Tuesday, March 13, 2012

New Air Freight Service Links Europe with China

AirBridgeCargo Flights Weekly From Hannover
Shipping News Feature

GERMANY – CHINA – RUSSIA - AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC) has announced a new cargo link between Northern Europe and China with the inception of a weekly Boeing 747-400 freighter service from Hannover Airport in Germany to Beijing via Moscow. Global logistics company Kühne + Nagel will be the main customer for the new ABC operation which is primarily to target shipping engineering and automotive parts from the industrial region in North Germany to the Far East.

Hannover Airport is principally known for being the leading holiday airport in North Germany and the aim is to consistently expand the Hannover freight catchment area in light of the forecast growth in goods traffic between China and Europe over the next few years to the benefit of local logistics companies. Dr. Raoul Hille, Managing Director of Hannover Airport, said:

“The Asia-Pacific market in particular has a strong interest in direct flights to North Germany, Northern and North-Eastern Europe. There is significant savings potential for the logistics sector on account of the shorter operating times on the ground and therefore lower motorway charges and fuel costs. We are also making a strategic contribution to cut carbon dioxide emissions as part of the move away from fossil fuels by deliberately shortening the feeder services.”

The airport subsidiaries Aviation Ground Services Hannover GmbH and AirCargo Services Hannover GmbH are providing the ground and freight handling services for ABC whilst the new route means an expansion of services for ABC which handles scheduled freight operations within the Russian Volga-Dnepr Group utilising its fleet of twelve 747 freighters primarily to carry goods for freight forwarding groups. Ludwig Hamburger, the company’s Vice President and Regional Director EMEA, explained why Hannover saying:

“We can include North Germany, Northern and North East Europe in the global distribution of goods in the best possible way through our central hub in Moscow. We have also recently opened new bases in Asia at Chengdu and Zhengzhou in addition to Beijing.”

ABC has worked to extend operations at its Moscow hub in Sheremetyevo airport which it says has allowed the Volga-Dnepr fleet to improve its business model through its transition from line haul to network services, a policy which has clearly suited customers like K+N whose spokesman Klaus Jäger commented:

“We are establishing an excellent door-to-door product with this route. The launch of the regular cargo link between Hannover and Beijing is an important sign for all the logistics companies in the region that freight traffic is becoming more important at Hannover Airport – not only from a European point of view but also across Asia.”