Connecting Europe and China amid pandemic: Lufthansa Cargo

The global sky is witnessing 105 Lufthansa cargo flights per week between Germany and China, carrying vital supplies for the anti-pandemic fight, said a senior executive with Lufthansa Cargo. "The number shows the importance of air cargo in keeping China and Europe connected in these critical times," said J. Florian Pfaff, vice president of Asia-Pacific for Lufthansa Cargo.

Government authorities and aviation players are joining hands in the air cargo relay worldwide. "We feel a high responsibility in maintaining supply chains for both global health and world trade to help weather the current crisis," Pfaff told Xinhua. CONNECT EUROPE-CHINA China's civil aviation authorities have introduced a series of policies to facilitate the global air cargo relay as air cargo services play an important role in the fight against COVID-19.

"We are glad we can play our part in ensuring the worldwide flow of relief goods like masks and other protective equipment," Pfaff said, adding that Lufthansa has deployed all its Cargo freighters and utilized 25 passenger aircraft of other airlines under the Lufthansa Group to fly cargo. To ensure more space is available for freights, they removed seats in some of these aircraft. Due to continued high demand, the number of passenger planes operating as freighters may even rise in the coming weeks, according to Pfaff.

Back in February, Lufthansa cargo worked to deliver masks and protective equipment to China. "Now, it is the other way around. We are helping to serve our home market and Europe, delivering medical goods like masks and gloves from China," he said. STAGGERING CARGO FLIGHTS

Normally, Lufthansa Cargo deploys 25 percent of its freighter capacity to the Chinese market. Currently, as passenger aircraft are used as freighters, its market share here has increased to about 30 percent. This translates into 105 flights per week to and from Shanghai, Beijing and Nanjing to provide much-needed medical supplies for European countries, according to Pfaff.

Under normal conditions, Lufthansa Cargo enjoys a market share of around 12 percent for air cargo shipped between Europe and China, and 25 percent between Germany and China. As of the end of April, Lufthansa had carried a total sum of more than 1,900 tonnes of vital supplies between Germany and China. VALUE-ADDED AIR CARGO

Air transport remains the fastest means of transportation to ship goods around the globe. "Regardless of there being a crisis or not, air cargo will always provide value for its customers," said Pfaff. "In this context, China is and will remain one of our most important world markets," he said, adding that Lufthansa Cargo will continuously carry protective equipment to ensure a steady flow of supplies from China to Europe. To enhance its role in the Chinese market, the carrier is committed to better serving its Chinese customers by bringing capacity back as soon as possible and providing the best service, Pfaff said.  Enditem

by Xinhua writer Hu Tao

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