Lufthansa Cargo: Ukraine crisis will cause 10% global capacity drop

Dorothea von Boxberg Credit: Lufthansa Cargo

Lufthansa Cargo expects global market capacity will be approximately 10% down as a result of the Ukraine invasion.

Speaking at a press conference, Lufthansa Cargo chief executive Dorothea von Boxberg said this is because of restrictions for global fleets. Russian carriers are restricted by airspace sanctions by the European Union, UK and US, European carriers are not able to fly over Russia and Ukraine, while, Japanese carriers are flying around the Russian airspace and Middle Eastern airlines have seen no changes.

Two high profile airlines to be affected are Volga-Dnepr Group airlines, which are not able to operate flights to Europe and North America, and Narita-hubbed Nippon Cargo Airlines that has temporarily suspended flights to Europe.

Lufthansa Cargo also calculated a 10% capacity reduction for its freighter operations from Asia Pacific to the European Union.

She confirmed that the closure of Ukraine airspace and Russia’s decision to close airspace to airlines from 36 countries has impacted operations.

“That affects some of our most important routes into China, Japan and South Korea.”

These routes would usually cross Russian space, but now a route south of Russia and Ukraine is being taken that means flights take 1.5 to 2.5 hours longer than normal. However, as the average door-to-door time of a shipment is five to six days, this extra time won’t make much difference to shippers.

“It is more a question of the capacity that is missing than the time of getting it transported.”

Payload restrictions are also an issue.

“We’ve got the 777 which is a great aircraft, I think the only one that would do these distances and payloads without intermediate stops. But then it cannot carry the 100 tons anymore. That’s why altogether it means something like a 10% reduction in our available freight capacity.

“The capacity of course is still there but in terms of tonnage we can transport, it will about that less (-10%).”

Lufthansa’s cargo business has registered record results for the second year in a row.

Lufthansa Cargo posts record results

Lufthansa Cargo announces medium-haul network start date

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Rebecca Jeffrey

Rebecca Jeffrey
New to aviation journalism, I joined Air Cargo News in late 2021 as deputy editor. I previously worked for Mercator Media’s six maritime sector magazines as a reporter, heading up news for Port Strategy. Prior to this, I was editor for Recruitment International (now TALiNT International). Contact me on: [email protected]