Reorganising the sales structure has helped put Lufthansa Cargo closer to customers and has put it in a strong position to cater for strong demand, vice president for Germany J. Florian Pfaff (pictured) tells Air Cargo Week.
Following a tough year in 2016, Pfaff says the peak season was exceptionally good, and the strong demand has continued through Chinese New Year and up to Easter.
He says the positive trend have been sustained with the start of the summer season. Pfaff explains: “Having already reorganised our sales structure at the start of the year, we are delighted to now be even closer to our customers.
“This major accomplishment has paid off, putting us in an even better position to cater for this strong demand.”
Lufthansa Cargo is optimistic the high demand for air cargo will persist, though Pfaff comments: “We have seen time and again over recent years just how volatile the air cargo market can be. Accordingly, you have to take any forecasts with a pinch of salt.”
He also says: “We want to win business in the future as well by appealing to customers with our far-reaching and closely-meshed network, top-class service and innovative products.”
Lufthansa Cargo has been busy developing partnerships, having started with All Nippon Airways (ANA) on Japan to Europe services in December 2014 and vice versa in summer 2015.
This was followed by a cooperation with Cathay Pacific Cargo on routes from Hong Kong to Europe from February 2017.
Pfaff says: “Our customers benefit from the larger network, increased shipping options, improved service recovery, greater flexibility and, not least, the time savings. Thanks to the “one-stop shopping” setup in place, our customers can now book ANA and Cathay Pacific Cargo flights via Lufthansa Cargo booking channels – and vice versa.”
In April, Lufthansa Cargo signed a joint venture with United Airlines for cargo cooperation on routes between the US and Europe.
Pfaff says: “We are currently working on aligning our cargo business processes and IT systems so that we can offer the aforementioned benefits from Europe to the US as well and vice versa.”
Pfaff believes the outlook is positive; its hub in Frankfurt is located at the heart of a number of leading European production centres, but says: “we have to constantly work together with our partners – in Frankfurt and within the Lufthansa Group – on ensuring we can offer our customers the best possible solutions all over the world.”