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Cathay, Lufthansa agree cargo deal

FRANKFURT/HONG KONG: May 12, 2016. Offering a possible alternative to ‘Going via the Gulf’, Cathay Pacific and Lufthansa Cargo have agreed to co-operate on network planning, sales, IT and ground handling on their services linking Hong Kong and Europe.

Both partners plan to offer bookings from Hong Kong to Europe under the new framework agreement in early 2017 with eastbound capability following later in the year.

CATHAY LUFTHANSA“Our joint network will cover more than 140 direct flights per week between Hong Kong and 13 European destinations”, said Cathay Pacific director Cargo Simon Large. “Cathay Pacific’s large number of direct connections to multiple European destinations fits perfectly with Lufthansa’s strength in Frankfurt, the most important European airfreight hub.”

Customers will be able to access the two carriers’ joint network via their respective booking systems while handling in Frankfurt and Hong Kong will have one point for export drop off and import delivery.

“By joining forces, customers gain access to unique flexibility with more flights to choose from and a combination of feeder and direct flights. In this way their cargo can reach its destination hours earlier,” explained Lufthansa Cargo CEO Peter Gerber. “We will also have more options for shipments which have to be transported by freighter due to their size or properties.”

Lufthansa Cargo reported Q1 2016 revenue of €480 million – down 21.8 percent from the same period last year. EBITDA was €2 million compared to €70 million in 2015. The company cited overcapacity, weak demand and subsequent price dumping.

Commenting on March traffic that saw a 4.1 percent drop in RTKs compared to 2015, Cathay Pacific Cargo Sales & Marketing general manger Mark Sutch noted: “Following a generally weak February, we saw some improvement in airfreight demand in March. Overall, however, the air cargo markets remain soft and yield remains under pressure in what is a highly competitive environment.” 

(Pictured left to right: Mark Sutch, Simon Large, Peter Gerber and Bernhard Kindelbacher, Lufthansa Cargo senior vice president Strategy, Subsidiaries & Business Development.)

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