LH confirms Jade rescue measures
23 / 11 / 2008
AS first exclusively revealed by Air Cargo News last month, Lufthansa Cargo has confirmed that it will be taking over all sales activity for Jade Cargo in China, from majority shareholder Shenzhen Airlines.
The move, in effect, places Jade Cargo as part of Lufthansa Cargo’s fleet in all but name, with the German carrier responsible for all sales, marketing, operational and strategic decisions.
Lufthansa had previously taken over the role of selling the airline in Europe from Swiss WorldCargo, as it attempts to find a workable solution to the problems that have plagued the airline since its inception.
Dr Andreas Otto, Lufthansa Cargo executive board member product and sales, confirmed that Jade was undergoing a number of changes. “We will look closely at the route network and may even move flights out of Shenzhen to Shanghai Pudong,” he said.
He dismissed, however, suggestions that the Chinese partner was losing interest in the airline or that the airline would be closed down in the near future.
Otto said that despite the current difficult market conditions, Lufthansa Cargo was outperforming its competitors and increasing its market share. He did however, warn that 2009 was likely to be “extremely testing” for the whole of the industry and that predictions of when and how the downturn would end, were almost impossible to make.
Otto also disagrees that this year’s peak season is non-existent as stated by cargo heads of other airlines. “We have seen a small decline of two-three per cent out of Asia compared to last year.” He did, however, admit that there has been a corresponding 5-10 per cent decrease in rates the airline has been able to charge.
The carrier is confident that it will emerge from the downturn stronger than ever, having increased its market share through acquisitions and the failure of weak cargo airlines. “A resetting of the industry is needed to remove the weak,” said Otto.