A.P. Moller – Maersk has announced the launch of Maersk Air Cargo as the company's main air freight offering, while it has chosen Denmark’s second-largest airport, Billund, as its air freight hub.
Maersk Air Cargo is expected to be fully operational as of the second half of the current year.
Additionally, Maersk Air Cargo has also announced its 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," said Aymeric Chandavoine, global head of logistics and services at A.P. Moller – Maersk.
"Therefore, it is key for Maersk to also increase our presence in the global air cargo industry by introducing Maersk Air Cargo to cater even better for the needs of our customers.” he added.
This is not the first time that Maersk will be involved in the aviation sector, as the Danish airline Maersk Air was active from 1969 to 2005.
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.
“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,” commented Torben Bengtsson, global head of Air & LCL (Less than Container Load) at A.P. Moller – Maersk.
From Europe, 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 the second half of 2022 and onwards up to 2024.
“We are incredibly proud that we are being chosen as Maersk's European hub for air freight, and we look forward to developing the collaboration to even new heights,” stated Jan Hessellund, CEO of Billund Airport.
Maersk’s ambition is to have approximately one third of its annual air tonnage carried within its own controlled freight network.
The Danish carrier noted that "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, according to Maersk.