The logistics giant steps up its air charter initiative to facilitate stable connections between Frankfurt and key markets such as China, India, the Middle East, and the USA. The main deck capacity pumped into the market should partially compensate the losses of lower deck transport capacity, a result of the poor recovery of passenger services as reaction to the ongoing spread of Covid-19.
From January until the end of August, a total of 1,100 charter flights were operated on behalf of DB Schenker. That trend continuous unabated, leading to record number of 1,500 charters for the
entire year, a company speaker estimates. It will also be a record figure in the history of DB Schenker, he confirms.
When asked which cargo carriers DB Schenker partners with in the framework of its Global Flight Ops Program, he reacts tight-lipped: "We cooperate with a handful of airlines, but we ask for your understanding that we will not disclose their names at this stage of the collaboration.” Strangely enough, this point is treated almost like a state secret by the company’s communications people, for whatever reason.
B747Fs fit best
The press officer becomes more precise however, when questioned which aircraft types will be chartered: “We deliberately rely exclusively on B747Fs, because Jumbos best facilitate the reloading of shipments in Frankfurt on trade lanes such as BOM-FRA-ATL, for instance.”
Touching the product issue, he says that predominantly standard consignments are transported, but in some cases also pharma ex India.
DB Schenker’s Global Flight Operations Program connects Frankfurt and China four times a week, serving Beijing, Shanghai (twice a week) and Zhengzhou. Customers on transatlantic routes are also served with two weekly flights to Chicago and one flight to Atlanta. In addition, connections to Canada via DB Schenker's Chicago Air Hub and to Latin America via the Miami Air Hub have been established. Dubai and India are linked to the existing transatlantic charter capacities between Frankfurt and the USA with a weekly connection.
Keeping supply chains running
Roland Dressler, Executive Vice President Air Freight DB Schenker Germany & Switzerland, illustrates why the Global Flight Ops Program has been kicked off by his company: “As the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet under control worldwide, we do not expect passenger flights and cargo capacities to return to normal within the next twelve months. I am therefore immensely proud that our flight schedule with exclusive full charter flights offers importers and exporters in Germany and Europe a reliable air freight solution. The support and services rendered by our team enable our customers to keep their supply chains stable."
From the charters concluded until the end of August, 72 were operated by Boeing 767 “preighters” provided by Icelandair which had so far been responsible for DB Schenker’s China shuttle. If Icelandair is also part of the extended charter program is doubtful since it does not have B747 freighters in its fleet.
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