Maersk Air Cargo to trial new UK-China route

Source: Cargo First

Maersk Air Cargo will launch a new trial service between the UK and China to help meet peak season demand.

The airline will operate the weekly service between Bournemouth Airport and Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport (HGH) in Zhejiang province utilising a Boeing 767-300 freighter with a capacity of around 45 tonnes.

Cargo will be handled in Bournemouth by the airport’s in-house business, Cargo First.

The service will initially operate until the end of the year to cater for peak season demand, but there is the potential to continue after.

The additional service comes as the airline has been ramping up operations since its launch earlier this year when it launched flights from its home hub of Billund in Denmark to Hangzhou.

In April, the carrier added flights from Hangzhou to Chicago Rockford.

Gary Jeffreys, managing director of Maersk Area UK & Ireland, said: “This represents our integrator strategy and demonstrates our product offering and capabilities across all modes of transport. Whether it be time critical, capacity challenges or product launches we have the capabilities to meet our customers’ demands.”

Steve Gill, managing director of Bournemouth Airport, added: “We’re delighted that Maersk has chosen Bournemouth for this new route as we grow our ambition to become the UK’s number one entry and exit point for time critical cargo.

“We now have 500 tonnes of weekly import capacity operating between China and Bournemouth as more customers take advantage of our location, lack of slot constraints and ‘One Team’ integrated approach across all airport and cargo handling operations.”

The south coast UK airport has seen its cargo operation grow over recent months after European Cargo launched operations using its A340 converted freighters back in May flying three times per week to China.

European Cargo added a second aircraft and ramped up flights to six per week in September and last week announced a third freighter and nine flights per week between Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport and Bournemouth.

The airport has based its strategy on a faster cargo processing time than its busier rivals such as Heathrow.

The airport claims that research shows that deliveries via Bournemouth to London warehouses could halve the time of delivery to the same end destinations compared with using a London hub airport.

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Additional A340 converted freighter added to UK-China service

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Damian Brett

Damian Brett
I have been writing about the freight and logistics industry since 2007 when I joined International Freighting Weekly to cover the shipping sector. After a stint in PR, I have gone on to work for Containerisation International and Lloyds List - where I was editor of container shipping - before joining Air Cargo News in 2015. Contact me on [email protected]