Deutsche Post ends domestic airmail services

Europe Express
Deutsche Post has discontinued its overnight airmail network in Germany, switching to road transport to cut CO2 emissions.

The final service was operated in the early hours of this morning (Thursday 28 March) on overnight flights by Eurowings and Tui Fly transporting letters to and from northern and southern Germany on Stuttgart-Berlin, Hanover-Munich and Hanover-Stuttgart routes.

From now on, letters on these routes will be transported by route, which Deutsche Post says will reduce transport-related CO2 emissions by more than 80%.

Marc Hitschfield, Chief Operations Officer of DHL Group’s Post & Parcel Germany division, says, “In times of climate change, airmail for domestic letters within Germany can no longer be justified - also because there is no longer the same urgency associated with letter mail as in decades past. So on the one hand, the end of domestic airmail is good news for the environment. On the other hand, the end of overnight airmail closes a chapter of postal history which many Deutsche Post employees have identified with for decades.”

Domestic airmail services were launched within the Federal Republic of Germany in 1961 operated by Lufthansa with the air corridor to Berlin serviced by Pan Am until 1990.

Services have been reduced over the years from 430 tons of letter mail every night in 1996 to 45 destinations to 53 tons today.

Political and social consensus in Germany has determined that delivering domestic letters by the following working day is no longer a core component of universal postal service.

Reforms to Germany’s Postal Act are being discussed in parliament stipulating longer transit times for letter mail.

Deutsche Post says it will continue to ensure fast letter mail transport between northern and southern Germany, which is possible due to reduced letter mail volumes and sorting times.