Lufthansa's air freight division is examining its fleet expansion plans in the face of uncertainty over the prospects for economic recovery in Europe and could mothball some of its older aircraft.
Lufthansa Cargo board member Karl-Rudolf Rupprecht told reporters on Friday that an initial plan to keep all of its existing fleet despite having ordered five new planes is not set in stone.
The business placed an order for five new Boeing 777 aircraft two years ago and also had options for five more. Delivery is expected to begin in the European autumn.
If the economy remains sluggish, some of the oldest planes in Lufthansa Cargo's existing fleet of 18 MD-11 aircraft could be withdrawn from service and replaced by the new planes, Rupprecht added.
Lufthansa Cargo's forecast for a 2-3 percent increase in cargo capacity remains unchanged. "We certainly want to grow," Rupprecht said.
The business suffered a 5 percent fall in freight and postal volumes in the first four months of the year, but Rupprecht said that a key factor for the year as a whole would be business developments in its peak fall and Christmas season.