Yesterday (10 Dec.), Venice welcomed the first ever flight of TNT Express. The lagoon city surroundings of the Veneto region are highly industrialized and therefore, attractive for package delivery companies such as TNT.
The arrival of TNT’s inaugural flight was cheered by a hand-picked group of local clients, people from the media, and some Venetian officials. “We hadn’t invited many guests, so it was a rather
small celebration on the occasion of our first Venice flight,” reacts speaker Cyrille Gibot of TNT Express when approached by CFG.
Starting immediately, TNT’s Boeing 737-400 freighters will depart each night from Tuesday to Friday at their home base Liege Bierset airport en route to Venice where they are scheduled to arrive at 6 a.m. From there, they continue to Slovenian Ljubljana airport before flying back to Liege. In addition, the five weekly Athens to Liege flights, operated nonstop up to now, make a stopover at Venice. “The Athens connection exists for some time but we now have decided to integrate Venice in this routing,” Cyrille explains.
Nine flights each week
Below the line this means that the integrator serves the Venetian capital nine times a week by deploying Boeing 737 freighters either on the northbound or southbound leg. Up to 22 tons can be loaded on each flight on board this Boeing variant.
Venice is the sixth air gateway serviced in Italy by the express subsidiary of the Dutch Post. The others are Bologna, Milan, Rome, Cagliari, and Catania.
The region is shaped by medium-sized and family-run businesses
Why did the management decide to add Venice to TNT’s route map?
Because the north-eastern part of Italy, including cities like Padua, Vicenza, Verona or Udine are home to a dense network of export-oriented companies, most of them being small or medium-sized. According to TNT this area is underserved in terms of connectivity and access to international markets. The integrator states: “The addition of Venice to our international air network will benefit exporters and importers trading with North-East Italy, who need guaranteed next-day delivery, flexibility and late collections.”
The Venice air link is complemented by RFS
Cyrilly from TNT’s Corporate Communications adds to this that “if express is not requested by our clients, their standard shipments are trucked from the Venetian capital to Liege Airport.” It’s a slower, but somewhat cheaper offer to get the Venice consolidated goods up north to the Belgian airport.
For ensuring seamless connections between air and road operations, the air gateway is located in the 2013-built TNT Marcon depot, near the lagoon city. It is TAPA certified and can handle up to ten ULDs with a loading capacity of 2,000 kilograms each.
Currently, TNT Express operates a 737 freighter fleet consisting of two B737-300Fs and ten B737-400Fs. In addition to these, “we use six to eight B737 in wet lease from companies like Bluebird, West Atlantic and others,” states TNT’s Online Communication Officer, Marianne Reber. She goes on to say that on 22 of December a further 737-400F is slated to join the fleet.