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Aviation Industry

Lufthansa Cargo can rise above 2016 loss, but ‘the playing field must be level’

Marzo 30, 2017

Cargo carriers must compete on an even playing field if the market is to see a sustainable return to growth, said Lufthansa Cargo chief executive Martin Gerber as he discussed the cargo division’s €50m loss for 2016.

“If the Gulf carriers offer prices we cannot compete with, it makes for a difficult market,” said Mr Gerber, revisiting claims by European and US flag carriers that the Gulf carriers receive unfair subsidies from their governments.

“But, with the exception of Qatar Airways, there was very little growth across the region’s carriers. This may be indicative of the carriers moving towards a more commercial model that will help bring prices back up,” he said.

Following a tie-up between Etihad and Lufthansa’s passenger divisions, speculation has mounted that the cargo divisions would follow suit. However, Mr Gerber would not be drawn into speculation on if, or when, this would happen, merely stating there were clear “possibilities”.

Asked by The Loadstar if Etihad would have to readdress government subsidies before any deal, Mr Gerber again declined to comment.

“This is more a discussion for politicians than Lufthansa Cargo,” he said.

While Mr Gerber accepted there was a market necessity for competition between carriers, he said it had to be “fair”…

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