Deutsche Post ready to end domestic flights if German govt relaxes delivery deadline
German courier company Deutsche Post has said it would like to stop using domestic flights for deliveries but would need political assistance to do so by relaxing the mandatory delivery speed for letters, public broadcaster ARD reported. Tobias Meyer, head of Deutsche Post’s postal and parcel services, said three daily return flights between northern and southern Germany could be discontinued if the required delivery deadline is extended by one day. “As long as we are obliged to deliver 80 percent of all letters overnight, we will not be able to do without night flights,” Meyer said. If the deadline was extended, Deutsche Post could simply deliver all long-distance mailings by road or rail, which would greatly decrease the carbon footprint of every individual letter. “It’s not possible to manage the long-distance mailings overnight with lorries or even freight trains,” Meyer said. The company proposed to reduce the share of letters delivered the next day to 50 percent, adding that about 95 percent could be delivered within two days. The share of air mail of all letters delivered by Deutsche Post would be in the medium single-digit range, the company said.
In its coalition treaty, the new government has said it would analyse how the Postal Act could be amended to include social and ecological standards. Domestic flights in general have increasingly come under scrutiny in Germany, where most of even the longest distances can be covered by train in well under eight hours, and the new government has promised to work toward replacing flights with rail transport.