SWISS World Cargo joins Lufthansa’s joint venture with Cathay Pacific


While commercial passenger aviation is at the heart of what we do here at Simple Flying, the world of cargo is also full of exciting developments. If there’s one business that’s exploded throughout the pandemic (beyond pharmaceutical companies and testing facilities), it’s air cargo.

Fares soared and airlines that managed to shift to cargo operations saw much-needed cash flow to help them through the crisis. On Tuesday, Cathay Pacific and Lufthansa Cargo announced that SWISS WorldCargo would join the previously established joint venture between the two carriers.


Complementary networks and fleets

Building on a relationship that has existed since 2016, the expanded joint commercial agreement will see the three operators work closely together on network planning and in the areas of sales, IT and ground handling. Initially, the cooperation will cover the routes from Hong Kong to Zurich and Frankfurt. Traffic to and from Hong Kong and the rest of Europe will be added later this year.

Dorothea von Boxberg, CEO of Lufthansa Cargo, said:

“We are very pleased with the trilateral cooperation that has now begun, which brings together three well-known freight companies at the same table and provides an even more attractive offer to our customers. Freight customers will appreciate the possibilities for faster and more The expanded joint venture will bring many benefits to our customers, as our networks, hubs and fleet complement each other perfectly.”

Cathay Pacific operates a fleet of 20 dedicated 747 freighters. Photo: Cathay Pacific

Lifeline during extremely troubling times for Cathay

If any airline is in dire need of cargo revenue, it’s definitely Cathay Pacific. Hong Kong’s flag carrier has been hit extremely hard, first by civil unrest in 2019 and then by ongoing COVID-19 restrictions imposed by city policymakers. Operating a total of 20 dedicated freighters (six Boeing 747-400Fs and 14 747-8Fs), the airline is currently pushing hard for its cargo business, with virtually no rebound in passenger demand in sight.

Cathay’s Director of Freight, Tom Owen, shared the following statement:

“We are delighted to welcome Swiss WorldCargo to our joint business agreement. Cathay Pacific is always looking for new ways to offer our freight customers greater choice and more options for their shipments every time they transport their goods with us. The addition of Swiss WorldCargo flights to the already extensive combined network of Cathay Pacific and Lufthansa will bring Hong Kong, the world’s busiest air cargo hub, even closer to Europe and strengthen the one of the great trade routes of the world.

SWISS is a belly cargo carrier and operated cargo-only flights for the first time during the pandemic. Photo: SWITZERLAND

A whole SWISS belly capacity network

SWISS, meanwhile, does not operate any dedicated cargo aircraft, but offers its customers to pack their goods in its scheduled passenger services through its mixed Airbus and Boeing fleet. Under the new agreement, cargo customers will be able to access the entire joint network via the reservation systems of the three partners.

Lorenzo Stoll, Head of Cargo at SWISS International Airlines, said:

“We are very pleased with this joint business agreement between Lufthansa Cargo and Cathay Pacific, thanks to which we can not only strengthen our already close cooperation, but also expand our network offer for our customers while remaining true to our high quality and flexibility. “

The three carriers said the joint activities would be conducted in full compliance with all applicable laws, including European Union and Hong Kong competition rules.

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