Egypt and Cairo are important trade lanes in the Lufthansa Cargo network in terms of both freighter and belly traffic.
The carrier operates a five times a week MD-11F service from Frankfurt Airport (FRA) to Cairo International Airport.
This is complemented by belly services, including a daily Airbus A321 FRA to Cairo route, a three times a week A320 route from Munich to Cairo and a three times a week Vienna to Cairo through Austrian Airlines.
Lufthansa Cargo senior director for sales and handling in Egypt, Andreas Loeffler says Egypt is a vital market as more than 330,000 tonnes of airfreight is flown into and out of the country a year, and it is one of Africa’s biggest.
He notes it has been a topsy-turvy year though in Egypt for Lufthansa Cargo: “2017 we expect one of the best years for exports, while imports stagnate slightly below last year’s tonnage due to shortage in hard currency and import restrictions.”
For exports, they are made up of approximately 80 per cent by perishable products (fruits and vegetables) followed by textiles (fashion, fabrics) with 12-15 per cent.
As for imports, they contain a wide range of products from consumer goods, machinery, electronics, livestock, pharmaceuticals and fashion.
Loeffler says the majority of perishable exports go to the Middle East and Europe and the main markets for textiles are Europe and the US.
Cargo restrictions and security concerns have impacted Lufthansa Cargo, like for many carriers. Loeffler adds: “The TSA restrictions and the measures resulting from those impacted our business to Northern America.”
Further future expansion could well be on the cards for the German carrier and its subsidiaries. “In the past years we have invested lots of time and efforts to further develop our footprint in the region. In particular for the Egyptian market frequencies and capacities have been increased for four consecutive years now,” Loeffler says.
He adds: “It is our aim to grow with and to further develop the market in close cooperation with our partners.”