MIAMI — A Lufthansa Cargo MD-11 (D-ALCI • MSN 48800 • LN 641) has now been adorned with special titles on the forward fuselage: “Hello, Bonjour Canada.”
The aircraft, which has been exploring the world with Lufthansa Cargo since 2001, accumulating more than 67,500 flight hours and 12,500 landings, arrived last September 13 to Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport for the official christening ceremony with various Lufthansa executives and staff, Greater Toronto Airports Authority representatives, Diplomats, Lufthansa Cargo customers and guests on hand.
The Lufthansa Cargo Frankfurt-Toronto route has been operated since 2008 with dedicated freighters. It flies direct to Toronto from Frankfurt and on to Houston as GEC8164 on Fridays and GEC8202 on Sundays, using either Boeing 777F or MD-11F equipment.
The airline currently operates twelve MD-11F freighters (seven have been retired) and five newer Boeing 777F freighters, acquired starting in 2013. Ten of the Lufthansa Cargo freighter fleet have been renamed for the foreign countries they serve, The names of the freighters are based on a 2013 competition to choose names for the aircraft in its entire fleet.
From the more than 40,000 potential aircraft names submitted to Lufthansa Cargo the concept “Say hello around the world.” was selected, and the Lufthansa Cargo freighters have been christened with greetings in some 20 languages.
The aircraft’s name – “Hello, Bonjour Canada” – underscores Canada’s role as an important market in airfreight transport. In a statement Bernhard Kindelbacher, SVP Marketing, Lufthansa cargo said “The greeting ‘Hello, Bonjour Canada’ stands for the close connection between Lufthansa Cargo and Canada. Both countries − Germany and Canada − look back on a long shared history. Since the earliest days of the discovery of the ‘New World’ up through today, trade between both countries has stood for efficiency and speed. We are proud of being so well positioned in this key and highly competitive market with more than 30 passenger and two freighter flights per week.”
Lufthansa has been serving customers in Canada since as early as 1956 when it began flying to Montreal. In 1973, Toronto was added to the destinations, and Vancouver in 1983. GTA Aviation is the ground handler for Lufthansa Cargo at Pearson, supporting the dedicated cargo flights, as well as cargo for the scheduled passenger flights.