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Lufthansa seeks to lift cargo market gloom with niche services
[FRANKFURT] Lufthansa's cargo arm is targeting new customers, cutting costs and revamping some of its products after a slump in profits and no sign of impoving cargo markets.
"I'm not positive about (the) current market situation," Lufthansa Cargo CEO Peter Gerber told journalists in Berlin, adding he expects only a slight increase in profits for 2016.
Lufthansa Cargo's adjusted earnings before interest and tax fell 40 per cent to 73.5 million euros (US$83 million) last year, hit by overcapacity in the market, a slowdown in China, and a wave of strikes at Lufthansa that kept planes grounded.
Alongside cutting costs by 40 million euros a year from 2018, Lufthansa Cargo, which like other freight operators usually operates business-to-business, is eyeing a new group of customers - passengers on Lufthansa flights.
It will launch "myAirCargo" this summer, offering people flying with its parent group's the chance to ship personal belongings or purchases bought on their travels directly, without going through a third-party.
"If you want to ride Route 66 with your own motorbike, this will let you do that," Lufthansa Cargo finance and HR head Martin Schmitt said.
CEO Gerber did not say how big the market was expected to be for such shipments.