Lufthansa Cargo is strengthening their presence on the African continent in the 2014/2015 winter flight plan. Since mid-September, the freight airline has been flying to Lagos, Nigeria twice a week, with the MD-11F. At the end of October, the Tunisian capital, Tunis, will also be incorporated into the route network. The route will be served every Tuesday, with the MD-11F.
"As a growth market, Africa is becoming more and more important", highlights Hermann Zunker, Director Africa at Lufthansa Cargo, when asked how relevant the continent is. "Tunisia has become one of the most competitive countries in Africa. Strong imports of consumer goods as well as growing demand for exports to the automotive and textile industries, above all, are continuing to increase the need for air cargo."
Nigeria provides good opportunities for import goods, more than anything. "Lagos is Africa's 'Big Apple'. The standard of living is increasing, and with it, the need for consumer goods. Traditionally speaking, another important customer of freight airlines is the oil and gas industry in Nigeria, with the industry dependent upon fast air freight connections."
In addition, All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan's largest airline, and Lufthansa Cargo will begin a strategic joint venture on routes between Japan and Europe, and vice versa, towards the end of the year. This is the first joint venture of this nature in the air cargo industry worldwide. Thanks to the partnership, customers will have a greater selection of routes and more opportunities for service. The first shipment from Japan is planned for the beginning of December 2014.
Bogotá has also been reintroduced into the route network, and from January 2015, will extend the route network to Central and South America. In the Colombia capital, fresh goods, such as flowers, make up the majority of the air cargo.
In total, Lufthansa Cargo will serve more than 300 destinations across 100 countries with the coming winter flight plan. 44 stations will be flown to by the freight fleet. In Europe, there are eight cargo destinations. Lufthansa Cargo provides 15 freight connections to Asia and the Middle East. In North America, seven cities will be served with freighters, in Central and South America, there will be a total of eight destinations. The African continent will be represented by six cities in the Lufthansa Cargo route network.