- Lufthansa and United Air Cargo will soon be enacting a joint venture together for routes between the U.S. and Europe, Reuters reported.
- The move is intended to permit customers to book through both carriers and achieve better handling and transfer processes at various stations. Together, the two will provide 600 direct weekly connections. Although Lufthansa already has a joint venture with Japan's ANA, the line sought more partnerships in order to boost cargo carrying.
- The pair plan to align cargo IT systems and processes in coming months, with a rollout of service planned for the end of the year.
During the long period of previously static ocean carrier prices, shippers also became comfortable with air cargo transport prices, inhibiting their acceptance of inevitable increases down the road. Yet also like ocean carriers, air transporters need to stay out of the red as they experience rising costs even amid sustained increased demand.
At present, Chinese carriers are considering a 20% increase, considerably less than their Indian counterparts, who have raised their prices to twice what they were in January. The increase makes sense, given the strength of demand in that area. Cathay Pacific — another potential joint venture partner for Lufthansa — is busy enough to justify increasing service in order to manage demand, though airport congestion has tightened the market as well, according forwarders.
Gulf carriers remain burdened by backlogs, while Latin American demand is lackluster at best.