Thursday, September 13, 2012

Chinese Cargo Airline Chooses Amsterdam Freight Base

Air China Services Commence into Schiphol
Shipping News Feature

CHINA – NETHERLANDS – Schiphol continues in its quest to move two rungs up the ladder and become the largest cargo airport in Europe with the news that this week saw the first freight services by Air China into the Amsterdam airport. The inaugural Air China Cargo scheduled flight arrived on September 12th, following ad hoc charters in August, and was met with the customary water arch salute courtesy of Schiphol’s Fire Brigade.

Schiphol boasts a highly-developed scheduled road feeder network to over 100 destinations which the airport executive says enables it to extend coverage to all major European markets. Air China Cargo will utilise B747-400 aircraft on the new services which are initially operating five times weekly from Shanghai, via Chengdu or Chonqing; flights return via Tianjin. The airline has slots for up to ten flights per week from Amsterdam with some of the new services into Schiphol replacing flights to Frankfurt. Air China Cargo’s Executive Vice President and CFO, Mr.Huang Bin said:

"Our new Amsterdam freighter service should be the first choice for customers who need direct service between the Netherlands and Northern China. This is now the third Air China Cargo freighter route serving Europe*, which demonstrates our pioneering spirit in the current market recovery, and our great confidence in the prospects for the air cargo market between China and the Netherlands."

Air China’s long-standing Dutch GSSA, Kales, greeted news of the new services with enthusiasm as did ground handling agent Swissport which will be responsible for the receiving and handling of cargo. With the arrival of Air China Cargo services, Schiphol becomes the only European airport to serve all three major Chinese freighter operators which prompted Schiphol Cargo’s Senior VP, Enno Osinga to say:

“Air China Cargo’s new service further strengthens Schiphol’s links with China; we now have six freighter operators serving China, and 112 flights per week to and from its top ten cargo airports. We are very pleased to welcome Air China Cargo to our growing community of freighter operators. Schiphol’s strategic location, active encouragement of logistics activity and proactive measures to facilitate efficient flow of cargo, is clearly making it the European airport of choice for major freight carriers.”

*Air China Cargo also has services serving Paris.