Lufthansa Cargo is starting short-haul dedicated cargo operations for the first time and has unveiled the name for its first Airbus A321 P2F.
The cargo airline, a unit of Lufthansa Group, has until now used a fleet of dedicated long-haul freighters or belly space in Lufthansa Group passenger planes.
However, amid rising demand for air cargo during the COVID-19 pandemic and given the strong outlook for the e-commerce market, Lufthansa Cargo decided in 2021 to lease two converted Airbus A321 P2F (passenger to freighter conversion) aircraft.
At an event at Frankfurt airport which was broadcast online, Lufthansa Cargo CEO Dorothea von Boxberg unveiled the new name for the aircraft – Hello Europe. The aircraft, registration D-AEUC, is making its first flight from Frankfurt (FRA) to Dublin (DUB) on March 15, 2022.
Speaking about the choice of name, von Boxberg commented: “We want to build bridges, want to build trust, want to bring people together and get connected. We do have a war in Europe and that is something that is not only shocking us but affecting us deeply.”
Among other missions, Lufthansa Cargo plans to use the A321 P2F to fly relief goods to Poland to help Ukraine, von Boxberg said.
The aircraft is being operated by Lufthansa Cityline pilots, rather than Lufthansa Cargo pilots.
The second A321 P2F is due to arrive in August.
In 2021, Lufthansa Cargo had its second record year in terms of financial results, reporting revenue of EUR3.8 billion ($4.2 billion) and adjusted earnings before interest and tax of EUR1.49 billion ($1.6 billion). It said it had made a good start in 2022, with demand remaining strong but freight capacity still scarce.