Lufthansa Cargo launches intra-European freighter flights

Lufthansa Cargo A321F. Source: Lufthansa Cargo

Lufthansa Cargo has launched its new short- and medium-haul European freighter network with an A321F flight from Frankfurt to Dublin.

The network will initially utilise a single A321 freighter – named Hello Europe – flown by Lufthansa Group airline CityLine. In August, a second A321 freighter will be added to the network.

The first aircraft will serve a network covering seven destinations: Frankfurt, Dublin, Manchester, Malta, Tel Aviv, Istanbul and Tunis.

A service to Cairo is expected to be added at the end of March.

Speaking at an event to mark the first flight, Lufthansa Cargo chief executive Dorothea von Boxberg said that the last time Lufthansa Cargo operated intra-European cargo flights was in the early 2000s when it offered night time flights carrying mail.

Rising e-commerce volumes would be one of the staples of the new flights, she said.

“We see that there is an increased demand from customers from within Europe for fast connections,” said von Boxberg. “That is what airfreight is about.

“That could be from the Nordics or the UK to mainland Europe, or from Frankfurt to Madrid or Lisbon. It is the longer routes that need faster transport.

“One segment that is growing very fast is e-commerce but there are also others such as spare parts and other time-sensitive goods.

“We have been carrying e-commerce in bellyholds but as we have worked with e-tailers we realised that the little space we have in the bellyhold of a continental aircraft is just not enough for e-commerce needs and that is why we were lucky to get the decision to start this short-haul network.”

She added that the A321 freighter aircraft also fit with the group’s sustainability ambitions; halving Co2 emissions by 2030.

von Boxberg added that the aircraft would be used to carryout a relief flight to Poland to help with the humanitarian efforts as a result of the war in Ukraine.

Chief commercial officer Ashwin Bhat added that the aircraft would be used also be offered on an ACMI and charter basis, depending on customer requirements.

Future network additions would also depend on customer needs, he said.

The conversion of the first aircraft included fitting a reinforced floor, a roller system for moving cargo and a large cargo door.

A total of 14 pallet and container positions in the maindeck and 10 in the lower deck are available to Lufthansa Cargo customers per aircraft. This results in a payload of 28 tons per aircraft.

Lufthansa Cargo announces medium-haul network start date

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Damian Brett

Damian Brett
I have been writing about the freight and logistics industry since 2007 when I joined International Freighting Weekly to cover the shipping sector. After a stint in PR, I have gone on to work for Containerisation International and Lloyds List - where I was editor of container shipping - before joining Air Cargo News in 2015. Contact me on [email protected]