Lufthansa Cargo~ On track again

It’s not long ago – the nineties and early years of this decade - when Lufthansa Cargo was one of the air cargo industry's brightest stars, but hard times dulled the shine – at least only temporarily.

With time definite services, a wide range of differentiated products, a global partnership programme which the carrier signed with leading forwarding agents, the creation of subsidiaries to move into niche markets – just to name a few very remarkable points – the carrier was clearly the undisputed benchmark for the industry.

It was Lufthansa (LH) Cargo that delivered the big news and defined most of the standards. A certain attitude of “we are setting the pace” was fostered by many of its up-and-coming executives, most of whom came directly from the benches of universities or academies.

By passing the carrier’s threshold at its Frankfurt headquarters they were ready and very eager to reinvent most facets of the air freight business. But as one critic sarcastically put it, what they unfortunately had forgotten to teach them in school was how to practically build a cargo pallet, or load a freighter.

Under pressure
But as Lufthansa Cargo’s market share in Germany and elsewhere shrank, and the much praised global alliance WOW failed to work, profits began to fall.

Other carriers passed by the once world market leader, be it due to mergers like Air France-KLM Cargo or because of leaner and comparatively less costly and sophisticated operations.