is headed by Stephanie Abeler, formerly Head of Sales & Handling Midwest USA. She'll be headquartered in Chicago where she is based now. Carsten Herning (Latin America) will become the new head of the ground handler PACTL in Shanghai, whose current boss, Christan Haug, will head a new project. Lufthansa Cargo did not provide details on the future role of Bernhard Kindelbacher (North America).
The reorganization of sales activities in Europe, Lufthansa Cargo's core and home market, is even more comprehensive than in America. The regions "Eastern & Northern Europe and Western Europe", which were previously managed separately, will become a single European region. Europe will be headed by Oliver von Goetz, formerly Head of Corporate Airline Strategy and Business Development Lufthansa Airlines. The manager, who will be based in Frankfurt, replaces the previous jobholders Annette Kreuziger (Eastern + Northern Europe) and Thomas Egenolf (Western Europe). While it is unclear which tasks Egenolf will take over, Annette Kreuziger will be responsible for closer cooperation between Lufthansa Cargo and Swiss WorldCargo.
3. ME, Africa, CIS, South Asia
The third drastic step is the merger of the former sales region Middle East & Africa with South Asia and the CIS region. It will be led by André Schulz who was previously General Manager Southern and East Africa in Johannesburg. The future of Frank Beilner, Sales Chief ME & Africa, is left open in the press release published by Lufthansa Cargo.
The structure of the Asia-Pacific region, headed by Singapore-based Florian Pfaff, is redifined and downsized as André Schulz takes over sales responsibility for the South Asia cargo market. Despite the new cut, Florian will continue to lead the remaining region in the Far East.
5. Digital Sales
The fifth key decision consists of the upgrading of Digital Sales from a head office function to a customer-facing one. It is a response to the growing importance of the online business, where customers can buy air transport capacity at transparent rates with only a couple of clicks via Lufthansa Cargo's own booking tool or external portals such as cargo.one, for instance. The new unit will be headed by Marcel Kling.
"The merging of regions as well as the new appointments are important adjustments for us to join forces, exploit synergies and thus respond even better to market developments. Internally, we are simplifying our process structures, and externally we continue to be a strong partner for our customers,” commented Ashwin Bhat, Chief Commercial Officer of Lufthansa Cargo.
According to a market expert, LH Cargo is preparing for somewhat leaner times with this streamlining of its sales activities. After all, "the gold rush in air freight will soon be over."
Prior to this announcement LH Cargo had reported a 10% increase in earnings at €331 million for Q3, 2022. Revenues grew 31% to €1.1 billion and was up 40% to €3.6 bn for the first 9 months. From
01JAN22 to 30SEP22, LH Cargo has already achieved an operating profit of €1.3 billion vs €943 million in 2021. Based on these figures, the management expects a full-year result surpassing last
year's record €1.5 billion.
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