In Munich, the first two weeks of May 2020 give cause for optimism as far as freight-only developments are concerned. The number of cargo-only take-offs and landings was up by 66% compared to the first two weeks of May 2019. And, in the same period, tonnage increased by 54%. Munich Airport’s Director Traffic Development Cargo, Markus Heinelt, delivers an overview in this guest contribution.
Against the backdrop of the Covid-19 crisis, Munich Airport cargo hub became increasingly important for the transportation of relief supplies and personal protective equipment. Among the current average of over 20 cargo flights per day, there is an emphasis on the transportation of medical supplies. Uzbekistan Airways started a B767F charter operation twice a week from Tianjin to Munich on behalf of the Hamburg-based shipping company, Senator International. This operation is scheduled to continue until the end of June.
DB Schenker and Icelandair operate charter chain
Qatar Airways increased its cargo services from Doha to Munich to a total of 11 weekly flights: a daily flight operated by a Boeing B777 (departure in MUC 20:30) and further flights on days 2,3,5,7 operated by an Airbus A350 (departure 16:55).
On behalf of logistics company DB Schenker, Icelandair Cargo started daily operations on 26APR20 using B767 passenger freighters between Shanghai and Munich. Three aircraft run this rotation. Stripped of their seats, the aircraft can accommodate 25 tons per flight. The charter service has just been prolonged until mid-June, with the possibility that this may again be extended.
Further, Etihad Cargo and Emirates Cargo operate several freighter services between Munich and Abu Dhabi and Munich and Dubai – both using Boeing B777 equipment.
Lufthansa ups flights, connecting PVG with ORD via MUC
Plus, until mid-May, Lufthansa operated two daily cargo flights from Shanghai and Beijing using Airbus A350 long-range jetliners. Under normal circumstances, Lufthansa's A350 fleet carries passengers to intercontinental destinations in North and South America and in Asia. At the end of May, Lufthansa will add a further cargo service from Shanghai via Munich to Newark. Reinstated belly capacity will be available to Los Angeles and Chicago from the beginning of June.
Munich Airport also enjoys an increased number of flights carried out by integrators. Currently, DHL operates between one and three aircraft per day. FedEx, UPS, ASL continue with regular services using B777F, B757F, B767F, and B737F, numbering over 70 freighter flights per week.
It can also be noted that Munich Airport’s cargo hub guarantees the fastest processes thanks to its unique cargo infrastructure allowing the fast throughput of shipments and immediate onward transportation.
Turning new into sustainable business
In the meantime, we are focusing on convincing forwarders to continue using Munich as preferred gateway once Covid-19 fades out. Discussions with top European and German forwarding agents are underway, whose shipments, consisting predominantly of much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE) were given utmost priority by our local handling companies. According to our records, it takes a maximum of 210 minutes from placing the wheel chocks until trucks depart to their final destinations, including unloading of the aircraft, customs clearance and reloading the goods on board a road feeder. This is, as we know from comparative data, a top performance that speaks for our location as a hub for air freight also in post corona times. Speed and handling performance are our strongest arguments in our meetings with leading forwarding agents.
We thank the author for this guest contribution illustrating the current situation of the freight business in MUC. HS