Lufthansa Cargo now mulls dumping freighters as night-flight ban is upheld

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GERMANY's Lufthansa Cargo is now considering selling its entire fleet of 18 MD-11 freighters after a Leipzig court upheld the blanket night-flight ban covering six hours at Frankfurt Airport.

Since the German Federal court in Leipzig upheld the ban on October 3, Lufthansa created an emergency winter timetable which led to a loss of US$20 million in three months due to cancelled flights and loss of business.

But now the court has ruled again to uphold the ban, Lufthansa CEO Christoph Franz said: "This a big blow for Germany as a place to do business and there is no doubt that one of Europe's biggest hubs will slip in international competitiveness."

Lufthansa Cargo chief executive Karl Ulrich Garnadt said the restricted takeoffs is just a stop gap, which costs money and does not pay, according to Germany's Focus Magazine.

Lufthansa has frozen investment of US$1.35 billion at Frankfurt hub until final ruling from a Leipzig court and forecasts annual revenue loss of $54 million into 2012. The carrier has five Boeing 777 freighters on order and its joint unit Aerologic operates eight leased 777 freighters.

Germany and the Rhine-Main region around the airport transport half the country's air freight and accounts for 80 per cent of Lufthansa's global cargo traffic.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

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