Lufthansa Cargo says 2001 ‘a lost year’ after US attacks

by Canadian Shipper

Andreas Otto, chairman of Deutsche Lufthansa AG’s freight unit Lufthansa Cargo, is calling 2001 “a lost year” as a result of the effects of the US terrorist attacks on its operations.

The comments came in an interview with Boersen Zeitung and were with reference to the company’s previous target that it will break even in 2001, the paper said.

It is up to parent company Lufthansa to give a new forecast, Otto said.

In the week after Sept 11, freight volumes were down 35-40 per cent and though the situation has improved it has far from normalized.

Otto says that if some airspace remains closed, freight will have to travel along other routes which along with increased insurance premiums, may push Lufthansa Cargo’s costs up further.

The effects of the US attacks have also caused talks between Lufthansa Cargo and Scandinavian Airline Systems AB about Lufthansa acquiring a 40-49 per cent stake in SAS’s cargo unit to collapse, since both companies have been forced to re-think their investments. The talks had been at an advanced stage, he said.

However, the formation of the three-way ‘New Global Alliance’ a joint cargo venture between Lufthansa, SAS Cargo and Singapore Airlines Ltd’s cargo unit is advancing as planned.

All three companies have been harmonizing their products and processes in recent months and will launch their joint express services on Oct 1.

This joint venture, said Otto, woud enable Lufthansa Cargo to obtain a “meaningful” presence in the Asia-Pacific market for the first time.

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