Lufthansa Cargo increases freighter services to India

Close on the heels of announcing fairly positive financial numbers for the first half of 2017, Lufthansa Cargo chief executive and chairman of the executive board Peter Gerber held a press conference in Mumbai to formally announce the launch of additional freighter services to Mumbai. Since July, the airline operates four instead of three freighter flights to Mumbai, the biggest station for Lufthansa Cargo in India.

For Gerber the visit was more than the launch of the additional freighters to Mumbai. For Lufthansa Cargo, India is turning to be an important market and he is confident of maintaining the growth momentum in India. Gerber said that Lufthansa Cargo has 10 percent share of India’s international freight traffic and according to him, despite a slow first quarter, the cargo division of German flag carrier is currently seeing 9 percent growth in India. This has almost matched the global industry growth figures and it is much better than the overall 6-7 percent growth Lufthansa Cargo is witnessing globally.

Coming to the just-announced results for the first half of 2017, Lufthansa Cargo reported 18.6 percent increase in revenues year-over-year to €1.15 billion. This is driven by the 5 percent increase in revenue-tonne-kilometers over the same period. Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) for the first half was €84m, up from a loss of €46m a year earlier and most importantly yields rose 10.3 percent to €0.25.

Elaborating the performance in the Indian market, Frank Naeve, Vice President Asia Pacific for Lufthansa Cargo highlighted the significant factor of increasing yield. "Revenue is growing higher than the 9 percent growth because we are seeing an increase in the value of the shipment we have on the board."

Lufthansa Cargo currently has a weekly capacity of 435 tonnes out of Mumbai. This is in addition to 40 to 80 tonnes from two freighters that gone to fly to Hyderabad from Mumbai. When asked about the load factor, Zarir Kheshwala, Head of Sales (Mumbai), Lufthansa Cargo said it is "virtually full, load factor is in high 90"

Lufthansa Cargo also serves the Indian metros like Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad, each with two freighter services a week. This is in addition to the belly cargo capacity of 42 weekly passenger flights between various Indian cities and the hubs in Frankfurt, Munich and Vienna.

To India, Lufthansa Cargo operates MD-11 and B777 freighters. Its passenger fleet that includes Boeing 747 and the latest Airbus A350 offers significant cargo capacity out of key Indian cities…

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