Munich Airport’s management continues to invest in its cargo business, despite the current slump in passenger traffic causing massive financial problems. This was assured by Jost Lammers, CEO of Munich Airport company, at the latest German Air Cargo Club (ACD) event.
Like most airports, Munich is hit hard by the pandemic, with passenger numbers down 76% in August in a year-on-year comparison. Its figures have now stabilized, but at a rather low level. While in April, 38 airlines served Munich, connecting the Bavarian Airport with 112 destinations in 35 countries located outside the EU, the numbers have shrunk dramatically since then to currently 6 international carriers, 11 destinations, and flights to 6 non-European countries.
In comparison, air freight is doing slightly better at -49% year-over year. This is not really an encouraging figure either, but the conditions for at least a medium-term upswing are in place, Jost Lammers emphasized at the ACD meeting.
Freight benefits from a highly industrialized environment
Being home to a large number of renowned companies such as BMW, Infineon, Siemens, or MAN, and hosting clusters of the Aviation, IT, Software, and Communication industries, Munich's status as an innovative business location is significantly higher than that of Frankfurt. Due to this economic strength and the linkage of the enterprises to international markets, MUC’s air freight business should be given a major boost once the pandemic fades out with the economy getting back on its feet. And there is another important aspect supporting this thesis: the highly industrialized catchment area of Southern Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, and even Northern Italy, stimulating air freight as well.
MUC’s cargo projects continue at full speed, says Lammers
In order to move further up in the table of leading European freight airports, MUC is consistently pushing ahead with expansion projects such as the construction of additional road and logistics links, new parking and functional areas for road feeder traffic, and international marketing initiatives illustrating the attractiveness of the airport for airlines, forwarding agents, and shippers. Most recently, a new truck parking area in the cargo area and Lufthansa Cargo's new pharmaceutical hub were put into operation (CargoForwarder Global). In addition, DHL Express and Munich Airport have just signed a contract for the construction of a new cargo building with an area of more than 8,000 m². The new gateway, with which DHL Express will increase its current hall space at Munich Airport sixfold, is scheduled to go into operation in 2022. "In addition to our hub connection, we want to further develop the cargo area at our location. We see great potential, especially in the areas of e-commerce and express freight," Mr. Lammers stated.
From BUD to MUC
The former boss of Budapest Airport knows from his own experience how such visions can be successfully implemented. Under his management, DHL Express substantially grew its handling capacities at BUD by adding a 6,000 m² sorting center to its facility. Last October, a new Cargo City was inaugurated, offering 21,200 m² warehouse space and an 11,650 m² office-space building for forwarding agents.
The inauguration ceremony on 25NOV19 was one of Lammer's last duties in Budapest. Shortly thereafter, he moved to Munich to succeed the long-standing airport Chief, Michael Kerkloh, on 01JAN20, who had retired at the end of December last year.
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