The carrier, a subsidiary of logistics company, Sovereign Speed, is a specialist in the air transportation of time critical shipments across Europe. The airline's annual revenue has tripled from a mid-single-digit million-euro figure since Businesswings was taken over by Sovereign Speed in November 2019. And the synergies between the parent company and the carrier are far from exhausted, says Hendrik Bender, VP Group Sales, Business Development and Marketing, at Sovereign Speed. So, more is to come, he vaguely indicates, without revealing specifics.
‘Nomen est omen’, is a more than 2,500-year-old Latin saying that has – despite its archaic age – lost none of its actuality, as carrier Businesswings proves once again. Lars Best is the airline’s helmsman. His name, a more than practical coincidence, illustrates the airline's ambitions and its objectives. This is seen by the array of tailored solutions offered to customers. Traditionally, on-demand cargo charter services as well as scheduled cargo flights were the mainstays of the airline. However, “we succeeded in setting up a neutral air freight network by introducing much sought after new routes to the UK and Ireland, as well as extending and intensifying our ties with our longtime partner, time:matters,” states Mr. Best.
By offering fast and reliable air transport solutions, Businesswings succeeds in complementing the road services offered by parent, Sovereign Speed. Air or road, or a combination of both – customers are offered this choice. “Our operational flexibility in combination with our broad service portfolio is our USP,” lauds Lars Best. Besides sectors served between Germany, the UK, and Ireland, the current network includes destinations in France and Italy, Spain and Scandinavia.
“With commercial air freight capacities being a scarce resource in recent years, we wanted to introduce new capacities to the market, and offer reliable option to clients depending on fast transports and high-speed logistics,” Lars Best states. An interest shared with one of Businesswings’ core customers and partners: Lufthansa Cargo subsidiary, time:matters; a specialist in fast transports of pharma items, contact lenses, and other urgent goods delivered overnight. Joining forces, Businesswings is able to serve not only Birmingham, Dublin, Paris, or Bologna, but in addition also Madrid, Jönköping, and Billund, on behalf of time:matters.
The UK/Ireland routes are operated 5/7, most others at least four times a week. The lion’s share of the freighters’ capacity is sold to customers via blocked space agreements, while the remaining capacity is filled with shipments contributed by customers using Sovereign’s road network.
In addition to scheduled flights, full charters are also part of the freight airline’s business model. So, too, are own warehouses at FRA, HAM, CGN, and some other stations run by parent, Sovereign Speed. Its business unit, Aircargo Handling, enables the group to offer the market a seamless product, including customs clearance and ULD management solutions. “In our fully automated high-bay warehouse in Frankfurt's CargoCity South, we can store up to 250 ULDs, AKEs, or pallet bases, and make them available to customers as needed,” notes Hendrik Bender, VP Group Sales, Business Development and Marketing, at Sovereign Speed.
Currently, Businesswing’s fleet consists of two Dornier 228 and two Cessna C208 Caravan freighters complemented by two wet-leased Saab 340s, with the latter capable of accommodating up to 3.5 tons per flight.
Since Sovereign Speed purchased Businesswings, the carrier’s annual sales have tripled from a former mid-single-digit euro million amount to a “more than satisfying double-digit result,” says Lars Best. He indicates considerations to modify the fleet structure but reveals no specifics.
Productive symbiosis targeted
The cooperation between Sovereign Speed and Businesswings is excellent, but as far as the finetuning of activities is concerned, there is still room for improvement, says Hendrik Bender: “The synergies achieved so far are just the beginning of our joint journey.” He adds to this that “there is still a wide field of opportunities we can capitalize on,” thus indicating the path the management is actively pursuing: “Together with Businesswings and other units belonging to Sovereign Speed, we just left the starting blocks on our way to achieve a productive symbiosis for the benefit of the entire Group and, above all, our customers,” the executive describes the overarching object standing on top of the Group’s agenda.
Further to this, the management announces plans to move its HQ from its current place near downtown Hamburg to the western part of Germany’s second largest city (after Berlin). “We are constructing a six-story building there, which we will probably move into in August,” says spokesperson, Louisa Wittenbecher, though she does not unveil the price tag attached to the building.
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