Another pillar of Gerber’s grand plan for the future of LH Cargo is the strengthening of joint ventures and partnerships with other carriers, such as AeroLogic, which he said has been successful and wants to expand in the near future.
One of the earliest such joint ventures, between Lufthansa and Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA), has been going well enough that Gerber wants to make it the model for all future JVs. “We’re working very closely with ANA,” he said. “We have the broader network with our customers, so the joint venture is really beneficial, and we have a bigger footprint in the Asian market.”
The key to a successful JV is full implementation, he said. There has to be cooperation through every department, including IT, sales and ground services, to get the full benefit. “This is what we have to do with other joint ventures,” he said, namely the agreements still being worked out between United and Cathay Pacific.
Gerber said he expects the Lufthansa-United JV to begin implementation as early as next year and may show results by 2019, with more than 600 direct connections per week between the U.S. and Europe.
“We are excited about the benefits that will be generated by our teams’ cooperation and our combined capacities,” said Jan Krems, President of United Cargo. “Cargo customers will appreciate the opportunities for quicker and easier shipping between key locations in the U.S. and Europe.”