A very special shipment switched continents on flight NH 277 from Tokyo to London on 2 December 2014, namely the first sent under the umbrella of the joint venture set up by Lufthansa Cargo and All Nippon Airways (ANA) Cargo. The day before, both airlines began jointly selling shipments on flights of both airlines between Japan and Europe as planned, launching the world’s first cargo joint venture. But more on that pioneering shipment booked by Lufthansa Cargo on an ANA plane: Thanks to ANA’s direct connection between both major cities, the three packages sent by forwarder Schenker-Seino Co. Ltd reached their destination 16 hours earlier than if they had travelled via Lufthansa Cargo's non-direct connection through Frankfurt. Same concept, different destination - on the same day, a Lufthansa freighter with flight number LH 8385 transported a shipment booked via ANA from Tokyo to Frankfurt. The 1.8 tonne pallet reached its destination without making any detours. With access to capacities on board Lufthansa Cargo freighters, ANA customers can now also send bulky freight as well as shipments that can only be accommodated on freighters directly from Tokyo to Frankfurt. This wasn’t previously possible due to ANA offering belly capacity only.
The strategic merger of the cargo business of both airlines has created a larger, denser network with more direct flights, destinations and frequencies. Customers of both airlines will benefit from this. An improved offering and greater flexibility are the buzz words. Time-saving will be an additional benefit, with customers having only one location for export drop-off and import delivery. “This cooperation marks a great step for our customers”, said Peter Gerber, Lufthansa Cargo Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO. “With the joint venture, both airlines will boost their position in global competition and make even better use of their aircraft capacities”, said Akira Okada, CEO of ANA Cargo, emphasising the importance of the joint venture. Both airlines have received antitrust approval for the joint venture from the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and complied with EU antitrust regulations.
The strategic partnership concept will allow both cargo airlines to combine networks and capacities on joint venture routes without either airline having to invest financially in the other. Revenue sharing will be handled fairly between the partners according to a specific formula. As a result, it won’t matter which aircraft actually transports the cargo. Capacities from Europe to Japan should be jointly sold in summer 2015. “We are pleased to have found a partner like ANA Cargo that is such a good fit for us”, stressed Peter Gerber. “Like Lufthansa Cargo, ANA Cargo is committed to top quality and has traditionally maintained a clear focus on cargo.” The first partner is not expected to be the last and a few more joint ventures may follow. Through this, Lufthansa Cargo is successfully achieving another milestone in the Lufthansa Cargo 2020 future programme.
All Nippon Airways (ANA) is the eighth largest airline in the world by revenue (2013) and the largest in Japan by passenger numbers and cargo tonnage. Founded in 1952, ANA currently flies to 54 international and 133 domestic destinations with a fleet of 235 aircraft. The company currently employs about 14,000 people worldwide. In 2013, it carried 49 million passengers as well as 1.2 million tonnes of air freight and generated revenues of 1.6 billion yen. ANA has been a core member of the Star Alliance since 1999 and operates joint ventures with United Airlines on trans-Pacific routes. It also operates joint ventures with Lufthansa, Swiss International Airlines and Austrian Airlines on routes between Japan and Europe. ANA was voted Airline of the Year for 2013 by Air Transport World magazine. ANA was also awarded five stars in 2013 and 2014 by SKYTRAX, the world’s leading airline and airport review site. ANA was the first airline in the world to introduce the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and operates the largest Dreamliner fleet. ANA recently restructured its freight division, ANA Cargo. By focusing on cargo sales, marketing and handling, the company will be able to expand from its air cargo hub in Okinawa with its ten Boeing 767 freighters.