Air Cargo Management

Coronavirus: First Lufthansa passenger aircraft loaded with cargo lands

Loaded with around 30 tonnes of freight, a Lufthansa passenger aircraft landed in Frankfurt today after flying in from China with a flight time of 11 hours and six minutes.

In addition to the cargo compartments of the Airbus A330, the cabin, including the stowage compartments above the seats, was also loaded.

On board the aircraft, registration number D-AIKI, were various urgent goods, mainly from the medical sector, including masks and other protective equipment.

The required permits for the flight were issued in cooperation with the foreign ministries and embassies of the People’s Republic of China and the Federal Republic of Germany.

Lufthansa Cargo says that it is making every effort to strengthen security of supply by air. About half of all goods are normally transported in freighters, the other half in the bellies of passenger aircraft.

Due to the far-reaching cancellations of passenger connections, valuable airfreight capacity is lacking. The Lufthansa Group and Lufthansa Cargo are, therefore looking into the possibility of operating further flights exclusively for cargo transport on passenger aircraft.

Especially in emergency and crisis situations, logistics and airfreight are of particular importance, notes the airline, adding that in addition to urgent spare and machine parts, sensitive pharmaceuticals and fresh goods can also be transported long-haul by air.

The German carrier also points out that a Boeing 777F freighter has a standard load capacity of 103 tonnes.

With a turnover of €2.5 billion in 2019, Lufthansa Cargo is one of the world’s leading companies in the transport of air freight. The company currently employs about 4,500 people worldwide.

The cargo carrier serves around 300 destinations in more than 100 countries with its own fleet of freighters, the belly capacities of passenger aircraft operated by Lufthansa German Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings and SunExpress, and an extensive road feeder service network.

Other airlines have also followed suit by launching cargo-only flights this week in light of the coronavirus outbreak, including American Airlines and Virgin Atlantic.

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