Lufthansa Cargo switches Krasnoyarsk for Novosibirsk

Lufthansa Cargo Switches Krasnoyarsk for Novosibirsk The McDonnell Douglas MD-11F cargo jet of Lufthansa Cargo (Photo by Leonid Faerberg / Transport-Photo Images)

Lufthansa Cargo, one of the major freight carriers, will cease technical landings of MD-11’s in Krasnoyarsk’s Emelyanovo airport in Russia, local Kommersant Daily reports citing the German airline. Starting from October 31, the flights between Frankfurt and Shanghai (China), operated nine times a week, will be made via another Russian city in Siberia — Novosibirsk (Tolmachyovo Airport). The air carrier emphasizes a better infrastructure in Tolmachyovo and the ability to outsource certain services whereas in Krasnoyarsk the company “had to involve its own personnel and equipment”, Lufthansa Cargo explains.

Lufthansa Cargo announced the plans to reduce flights due to “difficult financial situation”, Emelyanovo Airport replied. In its desire to support the carrier and motivate the company to retain Krasnoyarsk in its route network the airport administration came up with “the most attractive offer that Lufthansa Cargo is currently considering”.

A source in the Kommersant close to the situation says one technical landing brings the airport an average of $70,000 per daily cargo flight (including airport charges, fueling and maintenance). In 2014-2015 the perspective demand for the airline’s activity via Emelyanovo was estimated at a rate of 3500 flights per year while the annual income was calculated to reach roughly 245 million US dollars. However, regardless of whether Lufthansa Cargo stays in Emelyanovo, the airport’s missing governmental approvals for technical and commercial landings hinders a great deal its further transit capacity development, another source in the Kommersant adds.

Head of Infomost consultancy Boris Rybak reckons Lufthansa’s decision was determined by both the existing airport functionality and evolving situation on the air cargo market. “It is getting harder for a narrow-purpose company to run the business as a subsidiary of a classic passenger carrier”, the expert says. Wide-body passenger jets transporting cargoes in baggage compartments actively compete with old-school freight carriers. The latter will need to make a one-of-a-kind offer or inevitably reduce their market share.

The Kommersant also reminded that the history of cooperation between Lufthansa Cargo and Krasnoyarsk dates back to 2007. At that time the Russian authorities were trying to convince the German carrier to move its transit base from Astana (Kazakhstan) to Krasnoyarsk which Lufthansa was not really eager to do complaining about low safety standards and unfavorable weather conditions. The Russian Ministry of Transportation went on suspending Lufthansa’s cargo flights over Russia with the reference to the company’s prior obligation to make an interim landing at one of the Russian airports along the trans-Siberian corridor. In the meanwhile, the Emelyanovo Airport reconstructed its runway.

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