by Will Waters
Carriers to launch joint network between Hong Kong and Europe, to work closely together on network planning, sales, IT, and ground handling
Cathay Pacific and Lufthansa Cargo have unveiled a cooperation deal in which the two carriers will offer a joint network between Hong Kong and Europe and work closely together on network planning, sales, IT, and ground handling.
Under the “highly integrated, bilateral cooperation”, customers will enjoy “more direct connections, greater flexibility, time savings, and service enhancements”, claimed Simon Large, director for cargo at Cathay Pacific, and Peter Gerber, CEO and executive chairman of Lufthansa Cargo.
“Our joint network will cover more than 140 direct flights per week between Hong Kong and 13 European destinations,” said Large. “Cathay Pacific’s large number of direct connections to multiple European destinations fits perfectly with Lufthansa’s strength in Frankfurt, the most important European air freight hub, and in Europe through its dense feeder-network.”
Gerber said: “By joining forces, customers gain access to unique flexibility with more flights to choose from and a combination of feeder and direct flights. In this way their cargo can reach its destination hours earlier.
“We will also have more options for shipments which have to be transported by freighter due to their size or properties.”
The cooperation will also focus on service enhancements. For example, customers will be able to access the entire joint network via the booking systems of both partners. Joint handling, initially at the Hong Kong and Frankfurt hubs, will also make things easier for customers since there is just one point for export drop off and import delivery.
Both partners plan to transport the first shipments under the framework of the cooperation from early next year – initially from Hong Kong to Europe. The ability to also book eastbound shipments from Europe to Hong Kong will then follow in the course of the year.
They said the joint activities would be carried out in full compliance with all applicable laws, including the competition rules of the European Union and Hong Kong.
Since December 2014, Lufthansa Cargo has operated a joint cargo network between Europe and Japan with All Nippon Airways (ANA).