The original plan, later denied by Lufthansa Cargo’s CEO Peter Gerber, was to ditch the remaining eleven MD-11F fleet by late 2024. That apparently is now openly understood to be far too late and no longer the company position, according to several industry insiders.
Instead, the company has set the end date as December 2020, and will, in combination with planned new 777F’s, use AeroLogic’s aircraft to bolster the fleet.
AeroLogic is a joint partnership company of Lufthansa Cargo & DHL. The Lufthansa Cargo versions will be a mix of Lufthansa colours with AeroLogic partnership decals on the hull and empennage.
Lufthansa cargo operates seven 777F’s at present, with two more all-AeroLogic liveried 777F’s working with the fleet. A third AeroLogic operated 777F (D-AALN) is just at point of entry to service, having arrived in Leipzig-Halle in the past few days, but will be allocated to Lufthansa Cargo.
AeroLogic now has 14 total 777F freighters, four of them fly just for AeroLogic, 3 fly just for Lufthansa Cargo and the other 7 are split on an as-needed basis between Lufthansa Cargo and DHL.
The MD-11F’s are not economical, and the number of routes available has dropped or is dropping as the market runs dry; a combination of competition and the US induced tariff wars with China, the EU and others, which as always expected have seriously reduced world trade in many areas.
Lufthansa Cargo is withdrawing its MD-11F service to Guangzhou, and reducing by up to 25% many of the Central and South America routes as well as those to South Asia.
All told, the new aircraft and the flexibility with AeroLogic in the mix more than makes up for the remaining MD-11F’s and their days are now numbered.