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Airborne tokens of love

Lufthansa Cargo is flying millions of red roses for Valentine’s Day

When roses travel around the world, Valentine’s Day must be around the corner: people from all over the world will declare their love with flowers next Tuesday (14 February). For this special day, Lufthansa Cargo is currently filling entire freighters with these long-stemmed beauties. Lufthansa’s cargo arm will transport some 1,000 tonnes of these delicate goods this year overall. This equates to around 20 million individual flowers or the load capacity of 12 flights with MD-11 freighters.

Lufthansa Cargo connects the flower-growing countries with the Frankfurt hub several times a week. And special charter flights are arranged in addition to the scheduled connections in February of each year in order to serve the high demand for Valentine’s Day – with connections from Quito and Nairobi to Frankfurt this time around. Europe’s leading cargo airline has developed the special Fresh/td product, and equipped its freighters with state-of-the-art technology, specifically for the transportation of perishable goods such as flowers and food.

The roses usually begin their journey in Kenya or South America. These countries have the ideal climate for cultivating these flowers all year round, offering the best growing conditions. Sophisticated logistics ensure that the roses are transported to their destination as quickly and carefully as possible from where they were cultivated. The roses are harvested several times a day at the flower farms and then immediately placed in water and cooled. Following sorting and packing, the flowers are taken directly to the airport and loaded onto the freighters, where they are kept at the perfect temperature in the cargo hold. The roses only remain in Frankfurt Airport for a short while. Just a few hours after landing, they are transported onwards from this city on the Main river into the hands of many lovers all across Europe.