Lufthansa Cargo “cautiously optimistic”
The year 2011 was a very eventful year for the air cargo industry noted Lufthansa Cargo chairman and CEO Karl Ulrich Garnadt kicking off the division’s annual results press conference.
April 14, 2012
By Donald Urquhart
The year 2011 was a very eventful year for the air cargo industry noted Lufthansa Cargo chairman and CEO Karl Ulrich Garnadt kicking off the division’s annual results press conference. Indeed for Lufthansa, it would not be unreasonable to describe it as an über eventful year with apparently more surprises to come this year if recent comments that the carrier may exit dedicated freighter operations if the Frankfurt night ban becomes permanent, are any indication. By Donald Urquhart in Frankfurt.
While facing many of the same challenges as its industry counterparts – a rapid market decline after a stellar 2010 and bright start to 2011 with key China and India markets hit particularly hard; rising fuel costs; natural disasters including flooding in Thailand and the Japanese tsunami and nuclear accident and the impending emissions trading scheme in the EU – Lufthansa Cargo also faced a number of unique challenges. Chief amongst these was the total night-ban at Frankfurt airport which was slapped on practically overnight and problems with its joint venture cargo airline in China, Jade Cargo.
In the end, despite these adverse conditions, it was the second best year ever for the cargo division of Lufthansa which turned in an operating profit of 240 million euros on a 5.3 per cent rise in earnings to 2.9 billion euros. “Lufthansa Cargo turned in an outstanding result in a demanding market environment,” Garnadt emphasised pointing to the “very respectable” operating margin of 8.5 per cent.