Lufthansa Cargo is permanently converting two A321 passenger aircraft into freighters as it caters to growing demand in the e-commerce market.

    The company said its aim was to offer fast intra-European connections, with the two aircraft operational from the beginning of 2022.

    The A321s will receive large cargo doors to enable the transport of containers on the main deck. They will be operated by Lufthansa CityLine on behalf of Lufthansa Cargo, and be stationed in Frankfurt.

    Lufthansa Cargo noted forecasts of around 20 per cent growth per year in cross-border e-commerce shipments over the next five years.

    “Lufthansa Cargo wants to offer customers in the e-commerce segment fast intra-European connections,” said the company’s CEO Dorothea von Boxberg. “With the converted A321s, we are meeting our customers’ growing demand for same-day solutions and further strengthening our dense network of global connections as well as our product offering.

    “The selected aircraft type can transport 28t per flight, significantly larger cargo volumes than in the short-haul bellies of passenger aircraft. In addition to forwarders, integrators and postal operators, e-commerce providers will be customers for this offering.”