From March 1, Lufthansa Cargo customers will also be able to book their cargo on converted A321 medium-haul freighters. With the start of operations on March 15, Lufthansa Cargo will gradually complement the global route network with Istanbul (IST), Tel Aviv (TLV), Malta (MLA), Tunis (TUN), Dublin (DUB) and Manchester (MAN) by operating these freighters. In the summer schedule, the carrier will also add flights to Cairo (CAI) starting March 29. The partially new stations in the freighter network will be served two to three times a week from and to Frankfurt (FRA). The A321F will make its first commercial flight from Frankfurt to Dublin on March 15, 2022. Lufthansa Cargo is thus responding to the continuing growth in demand from the eCommerce industry and can offer customers even more capacity and additional fast connections.
“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,” explains Ashwin Bhat, Chief Commercial Officer Lufthansa Cargo. “On one hand, available capacity in the global airfreight 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 conversion of the first aircraft with the registration D-AEUC has already been completed. Among other things, the floor has been reinforced accordingly, a roller system for moving cargo and a large cargo door were installed. A total of 14 pallet and container positions in the maindeck and 10 in the lower deck are available to Lufthansa Cargo customers per aircraft. This results in a payload of 28 tons per aircraft. The second medium-haul freighter is expected to enter service in late summer. Both will be operated under a wet lease agreement by Lufthansa CityLine, each under Lufthansa Cargo flight numbers. Lufthansa CityLine, as a Lufthansa Group company, has been working intensively on the technical and operational preparations of this first A321 converted freighter. The twin-engine Airbus A321 is one of the most versatile aircraft in its class: Being able to carry containers in the main deck, it offers fast loading and unloading and therefore enables very efficient flight operations.