Lufthansa Cargo said it could cut capacity by as much as 30 percent going into 2012 and temporarily ground some freighters amid indications of a slowdown in demand.
But the German carrier expects the air cargo market to grow again in the second half of next year.
“We cut capacity by between 20-25 percent from mid-December to mid-January because of the holiday season and we could take that up to 30 percent,” said Andreas Otto, Lufthansa Cargo sales director.
The carrier may ground some of its eighteen MD-11 freighters but would not park them in the desert as it did in the 2009 recession, Otto said at an industry event in Frankfurt. Lufthansa Cargo’s traffic is 5 percent below expectation in recent weeks, but a strong peak season in Germany has compensated for a weak Chinese market.
Lufthansa is bracing for zero growth in the air cargo market through the first quarter of 2012 and possibly into the first half. But it expects around 3 percent growth in the second half of the year.
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