Sep 01, 2018: DHL Express and Lufthansa Cargo’s, joint venture company AeroLogic is set to begin operating an eleventh B777F from January 2019.

Lufthansa Cargo will lease the aircraft from Boeing Capital and plans to market the freighter’s capacity independently of DHL Express, further diversifying AeroLogic’s operational model. For Lufthansa Cargo, adding a B777F operated by AeroLogic suggests that the carrier is looking to expand its freighter operations at Leipzig/Halle Airport (LEJ). Lufthansa Cargo’s current fleet of five B777Fs and twelve MD-11Fs serve international destinations primarily from its Frankfurt hub.

Lufthansa is, however, already familiar with freighter operations at LEJ. The first eight B777Fs added to the AeroLogic fleet (delivered between May 2009 and July 2010) operate for DHL Express during the week and fly for Lufthansa Cargo on weekends. Last year, AeroLogic proved that it was not bound to this model of split Lufthansa/DHL Express operations when it added two ex-Latam Cargo B777Fs, on-lease from GECAS, and put them into service exclusively for DHL Express. Next year, AeroLogic will do more of the same but for Lufthansa.

With another B777F in the pipeline, the German carrier is well on its way to renewing its fleet. In May this year, the Lufthansa Group finalised an order with Boeing for two 777Fs, with deliveries to Lufthansa Cargo expected in February and March 2019. Both of these aircraft will be based at Frankfurt am Main (FRA). Although these two incoming freighters are expected to replace older MD-11Fs in Lufthansa Cargo’s fleet, the carrier has said that it may choose to continue operating the MD-11Fs as long as the air cargo market justifies the operating cost.

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