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Lufthansa Cargo to slowly reopen Frankfurt hub after COVID outbreak

Shipments to begin moving Monday as more personnel return to work

Lufthansa Cargo's main hub in Frankfurt, Germany. (Photo: Lufthansa)

Lufthansa Cargo will begin Monday to lift its transit embargo for certain shipments as the labor situation at its Frankfurt, Germany, hub stabilizes following a COVID-19 outbreak that infected several workers, American Shipper has learned.

The airline’s cargo division stopped accepting transit bookings on Wednesday because of a rising number of infections tied to the omicron variant that forced many warehouse staff members to quarantine, slowing cargo handling.

Omicron cases reached record levels in Frankfurt this week, according to accounts from Germany.

With staff members recovering or completing their required isolation period, Lufthansa Cargo will begin accepting and delivering loose cargo for the U.S., Canada and select European stations, said Jacqueline Casini, the company’s senior director of communications, in a statement. Customers can resume booking at that time. 

Restrictions will remain in effect for other types of cargo transiting Frankfurt from around the world, but officials will continue to evaluate the situation and adjust schedules as circumstances dictate, 

All local import and export deliveries continue to be permitted. 

Also, certain product groups, including same-day shipments, valuable freight, animals, organ donations, mail, temperature-controlled shipments and vaccines are not impacted by the restrictions.

Lufthansa’s other European hubs in Munich, Vienna, and Brussels are not affected by omicron and continue to operate normally. 

Infections do not involve pilots and freighters continue to operate as scheduled, Casini said. 

For privacy reasons, she declined to identify how many individuals were sickened.

Click here for more FreightWaves/American Shipper stories by Eric Kulisch.


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Eric Kulisch

Eric is the Supply Chain and Air Cargo Editor at FreightWaves. An award-winning business journalist with extensive experience covering the logistics sector, Eric spent nearly two years as the Washington, D.C., correspondent for Automotive News, where he focused on regulatory and policy issues surrounding autonomous vehicles, mobility, fuel economy and safety. He has won two regional Gold Medals and a Silver Medal from the American Society of Business Publication Editors for government and trade coverage, and news analysis. He was voted best for feature writing and commentary in the Trade/Newsletter category by the D.C. Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He won Environmental Journalist of the Year from the Seahorse Freight Association in 2014 and was the group's 2013 Supply Chain Journalist of the Year. In December 2022, he was voted runner up for Air Cargo Journalist by the Seahorse Freight Association. As associate editor at American Shipper Magazine for more than a decade, he wrote about trade, freight transportation and supply chains. Eric is based in Portland, Oregon. He can be reached for comments and tips at [email protected]