A.P. Moller – Maersk has announced the launch of air cargo as the company’s main air freight. Maersk has choosen Denmark’s second largest airport, Billund, as its air freight hub with daily flights creating several jobs in the region. To this end Maersk Air Cargo announced their intent to enter into an agreement with the Flight Personnel Union (FPU) which is a part of the Danish Confederation and Trade Unions (FH).
“Air freight is a crucial enabler of flexibility and agility in global supply chains as it allows our customers to tackle time-critical supply chain challenges and provides transport mode options for high value cargo. We believe in working closely with our customers. Therefore, it is key to increase our presence in the global air cargo industry to cater even better for the needs of our customers” says Aymeric Chandavoine, Global Head of Logistics and Services, A.P. Moller – Maersk.
Maersk’s owned controlled capacity, powered by Maersk Air Cargo, is designed to make supply chain journeys more resilient and intuitive. As a standalone service, Maersk Air Freight can help customers make the most of opportunities by getting their air cargo to the right place at the right time. When combined with their ocean, inland, warehousing and customs services it will power the supply chain in more ways than one.
The new air freight company is the result of the existing in-house aircraft operator, Star Air, which has transferred activities into Maersk Air Cargo, the new carrier supporting existing and new customers and Maersk’s end to end logistics. The process of transferring activities has received support from customers, suppliers, employees and the Danish Civil Aviation Authority.
“Maersk Air Cargo is an important step of the Maersk Air Freight strategy, as it will allow us to offer customers a truly unique combination of air freight integrated with other transport modes. We see an increased and continued demand for air cargo both today and going forward as well as a growing demand for end-to-end logistics, why it is important for us to strengthen our own-controlled capacity and advance further on our air freight strategy,” said Torben Bengtsson, Global Head of Air & LCL (Less than Container Load), A.P. Moller – Maersk, in a statement.
Maersk last operated from Billund in 2005. Maersk Air Cargo will progressively deploy and operate a controlled capacity of five aircraft – two new B777F and three leased B767-300 cargo aircraft. Three new B767-300 freighters will also be added to the US-China operation, which will be initially handled by a third-party operator. The new aircraft are expected to be operational from second half 2022 and onwards up to 2024.
“We have had growth, defied the corona and set a new record year in cargo in 2021. It does not happen without good partners, and we do what we can to make our partners good. Now Maersk Air Cargo enters the stage at Billund Airport and raises it a notch,” said Jan Hessellund, CEO of Billund Airport, in a statement.
Maersk’s ambition is to have approximately one third of its annual air tonnage carried within its own controlled freight network. This will be achieved through a combination of owned and leased aircraft, replicating the structure that the company has within its ocean fleet. The remaining capacity will be provided by strategic commercial carriers and charter flight operators.
Maersk Air Cargo is expected to be fully operational as of second half of 2022.