German air carrier Lufthansa is reported to have given in to Russia’s demand that it move its cargo hub in Kazakhstan to Siberia. German Transport Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee said talks with Russia would continue, concentrating on a possible timetable for a transfer. Moscow was threatening to bar Lufthansa cargo from Russian airspace otherwise.
Berlin earlier dropped a tit-for-tat ban on Russian air freight using German airspace. All Lufthansa’s flights to the Far East were affected, Berlin said.
The German airline’s Asian cargo hub is currently Kazakstan’s capital, Astana. The Russians want it to be Krasnoyarsk, which is some 1,500km further east.
A Lufthansa spokesman cited consequential added fuel costs during the row, longer time in the air to go around Russia and crews working longer shifts.
Brussels said this was a bilateral affair and so the European Commission had not got involved.