|Parent company||Lufthansa Group|
|Key people||Peter Gerber, Chairman|
Lufthansa Cargo AG is a German cargo airline and a wholly owned subsidiary of Lufthansa. It operates worldwide air freight and logistics services and is headquartered at Frankfurt Airport, the main hub of Lufthansa. Besides operating dedicated cargo planes, the company also has access to cargo capacities of 350 passenger aircraft of the Lufthansa Group.
Lufthansa operated a cargo subsidiary, called German Cargo, between 1977 and 1993 (earlier still, cargo operations were executed in-house, under the Lufthansa Cargo name), when - in an effort to restructure the company - the cargo division was re-integrated into its parent, and split up into two parts (one for scheduled operations using Lufthansa-owned aircraft, and one for freight and logistics services using chartered or leased aircraft).
Lufthansa Cargo was created as a limited stock company on 30 November 2004, along with Lufthansa Cargo Charter. Lufthansa Cargo uses LH (the same IATA code as Lufthansa), as well as GEC (the former ICAO code of German Cargo) as airline codes. Lufthansa is unique compared to its major European competitors like British Airways and Air France in that the cargo business is organized in an entirely different airline entity. For some years, Lufthansa Cargo (including the freight transported in the cargo holds of mainline Lufthansa passenger aircraft) was the leading cargo airline in terms of international freight tonne-kilometres carried, but has since been surpassed by Cathay Pacific and Korean Air Cargo.
As of 2011, all Lufthansa Cargo aircraft are based at Frankfurt Airport, the seventh busiest freight hub in the world, where the airline enjoys a strong co-operation with Fraport, the operator of the airport. Cargo facilities at the airport are divided into two places (Cargo City North and South), of which the first one is nearly exclusively used by Lufthansa Cargo.
In earlier years,[when?] Lufthansa Cargo had a secondary base at Leipzig/Halle Airport, the European hub for DHL Express, from where it operated flights on behalf of DHL. Activities at this airport gradually came to an end following the formation of AeroLogic as a joint venture between Lufthansa and DHL, which henceforth caters for the DHL flights, allowing Lufthansa Cargo to concentrate on other services.
In 1996, Hinduja Cargo Services was founded as a joint venture between Hinduja Group and Lufthansa Cargo. The company operated a fleet of Boeing 727 freighters, flying from airports in the Indian subcontinent to feed Lufthansa Cargo's hub at Sharjah airport. The airline suspended operations in 2000 in favour of direct services from Frankfurt using Lufthansa Cargo aircraft.
Lufthansa Cargo used to operate a hub for intra-Asian flights at Astana International Airport in Kazakhstan, but was forced to relocate it to Yemelyanovo Airport in Russia in 2007, because otherwise the airline would have been banned from entering Russian airspace, in what was described as an act of economic blackmail by the Russian authorities.
In 2008, Jade Cargo International was founded as a joint venture between Shenzhen Airlines, Lufthansa Cargo, and the German Investment Corporation, a German governmental entity. Jade ended operations in 2011.
In May 2011, Lufthansa Cargo opened another hub at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad, to transport temperature-sensitive goods, especially pharmaceuticals, between South East Asia and Europe (and onwards to the United States).
As of October 2013, Lufthansa Cargo serves 57 cities worldwide with its cargo aircraft.
As of September 2020 the Lufthansa Cargo fleet consists of the following aircraft:
With the delivery of the first Boeing 777F, Lufthansa Cargo started to name their aircraft in a scheme referring to typical greetings of the countries they serve. The first 777F was named Good day, USA, while an MD-11F was named Buenos días México for example.
The initial fleet of Lufthansa Cargo had previously belonged to German Cargo, and was expanded by cargo-converted former Lufthansa mainline Boeing 747-200s. From 1998, the airline began to gradually phase out all other aircraft types in favour of a fleet entirely consisting of the McDonnell Douglas MD-11 (which Lufthansa received as freighter versions in 2001 after MD-11 production ended) version and its successor, the Boeing 777 freighter. In March 2011, the order of five Boeing 777F was announced, the same aircraft type which had earlier been chosen for AeroLogic. Almost the entire Lufthansa Cargo fleet today is composed of purpose-built freighter aircraft.
Over the years, the following aircraft types were operated:
Media related to Lufthansa Cargo at Wikimedia Commons