Lufthansa Cargo has doubled freighter capacity to Vietnam with the addition of twice weekly service to Hanoi, underscoring the increased demand for air cargo service in Vietnam as multinational companies diversify sourcing away from China.

The cargo subsidiary of Deutsche Lufthansa Group said Thursday the flights will be operated by AeroLogic, a joint venture with DHL Express, using Boeing 777 cargo jets. The initial flight to Vietnam’s capital left Lufthansa’s hub in Frankfurt, Germany, on Nov. 2 and made a stop in Mumbai, India. Lufthansa is the only airline to connect Hanoi and Frankfurt.

Lufthansa Cargo already operates all-cargo aircraft twice per week to Ho Chi Minh City, the country’s largest city and manufacturing center. 

Lufthansa said the new route is a response to growing export volumes, especially electronics, automotive parts and apparel, from Vietnam to Europe. The large aircraft have a maximum payload of 103 tons and can carry 27 containers on the main deck and 10 standard pallets in the lower hold.

AeroLogic operates five 777 freighters on behalf of Lufthansa Cargo, which essentially charters the aircraft from DHL, markets the capacity and receives the revenues. 

The addition of Hanoi to Lufthansa Cargo’s network is part of a push to offer more frequencies and destinations in Asia, including Seoul, South Korea, and Hong Kong.

Vietnam is a rapidly growing market for air cargo.

Foreign carriers dominate the air cargo market in Vietnam. A local startup backed by a wealthy retail conglomerate recently scrapped plans to become the first domestic all-cargo carrier after shipping demand softened during the summer and it faced challenges obtaining an operating license from Vietnamese authorities. Vietnam Airlines and Vietravel Airlines have indicated they plan to start all-cargo operations in the near future. 

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