LUFTHANSA, SAS, SIA TO DEVELOP JOINT CARGO NETWORK
Lufthansa Cargo, Scandinavian Airlines System, and Singapore Airlines unveiled in Frankfurt on Wednesday plans to harmonize their cargo service portfolios, ground handling and information technology operations in close alliance.
The three Star Alliance airlines called the new venture, New Global Cargo, a “first step toward what could become a coordinated worldwide air freight network.”
Lufthansa, SAS and SIA plan to integrate their IT systems so that shippers and forwarders can access the capacity of all three airlines through one system. They also will integrate their cargo sales and customer service forces.
The move follows a trend that has airlines joining forces, both in cargo and passenger areas, to shrink administrative costs and to extend network reach. Foreign ownership rules generally prohibit airlines from acquiring other airlines. Alliances have emerged as a way for carriers to merge their networks without transferring equity.
The alliance plans of Lufthansa, SAS and SIA, first announced in March last year, have taken on extra weight since Lufthansa announced it was teaming with Deutsche Post World Net to develop air cargo services and electronic commerce initiatives. Analysts believe that New Global Cargo sets the foundation for a larger Star Alliance cargo network that will be closely tied to Deutsche Post and subsidiaries, including Danzas-AEI and DHL International.
“New Global Cargo could well mark the emergence of one of the future world-leading air freight logistics networks,” said Stefan Lauer, the outgoing chairman of Lufthansa Cargo. “Our signing of this agreement will pave the way to optimize the quality of our services. In a team effort over the next two years, we will establish innovative standards, focusing our efforts on e-commerce, to measure up to the challenge and gradually integrate our skills to attain that goal.”