Tag Archives: Lufthansa Cargo

The last MD-11F leaves Lufthansa Cargo

"Thank you MD-11 - Farewell" (last MD-11)

Lufthansa Cargo announced the retirement of its last McDonnell Douglas MD-11 (F) freighter:

Era of tri-jets within Lufthansa Group comes to an end – On October 17, Lufthansa Cargo’s last MD-11F landed in Frankfurt

On Sunday, October 17, 2021, a Lufthansa Cargo MD-11 landed at Frankfurt Airport for the last time. Flight LH8161 from New York (JFK) touched down ahead of schedule at 12:03 p.m. local time on runway 07R. This marked the end of commercial service of the three-engine MD-11F aircraft type at Lufthansa Cargo after more than 23 years. The aircraft with registration D-ALCC, also the last MD-11F registered in Europe, will now be sold to an American cargo airline.

“We are very grateful to our MD-11F fleet for over two decades of loyal service. We know that this particular aircraft has an incredible number of fans, throughout our colleagues at Lufthansa as well as among aviation enthusiasts worldwide. The decisive factor for the introduction of the MD-11F at Lufthansa Cargo in the late nineties was its significantly better fuel efficiency compared to the widebody freighter previously used. In the future, we will rely on the twin-engine Boeing 777F for the same reason,” said Dorothea von Boxberg, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Lufthansa Cargo.

Lufthansa Cargo took delivery of its first two MD-11 freighters (former registrations D-ALCA and D-ALCB) in June 1998, followed by the third aircraft in August of the same year and given the registration D-ALCC. In total, Lufthansa Cargo operated nineteen MD-11, including the last ever manufactured (former registration D-ALCN, serial number 48806, delivered 25 January 2001) and the last ever delivered (former registration D-ALCM, serial number 48805, delivered 22 February 2001) aircraft of this type.

The MD-11 freighter is 61.4 meters long with a wingspan of 51.7 meters and a height of up to 18 meters. It has a cargo capacity of up to 94.7 tons, divided into 26 positions on the main deck and up to 14 more on the lower deck. Lufthansa Cargo’s freighters were powered by three General Electric CF6-80C2D1F jet engines, each with 273.57 kN standard thrust. The maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) was 285.99 metric tons, resulting in a range of 7,242 kilometers.

Since November 2013, Lufthansa Cargo has been gradually replacing the MD-11F freighters with twin-engine Boeing 777 freighters, which are much quieter and operate with lower emissions.

Top Copyright Photo: Lufthansa Cargo McDonnell Douglas MD-11F D-ALCC (msn 48783) (Thank you MD-11 – Farewell) FRA (Bernhard Ross). Image: 955336.

Lufthansa Cargo slide show:

Lufthansa Cargo and Kuehne+Nagel agree on exclusive partnership to promote CO2-neutral power-to-liquid fuel

Lufthansa Cargo released this statement:

  • Atmosfair opens the world’s first plant for the production of synthetic PtL paraffin in the Emsland region of Lower Saxony
  • Logistics companies Lufthansa Cargo and Kuehne+Nagel are among the first customers
  • Annual purchase of 25,000 litres of synthetic crude oil agreed for at least five years
  • Power-to-Liquid is considered a key technology for CO2-neutral flying

The two companies Kuehne+Nagel and Lufthansa Cargo have agreed on an exclusive partnership for the promotion and use of power-to-liquid aviation fuel. The logistics service providers have jointly committed to supporting the world’s first production site for synthetic crude oil in Werlte/Emsland in Germany by purchasing the equivalent of 20 tonnes, or 25,000 litres, annually. The synthetic fuel based on it is considered to be the fuel of the future, which should further reduce the CO2 footprint of aircraft engines in the future. The production site in Werlte is operated by the NGO atmosfair from Bonn.

“We clearly see the key to a sustainable reduction of our emissions in flight operations in the research and use of synthetic, sustainable aviation fuels. The fact that we are now pioneering power-to-liquid technology together with Kuehne+Nagel makes us particularly proud and shows once again that we are actively tackling our climate protection challenges,” Dorothea von Boxberg, CEO Lufthansa Cargo, explained the strategic background to the partnership with Kuehne+Nagel .

