Faced with strong competition Etihad Cargo has reorganised itself in Germany and changed its cargo handling partner. In February, LUG aircargo handling took over the freight handling for the airline in Munich, serving it at Frankfurt Airport too as of March 2017.
Etihad Airways offers two passenger flights per day to each of the German airports. In addition, Etihad full freighters (A330-200F, B777-200F) serve Frankfurt twice a week. LUG’s agreement with Etihad covers the complete scope of cargo handling services, including full freighter, belly cargo and road feeder services handling for Etihad Airways and Etihad partners such as Air Berlin.
LUG is one of the most innovative, independent GHA in Germany and among the leading GHA in Munich and Frankfurt. In 2016 the company celebrated its 50th anniversary at Frankfurt airport. Says Patrik Tschirch, managing director & CEO, LUG aircargo handling, “We are delighted that we have been able to convince a demanding customer such as Etihad Cargo of our high service quality and to land this big contract. Key success factors for our cooperation will be a strong customer focus as well as our innovative and consistently efficient operational processes. We expect a freight throughput of some 50 000 t/year. This gives the company a strong push. The national carrier of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with headquarters in Abu Dhabi is our first customer in the Middle East.”
Etihad Airways wants to raise its service quality and productivity in Germany as well as lower costs and raise turnover with the change to LUG. The carrier from Abu Dhabi considers Germany a strategic market due to the close economic ties between Abu Dhabi resp. the UAE and Germany. After Saudi Arabia, the UAE are the most important market for German products in the MENA (Middle East, North Africa) region. Main exports from Germany are cars, machinery as well as electrical and chemical products. Germany imports primarily aluminium and chemical products from the UAE. Approximately 900 German companies operate in the UAE. And their number is expected to grow. In addition, the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) maintains a representation in Abu Dhabi.