Lufthansa Cargo expects $54 million loss
Published: Dec 12, 2011
Global - Lufthansa Cargo says it could lose about US$54 million (SG$69.9 million) annually if its temporary night flight ban at the Frankfurt global hub becomes permanent.
The company could lose US$20 million (SG$25.9 million) this year alone due to cancelled flights and lost business after a regional court banned night flights between 11pm to 5am local time since 3 October 2011. The ban came after a resident from Hesse, Germany complained about noise from night flights.
The German carrier is facing higher costs for rerouting Asia-bound MD-11 freighters via Cologne since the month-long ban. Additional costs have also been incurred by having the truck freight to Cologne where an aircraft is stationed for flights to the U.S.
The Far East flights are picking up extra freight at Cologne but it does not cover the extra costs from the 20 minutes flying time detour from Frankfurt. The impact of the ban is most noticeable on the route to Chicago, Karl Ulrich Garnadt, Lufthansa Cargo chief executive, said.
More than half of Germany air freight passes through Frankfurt, including 80% of Lufthansa's worldwide cargo traffic. The airline hasn't included any night flights to or from Frankfurt in its 2012 summer flight plan, reported the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper.
Lufthansa will be submitting its summer flight plan, which begins at the end of March, between this month and early next year. Concerns of the ban and the impact it will have on the German logistics sectors has been raised by politicians.
"That politicians from different [political] parties are taking seriously the negative impact on Germany as a logistics base is a positive signal for the proceedings next March," the company said.
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