SHENZHEN – Lufthansa Cargo CEO Karl Ulrich Garnadt says the carrier remains committed to an expansion plan at Frankurt Airport despite the “major setback” from a court that banned ban night flights at Europe’s largest air freight airport.
“It is a dramatic decision by this court,” Garnadt told the annual China Air Cargo Summit here. “We are still dealing with how to cope with this change. This is a dramatic decision to the negative.”
But Garnadt said the carrier also is continuing with a major expansion at the airport aimed at increasing Lufthansa Cargo’s handling capacity there to 2 million metric tons by 2017.
An administrative court in Germany this week issued a surprise ruling in a long-running battle over overnight operations at Frankfurt, ruling that flights would be barred from 11 p.m. until 5 a.m. because of complaints about noise from local residents.
Garnadt said the carrier, which had authority to operate 17 night flights at the airport, is still is considering how to adjust its operations. The ban will take effect at height of the peak fall shipping season for air cargo.
“We don’t know right now what it will mean for our operations. The circumstances are very difficult because of the time of year, particularly because of the short lead time,” he said. “This takes effect in three weeks, which limits our ability to seek alternatives.”