Yngve Ruud, Member of the Management Board of Kuehne+Nagel, responsible for Air Logistics, commented: “Already now, Kuehne+Nagel customers can avoid carbon emissions of their shipments globally with our bio SAF solutions and I am delighted to see that time has come for synthetic SAF as the long‐term solution for aviation. By securing the first power-to-liquid fuel production together with Lufthansa Cargo, we are sending a strong message of commitment and collaboration, inviting our industry colleagues and customers to join us in creating the low-carbon economy of the future already today.”

CO2-neutral fuels or Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) are an essential pillar on the way to CO2-neutral flying. These fuels can be produced in various ways. Until now, Lufthansa Cargo and Kuehne+Nagel have used Sustainable Aviation Fuels of biogenic origin, i.e. synthetic paraffin based on used cooking oils, for example. In the case of synthetic paraffin, which is also known as power-to-liquid fuel, the synthetic crude oil is produced from regeneratively generated electricity, water and CO2. Because of this process, PTL-based aviation fuel is considered CO2-neutral. The electricity-based fuels are currently still in the development stage towards industrial production, but are already considered a long-term alternative to conventional paraffin or biogenic SAF, as they are theoretically to be produced without availability limits.

Atmosfair, a non-profit climate protection organisation based in Berlin, has built its own plant for the production of so-called “syncrude”. Syncrude is the alternative to fossil crude oil produced by means of power-to-liquid. This crude oil is then refined into finished Jet A1 fuel for aircraft at the Heide refinery north of Hamburg, fed into the refinery’s total volume and delivered to Hamburg Airport. This first industrial plant is so far unique in Germany. Regular operation is planned by atmosfair for the first quarter of 2022.

Photo: Lufthansa Cargo McDonnell Douglas MD-11F D-ALCC (msn 48783) (Thank you MD-11 – Farewell) FRA (Bernhard Ross). Image: 955336.

"Thank you MD-11 - Farewell" (last MD-11)

Copyright Photo: Lufthansa Cargo McDonnell Douglas MD-11F D-ALCC (msn 48783) (Thank you MD-11 – Farewell) FRA (Bernhard Ross). Image: 955336.

Last MD-11 in Europe. Last flight is scheduled for October 14, 2021, flight LH8161 JFK – FRA.

Lufthansa Cargo puts two more Boeing 777Fs into service, will retire the last MD-11F on October 15

Lufthansa Cargo’s fleet has grown by two Boeing 777 freighters. The aircraft have just been registered D-ALFJ and D-ALFK and are based at the airline’s home hub, Frankfurt Airport.

With the two new additions, Lufthansa Cargo’s Frankfurt fleet now numbers eleven Boeing 777 freighters, in addition to the capacity of four aircraft of the same type operated by the AeroLogic joint venture.

D-ALFK is a brand-new aircraft from the Boeing facilities in Everett, Washington State and touched down for the first time at Frankfurt Airport at 06:00 a.m. local time today. With this acquisition, Lufthansa Cargo has now exercised all of its purchase options held on widebody freighters with the manufacturer. D-ALFJ is an acquisition from the used market. In order to make the freighter’s capacity available to customers as soon as possible, the elaborate livery in the well-known Lufthansa design was dispensed with. Until further notice, the aircraft will be flying all in white, with only a tongue-in-cheek fuselage livery.

Europe’s last MD-11 flies with farewell livery

Also the last remaining tri-jet of Lufthansa Group – at the same time the last MD-11 aircraft registered in Europe – is now flying in a special design. Lufthansa Cargo is expressing its gratitude for more than 23 years of loyal service and is sending its D-ALCC out on its final rotations to Cairo, Tel Aviv, Chicago and New York with the greetings “Farewell” and “Thank you, MD-11” emblazoned on its fuselage. The type’s active time with Lufthansa will come to an end with its last landing at Frankfurt Airport on high noon of October 15, 2021

BBAM and Lufthansa Cargo sign leases for two Airbus A321P2F freighters

BBAM Limited Partnership (BBAM), a world leader in aircraft leasing, and Lufthansa Cargo have announced an agreement for the lease of two Airbus A321 passenger-to-freighter (P2F) aircraft on long-term leases. The Airbus A321P2F aircraft will be leased to Lufthansa Cargo on long-term leases from BBAM.

Lufthansa Cargo wants to offer customers in the eCommerce segment fast intra-European connections. With the converted A321P2F, the company is meeting their customers’ growing demand for same-day solutions and further strengthening its dense network of global connections as well as its product offering. The selected aircraft type can transport more than 28t of gross payload per flight, significantly larger cargo volumes than in the short-haul bellies of passenger aircraft. Lufthansa CityLine on behalf of Lufthansa Cargo will operate the two aircraft, which will be stationed in Frankfurt.

