What significance does air freight play in people's everyday lives? If asked, most people would probably spontaneously say that air freight is not really of key importance. To shed light
on this issue, the Logistics Region Rhineland in cooperation with Frankfurt’s University of Applied Sciences, launched a large-scale survey.
The results, presented last Friday (19NOV21) at Cologne/Bonn Airport, are noteworthy.
At the beginning of the event, the initiators presented a list of goods which would not be available, or only to a very limited extent, without air freight. Medicine would be unthinkable without air freight: Vaccines and other medical products are distributed around the world from here or reach the Rhineland by air. Foodstuff, spare parts urgently needed by the industry, but also everyday articles such as clothing or e-commerce items, would not reach the consumers in time if they were not transported on board aircraft.
Enormous economic importance
The study’s figures underline the outstanding significance of the two most important airports in the Rhine-Ruhr region, Cologne/Bonn and Düsseldorf, when it comes to supplying goods to North Rhine-Westphalia’s more than 18 million inhabitants, servicing the many industrial and trade companies. 900,000 tons of air freight with an annual value of around 22 billion euros, are sent and received via the two airports. More than 7,000 people are directly employed in the air cargo sector there, who ensure that the supply chains of local companies remain stable, particularly during the Corona crisis.
Do good and talk about it
On the occasion, Thomas Schnalke, CEO of Düsseldorf Airport, said: “Our airport is an excellently networked transhipment location for air cargo, and is of central importance for the economy and goods supply of the population in NRW. In particular, items for daily use, food, clothing, and electrical goods reach consumers quickly via our airport. At the beginning of the pandemic, urgently needed protective masks and medical supplies also arrived in the Rhineland via Düsseldorf Airport. Currently, the cargo business is providing important impulses for the airlines' route planning. At the same time, the introduction of modern passenger aircraft with attractive cargo volumes opens up new opportunities for Düsseldorf in the area of supplementary cargo. Particularly in the medium- and long-haul segment, new offers can be created for our passengers and new markets can be opened up for companies.”
Playing in the top cargo league
“In Europe, Cologne/Bonn Airport is one of the top 10 cargo airports. As the most important logistics hub for North Rhine-Westphalia and beyond, the airport has proven its system-relevant importance as well as its exceptional position in serving the people and the economy of North Rhine-Westphalia as an export location, especially during the Corona crisis. With its global connections, the express freight location Cologne/Bonn is the gateway to world trade, ensuring the connection of export-oriented companies in NRW to international logistics chains,” Johan Vanneste, Chairman of Flughafen Köln/Bonn GmbH, emphasized.
Walke’s wake-up call
The airport locations remain central anchor points for the logistics location Rhineland before, during, and after the crisis. However, the connection to passenger traffic must not be forgotten, because 51% of global air freight is transported as additional cargo or belly freight in passenger aircraft. “For us as a logistics region, it is therefore important that the airports continue to have a development perspective as well as planning security for their capacity and their operating times, in order to open up new airlines and new destinations for air cargo as well,” concluded Markus Walke, Chaiman of the Logistics Region Rhineland. A message that was directed to the ears of politicians.
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