Lufthansa Cargo is to open Airbus A321 converted freighter flights from mid-March, and has unveiled a set of destinations on which it will operate the jets.
The company had disclosed last year that it would introduce A321Fs on its route network, enabling it to address increasing e-commerce demand.
Lufthansa Cargo says conversion of the first aircraft – MSN3504, registered D-AEUC – has been completed.
It was originally delivered to Austrian budget carrier Niki in 2008 and transferred to Lufthansa in 2018.
Lufthansa Cargo says the aircraft’s cabin floor has been reinforced, a roller system installed, and a cargo door added. The A321F will accommodate 14 pallet and containers positions on the main deck and 10 in the lower hold.
“Available capacity in the global airfreight market continues to be scarce and, at the same time, end consumers expect short delivery times for their ordered goods,” says Lufthansa Cargo chief commercial officer Ashwin Bhat.
“With the medium-haul freighter, we can close this gap.”
The aircraft will operate services from 15 March, from Frankfurt to destinations including Istanbul, Tel Aviv, Malta, Tunis, Dublin and Manchester, with Cairo joining the network at the end of the month.
It will introduce a second freighter in late summer. Both will be operated under wet-lease through Lufthansa CityLine.
“We are opening up a whole new strategic business segment,” says Bhat. “The A321F will offer attractive same-day and e-commerce solutions within Europe and to selected medium-haul destinations.”