The Qatari carrier will commence flying to Dusseldorf (DUS) on 15NOV22, deploying a Boeing B787 “Dreamliner” on this daily route. Qatar Airways Group CEO, Akbar Al Baker speaks of “a milestone in our history,” while emphasizing the importance of Dusseldorf as an international business and trade center. The carrier is the second airline from the Middle East to add DUS to its intercontinental network. The other is Emirates, which will soon increase its frequencies to twice-daily Dubai-Dusseldorf connections.
The pandemic tore a large hole in Dusseldorf Airport's flight schedule. Etihad, Japan's ANA, and Delta, for example, stopped flying to DUS soon as the pandemic broke out. And hardly any
Dusseldorfer will accept bets forecasting their quick return. Now, the airport is all the happier that Qatar Airways will soon commence DUS operations, offering passenger and cargo
“We are delighted that Qatar Airways is adding Dusseldorf to its route network,” Thomas Schnalke, CEO of operator Flughafen Dusseldorf GmbH, enthused. The manager went on to say: “Our new partner is one of the most renowned global airlines, providing excellent services to its customers.”
Rapid transits and transfers of goods
The transfer options offered by Qatar Airways in Doha are particularly attractive for travelers, thanks to the airline's dense intercontinental network. This also applies to the cargo business, where time losses are largely unknown due to fast shipment transfers, thus maintaining product integrity.
Currently, Qatar Airways serves 85 destinations in Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Africa, this way offering commuting passengers, for example from Düsseldorf, attractive connectivity options, which also applies to freight shipments destined to beyond places.
Regarding the upcoming daily DUS flight, the B787 will depart at 08:20 local time and land in Doha 6 hours and 45 minutes later. The return flight leaves Doha at 15:05 local time and arrives in DUS at 23:00.
Thanks to abundant lower deck capacity, the aircraft can accommodate 30 tons of cargo on each flight.
Interview with Lutz Honerla (LHo)
Cargo chief, Lutz Honerla of Dusseldorf Airport, welcomes the additional intercontinental flights operated by Qatar Airways Cargo.
CFG: Are there already reactions from forwarders or shippers to this future capacity offer?
LHo: The new Qatar Airways route was only recently announced. Therefore, there has been little response from forwarders or shippers as yet.
CFG: In addition to Qatar Airways, Emirates also serves DUS, soon even twice daily. Is there not a risk that the two companies will cannibalize each other in terms of air freight? After all, both have their hubs in the Middle East.
LHo: In my opinion, the demand for cargo to the Middle East and beyond has not decreased compared to the pre-pandemic period. However, DUS has not yet managed to restore the cargo capacity to Middle Eastern hubs that were lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is now changing with three daily flights from DUS to the respective hubs in Doha and Dubai. Therefore. I don’t see any significant risk of cannibalization.
CFG: Which of the two ground handlers operating on airport will take care of the handling processes in DUS?
LHo: As to my knowledge, this has not yet been decided.
CFG: Both Delta and ANA served DUS until the outbreak of COVID-19. Any chances that they might return and thus improve Dusseldorf’s intercontinental connectivity, adding to the cargo capacity offered to the local market?
LHo: My colleagues in the Aviation Business Development of Düsseldorf Airport are in constant contact with these airlines to resume routes served up to the outbreak of the pandemic, or even new routes. There is a good chance that we will be able to welcome one or both of the airlines back to DUS in the course of next year.
CFG: Would the capacity of the warehouse at Flughafen Dusseldorf Cargo be exhausted with the start of the Qatar Airways route, or will there be warehouse capacity still available for further flight and truck connections at DUS?
LHo: Even if Qatar Airways has their freight handled by us, we will not yet be able to match the tonnage volume from 2019 in the coming year. In this respect, there is sufficient storage capacity for further flights, be it lower deck loads on passenger flights or pure cargo operators and, of course, trucking business options.
Thank you, Lutz.
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