The two companies decided to launch the Frankfurt, Germany (FRA) – Birmingham, UK (BHX) – Dublin, Ireland (DUB) – Frankfurt, Germany (FRA) route, operated by a Fairchild Metro, to overcome existing bottlenecks in air freight traffic and keep supply chains running despite the trade barriers caused by Brexit. The freighter flights are operated every night from Monday to Friday.
The new flights are primarily used by customers from the Logistics, Medtech, Automotive, Machinery and Components, Aviation, and Semiconductor industries. The agricultural sector is also
benefiting from the additional cargo flights against the backdrop of the current harvest season, time:matters states in its press release.
The aircraft takes off from Rhine-Main Airport at 20:00, allowing the industry to utilize the full production day. On its way back from DUB to FRA, the freighter lands at 07:00, ensuring synchronization with the international flight network at FRA for onward transportation, or enabling immediate availability of the goods for pick-up by consignees. The time:matters experts “take care of all steps within the supply chain – always individually and highly tailored to each customer’s needs,” reads the release.
Operator of the flights is Businesswings GmbH, acquired in December 2019 by overnight transport specialist, Sovereign Speed with the aim of adding air transport to the Hamburg-based company’s service portfolio. The now launched FRA-BHX-DUB-FRA flights document this expansion strategy. For specifics, CargoForwarder Global (CFG) spoke with Lars Best, Managing Director of carrier, Businesswings.
Interview with Lars Best
CFG: Businesswings in cooperation with time:matters launches cargo flights on the sector Frankfurt, Birmingham, Dublin, and back. Why this route and what is the underlying
business model for these air services?
Lars Best (LB): Frankfurt, being one of the major European gateways, has always been of interest to us. Faced, now, with limited commercial air freight options and customs requirements, especially to the UK and Ireland, brought us to the conclusion that we should add capacities on this specific routing. Furthermore, Frankfurt is one of the major hubs of our Sovereign Speed network and enables us now to jointly provide our customers with combined road and air freight options. Birmingham has proven for many years to be the airport within the UK for anything that’s time critical, and is located conveniently in the center so that deliveries taking place during the night are possible across the entire country. The same goes for Dublin, allowing us convenient, timely operations from Monday to Friday.
CFG: Why did you decide to charter a Fairchild Metro, capable of uplifting only 1.8 tons per takeoff?
LB: The Metro allows us to offer the market a feasible capacity, reducing the commercial risk of this new route right from the start. Only hours after we had announced the flight, we received astonishing feedback and interest voiced by potential customers. Since we have sourced the aircraft from another Germany-based operator, we are flexible in switching to a larger aircraft once the volumes outgrow the Metroliner’s capacity.
CFG: Speaking of traffic rights: Did the UK aviation authorities allow you to pick up shipments in Birmingham destined to Dublin?
LB: Yes, because we do not operate within the UK but connect Birmingham with two EU countries: Ireland and Germany. Therefore, it was no problem obtaining traffic rights from the UK aviation authority.
CFG: Sovereign Speed operates its own warehouse in Frankfurt. Does this mean that you offer customers a one-stop service, from picking up the shipment at the production site, road feeder services, physical handling, customs clearance, and air transportation?
LB: Yes, exactly. Having our diversified service portfolio bundled in Frankfurt allows us to offer unique and customized solutions for any requirement while arranging all services internally, thus simplifying all processes from A to Z for our clients by always offering them full transparency.
Breakeven expected soon
CFG: It can be assumed that time:matters has committed itself to contributing a certain volume of cargo per flight. How much? And who markets the remaining capacity available?
LB: Having long established a strong relationship with time:matters, we joined forces on this project on equal terms, meaning that the capacity is split 50/50 between both partners. Nevertheless, each of us can utilize the space of the other party in case it is available. Hence, we have very flexible capacity management in place aimed at utilizing the Metroliner’s entire uplift capabilities.
CFG: What does the business plan forecast regarding the breakeven of the flights?
LB: Getting a project like this on track always requires a certain financial investment and includes taking some risk. Our core strategy is to broaden our flight network whenever financially and operationally feasible. According to market surveys, these criteria apply to the new Germany-UK-Ireland route also shown by the first positive market reactions. That said, we expect to break even after 2 to 3 months.
CFG: Lars, thank you for this interview.
time:matters enhances U.S. services
Simultaneously to the launch of the Businesswings flights, time:matters announced the expansion of the company’s Sameday Air Service network linking the EU with the USA. All westbound shipments travel via Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, where they are loaded on board aircraft taking off to 10 stations in the States. These are: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. The Frankfurt, Germany-based express service provider guarantees the transport of time-critical shipments weighing up to 38 kilograms chargeable weight, short handling and transit times from 120 minutes, coupled with high loading priority.
“We are pleased to offer especially our customers in the U.S., France, and the Benelux countries, even more attractive and faster transport solutions via our comprehensive Sameday Air network with the numerous direct connections,” Alexander Kohnen, CEO of time:matters, explains. Above all, customers from the Aerospace, Mechanical Engineering, Electronics and Automotive industries, as well as from the Life Science sector, will benefit from the new fast direct connections between Paris and the USA, the manager adds.
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