The airline stated, ‘We believe a robust Air India benefits both India and the global aviation industry. We are open to exploring opportunities for a deeper collaboration with Air India.’
Lufthansa Air India Partnership
Lufthansa currently operates both passenger flights and freighters to India. Although the airline is not among India’s top ten passenger carriers, it held the eighth position in cargo operations in the April-June quarter, accounting for 3.4% of the market share.
Lufthansa’s interest in expanding cooperation with Air India coincides with its strong recovery in the cargo sector. Air India has also unveiled an ambitious expansion plan to increase its cargo capacity by 300% by introducing wide-body aircraft.
Lufthansa Cargo has experienced a robust recovery in the Indian market, with cargo volumes surpassing pre-pandemic levels in the first half of 2023. The airline has a positive outlook for the remainder of the year and anticipates further growth.
Increased exports in sectors such as pharmaceuticals, electronics, and engineering goods have driven the growth in cargo volume.
Growing Air Cargo Market
India is recognized as one of the fastest-growing air cargo markets globally. The demand for air cargo is expected to rise in tandem with India’s expanding economy and increasing exports.
Lufthansa plans to introduce new flights connecting Munich with Bengaluru and Frankfurt with Hyderabad in its upcoming winter schedule. The Frankfurt-Delhi route will be upgraded to an Airbus A380 aircraft in the following summer.
While introducing additional passenger flights will provide extra cargo capacity, the airline is also expanding its freighter operations. This expansion includes more flights to various destinations in Asia, Africa, and Mexico. The frequency of flights to Hong Kong will increase from six to seven weekly flights, with a route via Mumbai.
Ashwin Bhat, CEO of Lufthansa Cargo, stated that while the airfreight market remains volatile, Asia and Mexico continue to be economically attractive regions.
The addition of the 17th Boeing 777F to its long-haul fleet enables Lufthansa Cargo to tailor its flight offerings to meet the specific needs of customers in these markets.
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