Lufthansa ‘may sign another joint venture this year’

Putting together the joint venture with Japan’s ANA in 2014 had not been an easy task – it had taken a year to settle the legal issues alone – but the effort had been worthwhile.
Lufthansa Cargo chief executive Peter Gerber predicted that the German carrier would sign another, similar but separate venture with another carrier during 2015, writes Chris Lewis.
By the end of February 2015, the joint venture had allowed Lufthansa to carry an additional 300 consignments that it would otherwise have had to turn away because its own planes were full, said Gerber.
The Europe to Japan half of the partnership would also start in summer 2015, he added.
He also said that he was not aware of suggestions by fellow directors that the partnership had so far failed to yield hoped for results.
Gerber predicted that the joint venture with ANA would succeed where others had failed. Previous alliances had been flawed because it was still more profitable for carriers to use their own rather than their partner’s metal but this was no longer the case.
Any new joint venture would be on a major trade lane, Gerber said, which could include China, the ‘Tiger’ states of south-east Asia or the Indian subcontinent.
He would be drawn on which, or how many potential partners Lufthansa was talking to, but he was confident that there would be “at least one announcement this year.”
It would initially at least almost be a separate agreement between Lufthansa and the other carrier. Trying to bolt another carrier into the existing one with ANA would be too complex from a legal and anti-trust immunity point of view, though “I wouldn’t rule it out one day,” he said.

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