Austrian Airlines Freight Folded Into Lufthansa

Austrian Airlines Freight Folded Into Lufthansa

Lufthansa Cargo and Austrian Airlines will merge their global freight operations, including sales and flights, effective July 1.

The carriers said they will optimize the flow of cargo through their Frankfurt, Munich and Vienna hubs, merge their global distribution activities and harmonize product portfolios and processes.

Austrian Airlines, which also carries passengers, was acquired last September as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lufthansa, parent of Lufthansa Cargo.

The two airlines will jointly route cargo though Vienna and boost traffic through the airport. They will also integrate their freight handling and distribution operation in the country.

In all other worldwide markets, freight will be amalgamated under the Lufthansa Cargo brand.

"Vienna will become a central European hub for Lufthansa Cargo -- comparable to our German hubs at Frankfurt and Munich," said Carsten Spohr, chief executive officer and chairman of Lufthansa Cargo.

Lufthansa Cargo customers also will benefit from access to Austrian Airlines direct flights to global destinations, Spohr said.

"This marks a further step in the reorganization of Austrian Airlines," said Andreas Bierwirth, chief commercial officer of Austrian Airlines.

"Our cargo business will benefit from the new structure. We will lower our costs and improve our product portfolio. At the same time, we will be able in future to provide our customers with a globe-spanning network and the extensive product portfolio of the world's largest air cargo alliance."

Lufthansa Cargo transported around 1.7 million metric tons of freight in 2008, while Austrian Airlines carried some 140,000 metric tons.

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