By Charlotte Seet
Lufthansa Cargo Complements Medium-Haul Network With A321 Freighters
The surge in cargo demand worldwide has pushed for not just the cargo-only airlines, but commercial airlines to push for more freighters to be leased or purchased as belly spaces onboard passenger aircraft were not as feasible – especially when the amount of cargo needing to be shipped immediately has been on the rising trend as well.
As one of the world’s leading companies in the transport of air freight, Lufthansa Cargo has been ferrying cargo across its own fleet of freighters, as well as in the bellies of passenger aircraft operated by Lufthansa Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings Discover and SunExpress. But with the rising demand in cargo, the more space there is, the merrier for both airline and customers.
Introducing the A321F
And the merrier it will get for Lufthansa Cargo and its customers as the airline received the delivery of the first of two Airbus A321F converted freighters.
Operated by twin engines, the A321 is one of the most versatile aircraft in its class for both commercial passenger use and freighter use, as it is able to carry containers in the main deck. As a result, it offers faster loading and unloading and therefore enables efficient flight operations.
Registered as D-AEUC and operated by Lufthansa CityLine on behalf of the cargo carrier, the converted freighter is completed with reinforced floorings that have a roller system for moving cargo, as well as a large cargo door — a snug fit for a total of 14 pallet and container positions in the main deck and an additional 10 positions in the lower deck.
“With the added medium-haul freighters, we are opening up a whole new strategic business segment. In the future, the A321F will offer attractive same-day and eCommerce solutions within Europe and to selected medium-haul destinations, and the new network represents a major step towards the fast-growing eCommerce segment,” explained Ashwin Bhat, Chief Commercial Officer Lufthansa Cargo, in a press release.
Ready For Service
Although bookings for customers will start from March 1, Lufthansa Cargo will only be using the converted A321 freighter from March 15 to gradually complement a worldwide route network with flights to Dublin, Istanbul, Malta, Manchester, Tel Aviv and Tunis. The first flight for the A321F will be from Frankfurt to Dublin.
Thereafter from March 29, the cargo carrier will then be adding flights to Cairo as well whereby the partially new stations in the freighter network will be served two to three times a week from and to Frankfurt.
Bhat continued, “On one hand, available capacity in the global air freight market continues to be scarce and, at the same time, end consumers expect short delivery times for their ordered goods. With the medium-haul freighter, we can close this gap and continue to reliably and quickly provide our customers with the capacity they need with the same quality and expertise for which Lufthansa Cargo is known.”
The second converted A321F is expected to enter service later in the summer, and Lufthansa Cargo will also be increasing the number of destinations served as the twin-engined freighter has a range of 3,500 kilometers.