Avflight and Lufthansa Cargo develop operations at Detroit Metro Airport

Avflight and Lufthansa team members cutting a ribbon at the Nomads building. Photo: Lufthansa Cargo

Ground handling agent Avflight has relocated its air cargo operations to the airfield at Detroit Metro Airport in a move that will help make Lufthansa Cargo’s operations more efficient.

Avflight took over the lease of the Nomads building—a 20,000-sq ft former aircraft hangar—to house its handling operation for Lufthansa Cargo. The airline will also utilise the facility.

The more direct location allows for shorter handling times and offers opportunities to better meet the requirements of special cargo shipments, such as animals, valuable cargo and dangerous goods shipments, said Lufthansa Cargo.

The move comes as Avflight and Lufthansa Cargo continue to grow import and export operations—including special cargo shipments like animals, valuables and dangerous goods—at Michigan’s largest airport.

Following the move to the airfield from an off-field location, Avflight also has a contract with the airport to develop a new cargo handling facility next to the existing, temporary structure.

Avflight will design the new facility in collaboration with Lufthansa Cargo to ensure the building will meet special cargo requirements. Discussions on this second phase of development are in the initial stages, said Avflight.

Lufthansa Cargo plans to move into the Avflight-operated facility upon its completion. The goal is to be operational by the end of 2024, said the airline.

“Taking over the lease of the Nomads Building will help both Avflight and Lufthansa Cargo streamline operations as we support both the local economy and global trade,” said Garrett Hain, Avflight’s vice president of finance. “Avflight is committed to investing in infrastructure that drives our initiatives, our communities and our industry forward.”

With currently more than 500 tons of cargo handled per year on seven weekly passenger flights, multiple truck connections to Chicago (ORD) and ad-hoc services offered, Detroit is an important location for Lufthansa Cargo in the automotive-driven region of Michigan with potential for expansion.

“In Detroit, there is a great demand for secure and professional transport solutions, for example, urgently needed components in the automotive sector,” said Henry Julicher, head of sales and handling Michigan and head of sales Midwest at Lufthansa Cargo.

“There is a lot of weekly freight traffic here between Michigan and the world, including destinations in Germany, Europe, South Africa and Thailand. The expansion of our warehouse capacity in this direct apron accessible location helps us improve the handling processes for faster and more direct service, and also enables Lufthansa Cargo to offer additional premium products and services to our customers. Our dedicated ground handling agent, Avflight, is providing us with significant support in these endeavors.”

“Together with Avflight, we are creating an ideal basis with a future-oriented cargo location in Detroit to further position ourselves in the market as a reliable and professional partner for our cargo customers and thus actively implement the ‘enabling global business’ idea from Michigan by investing in a modern infrastructure as well as cost- and time-efficient handling processes,” said Stephanie Abeler, vice president and head of region Americas at Lufthansa Cargo.

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Rebecca Jeffrey

Rebecca Jeffrey
New to aviation journalism, I joined Air Cargo News in late 2021 as deputy editor. I previously worked for Mercator Media’s six maritime sector magazines as a reporter, heading up news for Port Strategy. Prior to this, I was editor for Recruitment International (now TALiNT International). Contact me on: [email protected]