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Lufthansa Cargo Sees European Freight Improving

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Lufthansa Cargo expects the European air freight market to grow by 2-3 percent next year as the world economy recovers from a slowdown, management board member for sales Andreas Otto told reporters late on Tuesday.

He said in Germany alone, the market was also forecast to grow by 2-3 percent.

Otto said Lufthansa Cargo's capacity for the first quarter of 2013 would be unchanged from the current level.

"In the first quarter we will then assess the situation," on whether to expand capacity, he added.

Lufthansa said in October that it would offer 7.4 percent less capacity at its cargo business this year, compared with previous plans for a 4.5 percent reduction as demand remained depressed. Demand was not expected to pick up before the middle of 2013.

Otto said out of the five Boeing 777F aircraft the company had ordered, two would be delivered in the fourth quarter of next year, with two more in 2014 and one in 2015.

In addition to the five aircraft already on order, the company had previously said it had an option to purchase five more for delivery between 2016 and 2020.

Otto said a decision on the five options would depend on market developments.

(Reuters)