Frankfurt: Luftansa Cargo has transported more than 1,200 tonnes of roses to Frankfurt for Valentine’s Day, the company said.
Lufthansa Cargo freighters flying from South America and Africa have been laden with long-stem flowers destined for delivery to florists in Europe as gifts on February 14. In all, Lufthansa Cargo said it has transported more than 1,200 tonnes of roses to Frankfurt. That equals about 34 million of the flowers, or 14 fully loaded MD-11 freighters.
Among the major producers of fresh-cut flowers are suppliers in Kenya, Ecuador and Colombia. Lufthansa Cargo serves the three countries with weekly freighter service from its hub in Frankfurt . The sensitive freight requires sophisticated transport solutions to ensure the roses look fresh on Valentine’s Day and for several days after.
The flowers are picked in the morning by rose producers in the Kenyan uplands and quickly transported to Nairobi. They continue overnight to Frankfurt aboard Lufthansa Cargo MD-11 freighters, and the stopover at Frankfurt Airport is brief. Within hours of landing the roses are shipped by road or flown to consignees across Europe.
Despite being imported by air, they are still more environment-friendly than roses grown in Europe, said Lufthansa Cargo. European roses, produced in greenhouses, need artificial irrigation and additional heating. According to a study conducted by Britain’s Cranfield University in 2007, they generate more CO2 emissions, the company said.