Lufthansa may drop cargo fleet if night flights banned

by Canadian Shipper

FRANKFURT, Germany—Deutsche Lufthansa Cargo Chief Executive Carsten Spohr said the company could give up its fleet of cargo planes if night flights were banned at its main hub in Frankfurt.


Spohr said that it would no longer pay for Lufthansa to have its own cargo fleet if only single digit numbers of flights were allowed per night, said a Reuters report.


There have been months of talks in Germany about whether night flights should be banned at Frankfurt airport, Germany’s largest, to limit noise pollution after the airport adds another runway in 2011.


The German state of Hesse, home to Frankfurt, approved in 2007 plans to expand the airport, but one condition was that flight movements were limited to an average of 17 per night between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. local time to cut down on noise, said the report. Responsibility for the decision on whether to ban night flights resides with the German state of Hesse, which is home to Frankfurt.


Lufthansa said it alone would require an average of 23 flights a night by 2020 for passenger and cargo flights. 

Spohr said that in the worst case, Lufthansa Cargo could gradually shrink its fleet from currently 19 planes. About half of Lufthansa cargo travels in those planes, while the other half is transported in the cargo hold of its passenger planes.

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