New passenger flights on intercontinental routes, higher frequencies on existing sectors: Munich Airport enjoys undaunted demand by airlines to obtain traffic rights into the Bavarian
capital city. The upcoming summer flight schedule, commencing at the end of March, clearly proves this long-term development. Nevertheless, there is a little downer: in contrast to the passenger
segment full freighters serving the airport are still under-represented, admits Markus Heinelt, Director Traffic Development Cargo. But even for this sector there is a slight gleam of
We asked Markus Heinelt to comment on 2019 plans and 2018 results.
Mr Heinelt, Munich expects a boost in lower deck capacity in 2019 due to new airlines that announced serving the airport together with established carriers such as Lufthansa who are
upping their frequencies or adding additional routes to their network from/to Munich.
Kindly provide an overview.
With the beginning of the 2019 summer schedule by the end of March Lufthansa will start a daily flight connecting Munich with Osaka, Japan utilizing a passenger Airbus A350-900F, capable of
carrying up to 20 tons of cargo per flight on that route.
Simultaneously American Airlines links Charlotte with Munich, operating a daily A330-200 on that sector. It expands our transatlantic network because Charlotte is, next to New York, the second largest financial center in the USA.
As of 1 June, Lufthansa adds Munich-Bangkok to its route map, offering daily flights with A350-900 equipment. Only a week after, American Airlines follows suit connecting Munich with Dallas/Fort Worth using a daily B787-800.
Finally, on 26 June we will welcome Latin America’s largest airline LATAM that starts serving Munich-Sao Paulo four times a week, deploying a passenger Boeing 767-300 on that route.
In addition to these new flights Lufthansa ups their frequencies as of 31 March to Seoul (from 6 to daily), to Singapore (5 to 6 weekly), and to Chicago from currently 10 to then 13 flights per week. All will be operated with brand-new Airbus A350-900 equipment. In 2019, Munich will offer more than three hundred weekly movements to and from North America alone.
Sounds like MUC will be blessed with a lot of additional belly-hold capacity
Indeed, that means 74 weekly long-haul flights on top and depending on routes, passenger loads and aircraft type, you can expect payloads between 10 to 20 tons per flight. This not only will up our cargo figures but should make Munich increasingly interesting for forwarding agents as gateway for freight shipments, offering global connectivity and ample lower deck capacity.
2018, in contrast, didn’t run that well, did it?
We’ll publish our annual figures only in mid-January. But at this point I can basically confirm that we’ll announce a slight decline in volumes mainly due to the change of aircraft models by some airlines, that led to reduced belly-hold capacity offered to the market.
At the end of this year, an important chapter comes to an end with the airport’s helmsman Michael Kerkloh retiring after serving MUC for 17 long years as CEO and Chairman of the
Management Board. Would it be too much to say that his retirement is a big loss not only for the Bavarian airport but for the entire German airport and aviation community?
You can say that again!. Dr. Kerkloh is one of the most experienced and recognized experts in the German and international airport industry. He stands for innovative concepts and strategic vision for a modern and competitive airport management. Under his stewardship, Munich Airport developed into one of the leading and economically soundest European aviation hubs.
In order to promote the cargo segment, Dr. Kerkloh continuously pushed ahead for further development, supported the attendance of Munich Airport at various cargo-related trade shows, visited freight forwarders and shippers personally, and did his outmost to acquire new carriers. In a nutshell: During his tenure Munich was put on the global cargo landscape.
This is evidenced not only by steadily growing freight volumes over the years but also by ground projects such as the building of a new Express Centre for Integrators (opened in 2005), a Border Inspection Post in 2007, a new Cargo Terminal West (commissioned in 2007) and the Cargo Terminal East (operational since 2012).
Also, internally Dr. Kerkloh contributed significantly to the cohesion of the airport family. In 2018, operator Flughafen Muenchen GmbH was honored for the third time as the best employer in the transport and logistics industry in Germany.
Last year, Munich Airport even ranked among the top ten employers in Germany, according to the annual report of the news magazine Focus in cooperation with market review portals Xing and Kununu.com.
Indeed, impressive achievements! Herr Heinelt, thank you for the interview.
Interview: Heiner Siegmund