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.


Lufthansa Cargo “cautiously optimistic”


He attributed this success primarily to cost discipline, a focus on quality improvement, a broad product range and flexible capacity steering dictated by demand. “We raised our quality level markedly again during the year and attained top marks anew in all areas. We will stay on that path and further expand our quality lead,” he said pointing for instance at the investment in the Lufthansa Cargo Cool Center for temperature-controlled shipments at Frankfurt Airport.

Sharpening its business focus and shedding non-core assets also helped plump the bottom line and create a leaner organisation with the selling of its shares in subsidiaries Traxon, LifeConEx and Tianjin AirCargo Terminal (TAT). The disposal process for time:matters, the carrier’s urgent parts logistics business, is also ongoing noted Peter Gerber, Lufthansa Cargo board member Finance and Human Resources. “We are not against staking holdings in other entities, we just want them to be relevant to our core business,” he added.

The carrier also benefited from surging German exports that both “fired growth and increased market share,” for Lufthansa Cargo, Garnadt said. But for the key Asian markets, particularly China and India, the demand drop necessitated the shifting of capacity to other markets, which for Lufthansa saw it move to the trans-Atlantic trade which enjoyed reasonable growth last year. The weakness can be seen in the carrier’s traffic revenues which saw Asia-Pacific revenues fall four per cent while the Americas were up a full 23 per cent. Europe rose by 14 per cent while Africa and the Middle East were up seven per cent.