BERLIN/STUTTGART (dpa-AFX) - After more than 62 years, Deutsche Post has discontinued its domestic letter delivery flights. Early Thursday morning, the last plane took off from Berlin and flew to Stuttgart. Shortly before, planes had taken off from Hanover, Munich and Stuttgart. The six planes were carrying only letters - a total of around 1.5 million items weighing 53 tons. This corresponds to around three percent of the volume of letters transported by Swiss Post in Germany every day.

In future, Swiss Post will no longer use letter transport aircraft in order to save costs and have a better carbon footprint. According to the company, CO2 emissions per letter are reduced by a good 80 percent by land. For decades, the Group relied on flights because it was under legal time pressure to deliver letters. However, this is likely to be weakened by an ongoing legal reform, which is why Swiss Post no longer needs the flights.

The night flights to collect letters began in September 1961 and reached their highest volume in 1996 with an average of 430 tons in 45 flights per night. In view of digitalization, letters subsequently lost importance, demand fell and the number of letter flights was gradually reduced./wdw/DP/zb