Airbus A321P2F
BBAM’s Airbus A321P2F undergoing cargo conversion

The A321P2F (solution of EFW) provides a payload-range capability that can carry up to 28 metric tons. It offers 14 full container positions on the main deck, plus the unique A320 family container (up to 10 container positions) and pallet loading capability on the lower deck. The A321P2F offers the largest usable cargo volume of its category and generation. Optimized weight distribution is allowing empty flights and random loading, providing the full range of flexibility which is a huge added value for express carriers. A Holistic System Integration of freighter related cockpit indications and warnings into the original Airbus software and hardware is ensuring an efficient and seamless aircraft operation.

Photo: Lufthansa Cargo Boeing 777F D-ALFG (msn 66090) (Sustainable Aviation Fuel) FRA (Jay Selman). Image: 404100.

"Sustainable Aviation Fuel"

Copyright Photo: Lufthansa Cargo Boeing 777F D-ALFG (msn 66090) (Sustainable Aviation Fuel) FRA (Jay Selman). Image: 404100.

Lufthansa Cargo prepares to retire the last MD-11F freighter

Lufthansa Cargo McDonnell Douglas MD-11F D-ALCA (msn 48781) LAX. Image: 947109.

Lufthansa Cargo made this announcement on social media:

Within the next months, we will say goodbye to the MD-11F in our Lufthansa Cargo fleet. Over the years a total of 19 different powerful workhorses have flown for us.

The MD-11F joined Lufthansa Cargo in 1998.

The last remaining MD-11F in the fleet is D-ALCC (below).

The last operational Lufthansa Cargo MD-11F

Above Copyright Photo: Lufthansa Cargo McDonnell Douglas MD-11F D-ALCC (msn 48783) FRA (Jay Selman). Image: 404099.

Top Copyright Photo: Lufthansa Cargo McDonnell Douglas MD-11F D-ALCA (msn 48781) LAX. Image: 947109.

Lufthansa Cargo aircraft slide show:

Lufthansa Group generates positive cash inflows again in the second quarter

Lufthansa Group issued this financial statement for the second quarter:

In the second quarter, the Lufthansa Group benefited from a significant market recovery with increasing passenger and booking numbers. Relaxation of travel restrictions in international air traffic and a great pent-up demand among passengers drove both demand and activity. In June alone, the number of bookings was more than twice as high as at the beginning of the quarter. As planned, the capacity offered at the end of June was 40 percent of the pre-crisis level.

Carsten Spohr, CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, says:

“All Lufthansa employees worldwide have made great efforts to significantly lower costs in all areas. As a result, we have been able to stop the outflow of funds in the current phase of reviving our business and generate a positive cash flow for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic. The fact that more than 30,000 colleagues have left us in the process so far hurts us all, but is unavoidable to sustainably save the more than 100,000 remaining jobs. This unique crisis is also a unique opportunity for us to accelerate the transformation of Lufthansa in order to consolidate our global leadership role.”

Quarterly loss limited – return to positive free cash flow

Thanks to the positive development of the airlines, record results at Lufthansa Cargo and the continued recovery of Lufthansa Technik and the LSG Group, operating losses in the second quarter of 2021 declined significantly by 43 percent to -952 million euros compared to the first quarter of 2021.

Adjusted free cash flow in the second quarter was positive at 340 million euros, mainly due to strong bookings. Operating cash flow was positive at 784 million euros due to positive working capital effects related to strong bookings in the second quarter. Excluding these effects, the cash drain averaged 200 million euros per month.

Reduce costs and volunteer programs

The Group is making faster progress than previously planned towards its goal of reducing more than 3.5 billion euros in costs by 2024. Measures have already been implemented for more than half of the cost reductions. Originally, this level should only be achieved by the end of 2021. The voluntary programs offered in Germany and the planned job cuts at SWISS contribute to the sustainable cost reduction. The Group expects around 1,500 ground staff and just under 400 cockpit employees in Germany alone to take advantage of the current offers to leave the company. In Switzerland, 2,000 full-time jobs will be cut by the end of the year, including some 500 forced dismissals.

