Lufthansa and DHL today announced their establishment of a yet unnamed joint cargo airline to serve the fast-growing trade between Europe and Asia. The companies plan to base the opera-tion in Leipzig, Germany, and open for business in early 2009 with a fleet of 11 leased Boeing 777-200LRF freighters. The goal is to increase efficiency through the joint use of large air freighters, but Lufthansa will continue to deal independently with its air freight customers, as will DHL with its express business. The new cargo airline will fly on weekdays to nine hubs in China, India, Japan and the Middle East, and will complement Lufthansa Cargo’s existing network during weekends, including with flights to Chicago and New York.
One of Europe’s fastest growing airlines, Lufthansa just yesterday announced that its supervisory board approved an order for 32 medium-haul A320s and nine long-range A330-300 airlin-ers, raising the total of aircraft on order to 170, including 15 giant A380s.