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Fourteen freighters full of roses
Lufthansa Cargo flies in fresh roses to high-street florists for Valentine’s Day
Roses, roses and still more roses: Lufthansa Cargo freighters currently flying in from South America and Africa are laden largely with long-stem flowers destined for punctual delivery to florists in Europe as love tokens on Valentine’s Day on 14 February.
All in all, Lufthansa Cargo will be transporting more than 1,200 tonnes of roses to Frankfurt for the great day. That amounts to around 34 million Valentine roses 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 all three countries with frequent weekly freighter services from its hub in Frankfurt . Such sensitive freight requires sophisticated transport solutions to ensure the roses look dewy fresh on Valentine’s Day and for some days afterwards. The flowers are picked in the morning by rose producers in the Kenyan uplands and quickly transported subsequently to Nairobi, the Kenyan capital. They continue the journey overnight to Frankfurt aboard Lufthansa Cargo MD-11 freighters. The stopover at Frankfurt Airport is very brief. Within hours of landing, the roses are shipped out by road or flown on to consignees across Europe.
Roses produced overseas thrive in the indigenous tropical climate all year round. Despite being imported by air, they are still more environment-friendly than roses grown in Europe. The latter, produced in greenhouses, require artificial irrigation and additional heating. Consequently, according to a study conducted by Britain’s Cranfield University in 2007, they generate more CO2 emissions.