Grounded for good: Germany shifts away from domestic air mail

Grounded for good: Germany shifts away from domestic air mail.

Grounded for good: Germany shifts away from domestic air mail. Image: Deutsche Post / Facebook.

Germany’s national postal service, Deutsche Post, has made a significant change by discontinuing domestic deliveries of letters and parcels by air.

The final domestic air mail flight took off from Berlin on March 28, heading to Stuttgart.

This decision reflects the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability and reducing CO2 emissions.

By shifting to ground and rail transportation for domestic deliveries, Deutsche Post expects to achieve an 80 per cent reduction in emissions for each delivered letter.

Domestic airmail flights have a long history, spanning 63 years, primarily operating overnight.

In the 1960s, air transport was the fastest way to deliver mail, telegrams, and parcels, especially before instant messaging became prevalent.

However, the volume of mail transported by air has steadily declined over time.

Initially, flights connected routes between Stuttgart-Berlin, Hanover-Munich, and Hanover-Stuttgart in both directions, with six aircraft carrying around 1.5 million letters each night, averaging approximately 270,000 items per aircraft.

Nowadays, there’s a consensus in Germany that same-day delivery of most domestic letter mail is no longer essential for universal postal service.

The focus has shifted towards providing sustainable postal delivery services that meet public expectations.

As a result, domestic mail delivery will exclusively rely on road and rail transportation, while international routes will still be serviced by aeroplanes.

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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.