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Lufthansa in talks with ANA?

FRANKFURT: Lufthansa is reportedly in talks with ANA Holdings about a possible cargo partnership in a bid to reduce costs.

According to media reports, Harry Hohmeister, chairman of the Lufthansa Cargo (LCG) supervisory board, says the move is because there is some doubt the company can meet its "mid-term" financial goals.

ANA Cargo 767A spokesman declined to comment on the ANA report and added: "Airline co-operations are an important part of our future programme 'Lufthansa Cargo 2020' and a lever for sustainable growth. Together with strong airline partners, Lufthansa Cargo wants to increase its offer to the customers and receive additional capacities to strategic interesting traffic lanes. Currently, negotiations with airline partners are proceeding successfully. We are planning to launch the first cooperation during summer 2014."

Following a re-launch of ANA's logistics business as ANA Cargo in April this year, the new unit added to its cargo network with the launch of a B767 freighter service from Okinawa to Singapore. On May 21, ANA Cargo announced it was switching handlers at Frankfurt from LUG to Lufthansa.

In April the Lufthansa Group cargo subsidiary reported revenues of €2.44 billion in 2013 – down 9.2 percent over the previous year. The operating profit dropped 26.7 percent in the same period to €77 million. At the time, outgoing chairman and CEO Karl Ulrich Garnadt admitted that 2013 had been difficult but thought 2014 should see a "significantly higher result" including growing tonnage flown by five percent.

In an echo of a similar move by Air France-KLM, Hohmeister is now saying that Lufthansa is reviewing LCG's freighter requirements. The company is due to take delivery one more B777 freighter in June this year to add to its fleet of three and will reduce its MD-11 freighter fleet to 14.

ANA Cargo took delivery of a 10th B767 freighter in May.

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