Lufthansa Warms to Airbus Freighter as it Plans Expansion

Lufthansa Warms to Airbus Freighter as it Plans Expansion

Bloomberg

Lufthansa Cargo has become Deutsche Lufthansa’s best-performing division, contributing almost 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) in earnings in the first nine months of 2021 and helping to staunch a cash drain that threatened to tip Europe’s biggest airline group into bankruptcy

Deutsche Lufthansa AG’s cargo division said it’s seeking more freighter planes to keep pace with booming global demand and that purchases could include Airbus SE’s new A350F model.
Lufthansa Cargo is making the case at group level for adding more single-aisle and wide-body planes, including additional Boeing Co 777F freighters to ply long-haul routes, unit chief Dorothea von Boxberg said.
“The group sees how strong we are and how profitable this market is at the moment,” she said, adding that Lufthansa will hold talks with Airbus on the A350F freighter “to see what operational benefits it would bring and how cost effective the whole package would be.”
Air-cargo demand has reached record levels during the coronavirus pandemic, fuelled by disruption to international shipping routes as supply lines fracture and containers stack up in the wrong place, together with a shift to more time-sensitive online shopping that’s expected to persist beyond the crisis.
Lufthansa Cargo has become the airline’s best-performing division, contributing almost 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) in earnings in the first nine months of 2021 and helping to staunch a cash drain that threatened to tip Europe’s biggest airline group into bankruptcy.
Von Boxberg’s comments suggest that Lufthansa, one of the world’s biggest cargo carriers, is warming to the A350F after previously indicating that the 777F could meet all of its long-haul needs. The company standardised around the Boeing plane, of which it currently has 11, after retiring the last of its MD-11 freighters during the pandemic.
The executive said it’s too early for Lufthansa to think about ordering a planned successor to the American model based on the coming 777X passenger jet. Boeing has said it’s studying a freighter version but has held back on a formal launch as it grapples with delays to
the wider program. Von Boxberg said that Lufthansa Cargo is keen to acquire more narrow-body freighters for a new short-haul operation launching early next year with two Airbus A321s converted from passenger use.