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LH Cargo has no plans to ground planes ... yet

By control on November 23, 2011

Lufthansa is gearing up for a challenging 2012, with board member Dr. Andreas Otto suggesting in reported comments that the carrier could ground up to 25 percent of Lufthansa Cargo's MD-11 capacity. But an email from a Lufthansa Cargo spokesman to Air Cargo World clarified that, so far, no grounding is planned.

"Dr. Otto mentioned that we would be able to ground 20 to 25 percent of our freighter capacity on short notice IF the market situation will worsen," the spokesman wrote in the email. "We will reduce capacity after Christmas — but this is normal in this industry — as all carriers do it due to a lack of demand."

In a letter to investors at the end of October, Christoph Franz, Lufthansa's executive board chairman, said Lufthansa is expecting a year-end profit "in the upper three-figure million euro range." This is seemingly the only bit of cheer in an investor report that points to dwindling figures and a slow start to 2012.

"2012 will be a challenging year," the spokesman wrote, adding that representatives from the carrier don't expect a return to recessionary levels of activity. "Actually, we do not see a situation comparable to end of 2008 and the entire 2009, when the crisis shook us hard."