At the end of the first half year, the number of employees was 108,000. This means that around 30,000 employees have left the Group since the start of the crisis. Including the above-mentioned programs, over 1.1 billion euros of the targeted personnel savings of 1.8 billion euros have therefore already been realized or contractually agreed.

Sales and earnings performance

Group sales in the second quarter amounted to 3.2 billion euros, 70 percent higher than in the second quarter of the prior year (prior year: 1.9 billion euros). The operating loss based on Adjusted EBIT decreased to -952 million euros (prior year: -1.7 billion euros). Net income in the second quarter was -756 million euros (prior year: -1.5 billion euros).

Group sales in the first half of the financial year amounted to 5.8 billion euros (previous year: 8.3 billion euros). At -2.1 billion euros, the operating loss on the basis of Adjusted EBIT was lower in the first half of the year than in the previous year (previous year: -2.9 billion euros). Net income for the first half of the year was -1.8 billion euros (previous year: – 3.6 billion euros).

Traffic development in the second quarter

The capacity offered, measured in passenger kilometers, was 29 percent of the pre-crisis level of 2019 in the second quarter of 2021. In total, the airlines of the Lufthansa Group carried 7 million passengers in the past three months. This corresponded to 18 percent of the pre-crisis level compared to the second quarter of 2019. The seat load factor was 51 percent, 32 percentage points lower than in the second quarter of 2019. The development improved steadily over the course of the quarter. In June, offered capacity was already at 34 percent compared to the same month in 2019, and around 40 percent at the end of the month. The load factor was 58% in June, positively influenced by the pick-up in demand on short- and medium-haul routes in Europe. The number of destinations served is currently at 84% of the pre-crisis level. By September, nearly all destinations will be offered again.

Group airlines benefit from rising demand

The Group’s airlines reduced their losses thanks to recovering demand and successful restructuring efforts. Adjusted EBIT at the Network Airlines was -1.2 billion euros (prior year: -1.5 billion euros) in the second quarter. In the first half of the year, the Network Airlines recorded an Adjusted EBIT of -2.5 billion euros (prior year: -2.4 billion euros). Eurowings reduced its operating loss on an Adjusted EBIT basis to -108 million euros in the second quarter (prior year: -183 million euros) and to -252 million euros in the first half year (prior year: -358 million euros).

Lufthansa Cargo continues on record course

In the freight business, Lufthansa Cargo continues to benefit from the scarce cargo capacity in the bellies of passenger aircraft and the continued high demand for air freight. Adjusted EBIT in the logistics segment rose to 326 million euros in the second quarter (previous year: 299 million euros). For the first half of the year, Lufthansa Cargo recorded an Adjusted EBIT of 640 million euros (previous year: 277 million euros), the highest ever result in this period in the history of Lufthansa Cargo. Continued structural capacity constraints in the global freight business are expected to support the revenue and earnings development of Lufthansa Cargo in the coming years as well.

Lufthansa Technik continued its earnings recovery and improved its Adjusted EBIT in Q2 to positive 86 million euros (previous year: -126 million euros). For the first half of the year, Lufthansa Technik reported an Adjusted EBIT of 102 million euros (previous year: – 122 million euros) and benefits mainly from the increasing demand of non-European airlines, whose home markets are recovering faster than the European market.

Liquidity and equity development

At the end of the second quarter, the Lufthansa Group had available liquidity of 11.1 billion euros. This includes unused funds from the government’s stabilization measures and loans of around 3.9 billion euros. The proceeds of a bond issue in July amounting to 1 billion euros have not yet been taken into account.

At 8.9 billion euros, net debt was 1.0 billion euros lower than at the end of 2020 (December 31, 2020: 9.9 billion euros). This is mainly due to the drawing of part of the Silent Participation I of the Economic Stabilization Fund, which is accounted for as equity. Excluding the drawing, net debt at 10.4 billion euros was around 500 million euros higher at the end of 2020. In addition, supported by positive valuation effects on pension liabilities of 1.9 billion euros, the equity ratio increased by 4.2 percentage points to 7.7 percent compared to the end of 2020 (December 31, 2020: 3.5 percent).

Remco Steenbergen, CFO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, says:

“In our financial management, our focus remains on strengthening our balance sheet. The second quarter was another step in the right direction. However, there is no way around making the Lufthansa Group profitable again as quickly as possible and implementing further cost reductions.”

