Leisure Cargo, daughter company of logistics agent Zeitfracht, is marketing the lower deck compartments of passenger carrier Nordica, based in the Baltic state of Estonia. Through the agreement that started June 1, Leisure widens its global network for freight transports considerably.
Measured by fleet, routes, and lower deck capacity, Nordica is a rather small fish in Leisure Cargo’s global network of flight paths served by the general sales agent’s fourteen mandate airlines. But size is not all, comments managing director Thilo Schaefer of Leisure Cargo. “Nordica perfectly complements our existing portfolio because they enable us to cover a number of local markets that have been a white spot on our global map so far, particularly in Eastern Europe or the Ukraine.”
Sven Kukemelk, Executive Director Business Development at Nordica, said: „We are happy to take another step in Nordica development through finding such a strong partner to manage our belly cargo. We expect this cooperation to be beneficial for both sides.”
Founded in 2015, Nordica and its one year later incepted subsidiary Regional Jet filled the gap left by Estonian Air that bit the dust in late 2014. The former national carrier went bankrupt after the EU Commission had demanded the airline pay back millions of unlawfully received governmental subsidies to the Estonian taxpayers.
Successor Nordica’s current fleet comprises 8 leased aircraft, consisting of Bombardier CRJs, Embraer-145 and Fokker 100.
Close cooperation with Polish LOT
Main routes originating and ending at their hub Tallinn Lennart Meri Airport are Brussels, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Munich, Vienna, Berlin, in western and central Europe, Oslo, Stockholm, Trondheim in Scandinavia, and Odessa, Kiev, Split, Rijeka, or Constanta in southeast Europe and the Balkan region.
State-owned Nordica cooperates very closely with LOT Polish Airlines, operating feeder services on behalf of the Polish carrier, who became a 49 percent stakeholder in Nordica’s daughter company Regional Jet that operates a fleet of 16 Bombardier CRJs and Fokker 72 turboprops.
The cooperation involves a joint commercial platform and ticket sales system, as well as the sharing of airline codes. Through Regional Jet, Nordica provides services to LOT in order to increase the efficiency the own fleet’s utilization and feed the long-haul flights of LOT.
Vision nears realization
Nordica is Leisure Cargo’s latest mandate airline after winning Rumanian Blue Air as client in April, who operate 29 Boeing 737 passenger jets.
With Cologne-based WDL Aviation, Estonian Nordica and Rumanian Blue Air in their portfolio, the vision of Leisure Cargo parent company Zeitfracht draws closer to set up an intra-European network for express freight. Therefore, the air transport of time critical goods such as pharmaceuticals and perishables but also urgent express shipments is well under way to develop into an additional line of business for forwarding agent Zeitfracht, complementing their long-established intra-European trucking and logistics services. In the e-commerce age, “it’s no longer an option to transport time sensitive items by truck or by sea,” reasons managing director Wolfram Simon of Zeitfracht.
Market observers bet that Nordica was not the last mandate airline that commissioned their lower deck capacity to Zeitfracht daughter Leisure Cargo.