The Luxembourg-based freight carrier has commenced commercial services to Narita Airport. The airline’s inaugural flight took place last Wednesday (28 March) when a Boeing 747-8F landed
at the Japanese airport with 80 tons on board, saluted with a traditional water shower.
Simultaneously, the carrier renewed its GDP certification, valid for another year.
Following the welcoming ceremony, Cargolux CEO Richard Forson addressed the gathering of local airport executives, VIPs and freight managers, pointing out the importance of the Japanese market
for his company. Said Forson: “Japan has long played an important role in Cargolux’s Far East network and we are looking forward to supporting Japan’s trade lanes to and from Europe.”
CV will serve the route Luxembourg-Narita once a week. The flight departs at Findel International every Tuesday evening and arrives in Narita Wednesday afternoon at 4:25 pm local time. The flight back positions via Incheon, South Korea and Novosibirsk, Russia, landing in LUX on Thursdays 6:15 am (local time).
Joint services between CV and NCA
The LUX-NRT flight is operated in close cooperation between Cargolux and Nippon Cargo Airlines (NCA) based on a deal inked in November of last year. This pact allows both airlines access to each other’s main deck capacity through code-share and space swap agreements. Their joint services were kicked off with the start of this year’s summer flight schedule on 25 March.
While Cargolux operates the route Luxembourg-Narita, Nippon Cargo Airlines flies Frankfurt Hahn – Narita. Thanks to their collaboration, CV is able to offer their customers air transports into Narita on day 7 ex HHN by utilizing NCA main deck capacity. Conversely, the Japanese carrier has access to CV capacity on day 2 by booking consignments on board Cargolux’s LUX-NRT flights. Upon arrival, all goods flown under the conditions of the joint venture agreement are handled by NCA Ground Handling Service.
Cargolux is no newcomer to Japan. The carrier launched scheduled flights back in 1985 to Osaka (Kansai Airport), followed by Komatsu located at the western part of the country. Narita is the third Japanese destination served by the Cargolux Group, including flights operated by Cargolux Italia to Kansai Airport (KIX).
NRT is Japan’s cargo heavyweight
Narita is by far Japan’s largest cargo airport, handling 2 million tons annually. This accounts for more than 50 percent of all goods transported by air to and from the East Asian country. Major exports consist of automobile parts, semiconductors, electronic components and devices, as well as scientific optional equipment. On the import side it is mostly prestige cars, communication equipment, pharmaceuticals, semiconductors, and electronic components.
Successful GDP certification
Simultaneously, Cargolux announces the successful renewal of its GDP certification.
The “Good Distribution Practices”, implemented by the EU in 2013, defines distribution, transport or storage of pharmaceutical and medical goods, applying to airlines, handling agents, forwarders, wholesalers and manufacturers of this kind of sensitive produce.
In early 2014 the carrier became the world’s first GDP certified airline, confirming its compliance with EU GDP/WHO requirements and Cargolux’s dedication to operate a consistent quality management system across the transportation process. In a release, the airline stresses that its hub at Luxembourg airport as well as 12 other stations within its network are also GDP and/or CEIV Pharma certified via its subcontracted service partners, the ground handling agents. “The expertise of the handling agents on the ground, the dedication and skill of the Cargolux staff along with the commitment to excel customers’ service expectation during transportation have all contributed to achieve the certification,” reads their announcement on GDP certification valid for another year.