December 4 - All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Lufthansa Cargo have launched an air cargo joint venture, which will see both airlines execute joint sales of shipments on flights between Japan and Europe.

The first shipment operated by the joint venture was sent by forwarder Schenker-Seino on December 2, and was booked via Lufthansa, before being transported by ANA on a flight from Tokyo to London. The cargo consisted of three pieces of general cargo weighing 153 kg (0.15 tonnes). On the same day a Lufthansa freighter flight carried the first shipment booked through ANA, which comprised a 1.8-tonne load.

The joint venture benefits customers by providing a larger and faster network with more direct flights, more destinations and more frequencies, said Lufthansa.

By accessing cargo capacities on freighter aircraft, it is now possible for ANA customers to send large volume freight and cargo that may only be transported on freighters, directly from Tokyo to Frankfurt, added the airline.

"With the joint venture, both airlines will boost their position in global competition and make even better use of their aircraft capacities," said ANA Cargo ceo Akira Okada.