EUROPE & CIS: Lufthansa threatens to dump freighter fleet

Lufthansa has threatened to close its fleet of freighter aircraft if restrictions on night flights are imposed on its hub at Frankfurt. Carsten Spohr, the CEO of Lufthansa Cargo was quoted by Reuter’s last week as saying that it might no longer pay to have its own cargo fleet. “Everything that goes toward a single-digit […]


Lufthansa has threatened to close its fleet of freighter aircraft if restrictions on night flights are imposed on its hub at Frankfurt. Carsten Spohr, the CEO of Lufthansa Cargo was quoted by Reuter’s last week as saying that it might no longer pay to have its own cargo fleet.

“Everything that goes toward a single-digit number (of flights allowed per night) would mean that it no longer pays off to have our own cargo fleet,” he said according to the report.

His comments come after a recent court ruling that avoided determining whether night flights should be banned at Frankfurt airport, Germany’s largest, to limit noise pollution after the airport adds another runway in 2011, instead deferring the decision to the politicians.

The German state of Hesse, home to Frankfurt, approved in 2007 plans to expand the airport, but one condition was that flight movements were limited to an average of 17 per night between 11 pm and 5 am local time to cut down on noise.

Lufthansa said when court proceedings began in June it alone would require an average of 23 flights a night by 2020 for passenger and cargo flights. Requirements by tour operators such as Thomas Cook’s Condor would come on top of that.