Lufthansa set to offer enhanced service from US

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 May, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 May, 1999, 12:00am

Lufthansa Cargo Airlines, which suspended its freighter service between Germany and DFW Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport temporarily from March 26, will return with a much stronger service on May 31.

The carrier, one of Europe's premier airlines, originally announced that the service would begin on October 29.

'DFW is pivotal to Lufthansa's long-term strategic goals and we are happy to hold on to our foundation in this market,' said Todd Hildreth, Lufthansa cargo sales manager for the US southwest.

Lufthansa Cargo said it suspended the freighter service mainly due to equipment rotation and worldwide company growth.

The carrier will offer MD-11 freighter services from DFW seven times per week, flying three times to Mexico City and four times to Frankfurt.

DFW Airport executive director Jeff Fegan said Lufthansa's decision to offer the service was a welcome surprise.

'Lufthansa's decision to return early, with an additional five weekly departures, is evidence of this region's robust economy and expanding air trade,' he said.

International cargo is the fastest growing segment at DFW, up 8 per cent last year. Foreign-flag service to Europe has grown 14 per cent since last year, and DFW's total trade with the North Atlantic region was US$4 billion last year.

Mr Hildreth said the airline's decision to return earlier than expected was due to its strong commitment to DFW and the southwestern market.

Lufthansa will transport large quantities of high-technology equipment, computers, petroleum/chemical machinery, live animals and perishables.

The carrier expects to be shipping large volumes of car-related parts and perishables from Mexico.

Last year, DFW's total air-freight trade reached $11 billion, up 15 per cent over 1997. DFW expects similar growth into the new millennium, with cargo volumes forecast to reach nearly two million tonnes by 2015.

This summer, Lufthansa Cargo will move to the new international cargo centre with inter-line partner Challenge Air Cargo.

Lufthansa will be sub-leasing about 50,000 square feet of warehouse and 6,000 sq ft of office space.

DFW recently began work on phase two of the international cargo centre, which would add 233,000 sq ft of state-of-the-art cargo facilities and associated ramp space.

DFW provides more than 2.3 million sq ft of cargo space and has allocated about 243 hectares for future development.

Meanwhile, Lufthansa chief financial officer Karl-Ludwig Kley said recently that Lufthansa Cargo faced a tough year and was likely to record a decline in profits.

Weaker world economic growth would hit the Lufthansa group cargo carrier's financial results this year, he said.

'Cargo business will get more difficult in 1999. With absolute certainty [Lufthansa] Cargo will not achieve its results of [last year],' Mr Kley said.