© Boarding1now LH cargo
© Boarding1now

Lufthansa Cargo today announced a slew of new freighter routes – including one to Doha that will set it firmly against its nemesis, Qatar Airways.

An MD-11F will ply the route between Frankfurt and Doha every Friday against a Qatar 777F which appears to operate daily between the two cities.

A spokesman for Lufthansa Cargo said there was “promising demand” in Doha (population 800,000), but did not elaborate further.

Earlier this month, Qatar Airways Cargo reported that transit cargo at Doha rose 39% last year, while imports were up 29% and exports rose 10%. Qatar itself has a population of 2m.

Lufthansa also announced a new weekly freighter service to Moscow, which will also connect with Ashgabat and Baku, following a period during which many airlines pulled out of Russia.

It will also start direct services to Seattle each Friday on Aerologic, which will go on to Los Angeles.

Speaking at Air Cargo India last month, executive board member Dr Alexis von Hoensbroech said the German carrier had a significant advantage over its Gulf competitors.

“Frankfurt is the place to be for air freight in Europe. It’s twice the size of London and Paris, in terms of what is sold in Europe. And it sits in the middle of the manufacturing hub of Europe. That drives exports, most of which are consolidated at Frankfurt. It’s a competitive advantage no one can beat.”

Lufthansa Cargo is also increasing capacity or frequencies to Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing, Hong Kong and Ho Chi Minh City.

A spokesman added that it had cut out its Chongqing service, and would only now fly Quito-Aguadilla-Bogota “by extra sections during peak seasons and on demand instead of a scheduled service”.

The carrier has added belly destinations, including Panama City and San Jose California.

It also took over the sales of the belly capacity of Eurowings, giving it capacity to Varadero, Punta Cana and Puerto Plata from Cologne. Phuket and Bangkok will be added from the end of March, Cancun and Mauritius from May and then Boston and Miami.

Qatar Airways this week announced new narrowbody belly destinations, including Pisa, Sarajevo, Helsinki and Skopje, with widebody services to Nice. In Africa it will serve Marrakech, Windhoek, Seychelles, Douala, Libreville and Lusaka. It will also operate to Auckland, Krabi and Chiang Mai.

Over the next three months, the Doha carrier, which has three more 777Fs arriving this year, is also opening routes to Boston in the US, Birmingham in the UK, Adelaide, Yerevan and Atlanta.

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