In addition to the restructuring measures, the repayment of state aid and asset divestitures are important components of the strategy for strengthening the balance sheet of the Lufthansa Group. As the recently issued bonds have once again demonstrated the good access the Group has to various forms of financing on the capital markets, preparations for a capital increase are continuing.


The development of the Lufthansa Group for the full year 2021 remains dependent on the pandemic situation, which has a significant direct impact on business development. Here, travel restrictions in particular have a decisive influence on customer demand.

The desire for travel is unbroken among people. Lufthansa therefore expects a positive development in demand for European tourism and an increasing recovery in business travel in the second half of the year. The Group’s airlines have further expanded their range of long-haul flights to include tourist destinations. The company expects an increasing opening of the markets in the second half of the year. Air travel to North America should be possible again from late summer and gradually towards Asia towards the end of the year.

Based on this expectation, the Lufthansa Group continues to assume that the Group airlines’ capacity, measured in seat kilometers offered, will be around 40 percent of the pre-crisis level in 2019 in 2021. A further increase in capacity to around 50% of the pre-crisis level and an increase in passenger numbers is expected for the third quarter. The Group thus expects to be able to stop the operating cash outflow in the third quarter and to generate positive EBITDA.

In 2021 as a whole, the Lufthansa Group continues to expect an increase in Group sales and a reduction in operating loss as measured by Adjusted EBIT.

Lufthansa Group   January – June April – June
2021 2020 Δ 2021 2020 Δ
Total revenue EUR million 5,771 8,335 -31% 3,211 1,894 +70%
of which traffic revenue EUR million 3,637 5,641 -36% 2,095 1,102 +90%
EBIT EUR million -2,114 ‐3,468 +39% -979 ‐1,846 +47%
Adjusted EBIT1 EUR million -2,095 ‐2,899 +28% -952 ‐1,679 +43%
Net profit/loss EUR million -1,805 ‐3,617 +50% -756 ‐1,493 +49%
Earnings per share EUR -3.02 ‐7.56 +60% -1.26 ‐3.12 +60%
Total Assets EUR million 40,838 39,887 +2%      
Operating cash flow 18 363 -95% 784 -1,004  
Gross Investments EUR million 612 897 -32% 459 127 +261%
Adjusted Free Cashflow  EUR million -607 -510 -19% 340 -1,130
Net Debt EUR million 8,930 7,314 +22%      
Adjusted EBIT-Margin in % -36.3 -34.8 -1.5pts. -29.6 -88.6 +59.0pts.
Employees as of June 30   108,072 129,356 -16%  

1 Adjusted EBIT is not a measure under IFRS. Information on the calculation of the Adjusted EBIT is available in the Annual Report 2020 of Deutsche Lufthansa AG.

Lufthansa Cargo to deploy two Airbus A321s permanently converted into freighters

Lufthansa Cargo is investing in the expansion of its cargo capacities. From the beginning of 2022, the company will offer its customers additional capacity in Europe by permanently converting Airbus 321 passenger aircraft into freighters. For this purpose, the twin-engine medium-haul aircraft will receive large cargo doors to enable the transport of containers on the main deck as well. Initially, the conversion of two Airbus aircraft is planned.

These aircraft will be operated by Lufthansa CityLine on behalf of Lufthansa Cargo. They will be stationed in Frankfurt.

The growth for cross-border eCommerce shipments is forecast at around 20% per year for the next five years. Consumers expect ever shorter delivery times for their ordered goods. This is also increasing the demand for air freight connections within Europe.

The Airbus A321s (A321P2F) converted to freighters offer a payload of 28 tons with a range of 3,500 kilometers. The conversion allows the use of standardized cargo pallets on the main deck as well. The twin-engine Airbus A321 is one of the most versatile aircraft in its class and enables very efficient continental operations.

Lufthansa Cargo acquires another Boeing 777F, total now 15

Lufthansa Cargo made this announcement:

Another brand-new Boeing 777F aircraft is being added to Lufthansa Cargo’s highly efficient freighter fleet. Delivery of the aircraft is expected before the end of this year. A total of fifteen full-freighters will then be in service for Lufthansa Cargo’s customers.

The twin-engine Boeing 777F has a standard payload capacity of 103 metric tons with a range of more than 9,000 kilometers. It is the most efficient freighter in its class and significantly more silent than previously operated three- or four-engine models.

Most recently, in March, Lufthansa Cargo announced the fourteenth aircraft of this type for fall 2021.

Lufthansa Cargo slide show: