New research reveals size of Europe’s ‘go-now’ sector

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New research has revealed the size of the European “go-now” air cargo sector in what has been an unpredictable period for urgent flights.

The research, conducted by carrier AVEM AERO utilising Eurocontrol and FlightRadar24 data, shows that the average number of monthly flights for one carrier ranged from seven to 80, with the large range explained by the fact that some carriers do not specialise in urgent flights and do them from time to time.  

Meanwhile, in 2021, European ‘go now’ carriers carried out 9,301 flights (by flight legs), including empty positioning and repositioning flights, while the average fleet size of an urgent cargo carrier is two aircraft, with the largest fleet operating eight aircraft.

The most frequently used aircraft for urgent transportation is the SAAB 340, with eight operators using 19 aircraft of this type last year.

Other popular types, included the Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner, Cessna F406 Caravan II, and the Cessna 208 Caravan.

The busiest month of the year for the ad hoc freighters was December, with 1,202 flights (including positioning and repositioning flights), while Birmingham was the most in-demand European airport in the urgent segment, and Győr-Pér second.

Nikolay Kurbanov, founder and managing director of AVEM AERO, said: “From the beginning of the pandemic our segment of special ‘go now’ carriers suffers from the chips and semiconductors shortage, which significantly slowed down the auto production. The market demand is extremely uneven.

“In the first half of 2021, our company grew by 38% in flights compared to 2019. The autumn, on the contrary, was almost dead, and only flexibility allowed our business to survive. Doing the best to go through these times we expanded our business to other types of services, for example, launched FD/OCC outsource 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]