Dear Lufthansa Cargo,
Firstly, we hope that
all is well and that after a long gray period of time
the sunshine is over your heads at your Frankfurt home.
Although we have not been
invited to any of your press briefings in 2016, we follow
your progress in German-owned media, including Handelsblatt, DVZ, and in the German-owned Air Cargo
News publication in London, and certainly from
our sources both in Germany and around the world.
Of course, just like all
other airlines you want to increase yields, but one
thing we have learned covering this beat is often that
attempt can end up have the net effect of shooting yourself
through the foot.
It is a fact that Lufthansa
Cargo volume has decreased every year since 2012 and
the simple reason for that action is that your rates
have not been competitive in the market.
Now we understand that
you have been experiencing a big increase in air cargo
volume since earlier this year as your rates have dropped
Well, now, elsewhere comes
Some airlines have just
announced that they want to increase their rates by
10 cents to support better yields.
But, let’s wait
If others do not follow
they will most likely experience continued increase
in yield but drop in volume.
Unfortunately, the constant
here is that a drop in volume eventually outruns a gain
One thing we are certain
will never work is high yield and high volume.
If you can increase Lufthansa
Cargo yield with that newly announced product called
myAirCargo service, mazeltov!
But that remains to be
myAirCargo service is
available immediately, between almost all European countries
and the USA, and plans in the coming months to extend
the offer to countless other countries.
Speaking of myAirCargo,
as that sevice appears available in addition to consumers,
also to passengers, our question is how many passengers
will carry items that are too big or too heavy for the
One thing is certain.
Passengers have paid excess baggage charges in the past
to get their stuff on the same flight.
If they can now use cargo
rates it does create additional revenue on the cargo
side, but won’t revenue be lost on the passenger
side (and most probably more than is gained by cargo)?
Will more passengers bring
We doubt that.
Will they have more guys
with their chopper bikes rolling down Route 66?
Sorry, but we doubt that
We note that the fine
and always helpful Andreas Pauker of Lufthansa PR declared
that myAirCargo will be an easy process and the passenger
only has to enter dimensions and weight and will immediately
receive the price for transportation.
Andreas also assures that
the procedure is transparent and much less complicated
than handling via a local forwarder.
In fact, for all intents
and purposes, the claim is that LH is taking care of
the whole chain, including customs.
But Mr. Paulker also says
that LH will utilize contracted forwarders for the handling
to and from the airport.
Our question is what rate
are they quoting when I have a huge toolbox of 75kgs
and I fly from Frankfurt to Hong Kong?
What about pick up from
When will Lufthansa do
How will they direct delivery
in Hong Kong if I still have to book my hotel?
How much will all of this
cost and come to think of it, what about customs, etc?
Let us step back a bit
and see how all of this works if, as advertised, the
service is rolled out this summer.
We will also report how
well the contracted forwarders are doing with this new
model, which, as one industry wag said with a smile,
will most probably be “a pain in the neck.”
As is said around the
Arend and FlyingTypers family every time something
new is on the horizon: Break a Leg!
Our very best wishes,
About those Lufthansa Cargo Press Conferences . . .
In the modern era, Nils Haupt (pictured here with myself)
and later Matthias Eberle hosted the most wonderful
and expansive press conferences in air cargo.
Wonderful because the
gatherings were always business and also social, allowing
for the Fourth Estate to gather, ask questions, learn
something, and later talk amongst each other in a completely
relaxed setting. Lufthansa Cargo made the press conference
work and in our minds made the media better.
Today the air cargo press
conference is for all intents and purposes a dead duck,
with the exception of the trade show and on the rare
occasion when a carrier wants to show off something,
for example as Qatar Airways did about six months ago,
and after that, when we all went to see Emirates SkyCargo’s
big operation at Dubai World Central.
That’s too bad.
And yes, while scolding
Lufthansa gently here, we hope they and others pick
up the air cargo press conference tradition again sometime
Give and take can open