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Authorities in Frankfurt are in a quandary over whether to expand airport capacity or cargo. One of the unresolved issues regarding the proposed fourth runway at Frankfurt Airport is what will happen to Lufthansa Cargo's freighter night flights. A night ban is part of the deal for the new runway, and the local authorities think the errant Lufthansa flights could easily go to nearby Hahn airport.
But Lufthansa Cargo Chairman Jean-Peter Jansen has been fiercely resisting this idea for years, and has even gone so far as to say that it would be a serious blow to the German economy and exports.
Lufthansa is hardly the only carrier facing such a dilemma. Across Europe, freight operations at the continent's congested airports are increasingly seeking their own space at smaller, alternative airports. Most of those cargo operations have been dedicated freight services outside the business of the commercial airlines, but the growing congestion and a series of concerns at Europe's crowded airports suggest that multiple hubs could be a coming trend for Europe's air carriers as they seek to fly on the divergent paths of cargo and passenger business.
Lufthansa's Jansen might do well to look across the channel at rival British Airways World Cargo, which somehow thrives while putting up with a situation that would have most other carriers tearing their hair out.
Although its main cargo facility and three quarters of its belly cargo are at Heathrow, a quarter of BAWC's belly cargo passes through …