DB Schenker expands airfreight charter network to three continents

By Damian Brett

DB Schenker has extended its own-controlled charter network with a route covering America, Europe and Asia.

The service was launched this week and runs from Chicago (RFD) via Munich to Tokyo (NRT) and Seoul (ICN) before flying back to Germany and from there again to the US.

It is the forwarder’s first charter route that connects the three continents, other services are to two continents.

The route is operated by National Airlines and offers a combined weekly transport capacity of 400 tonnes.

A second connection will be launched at the end of February and operates from Munich to Chennai (MAA) and Chicago (RFD), with a combined weekly capacity of 300 tonnes.

The services will utilise B747 and B777 freighters.

Both routes will run for one year to “provide stability in a challenging environment”.

The forwarder decided to expand the service in reaction to the ongoing lack of freight capacity on passenger flights.

Thorsten Meincke, member of the management board for air and ocean freight, said: “As air passenger travel is still far from recovery, we have decided to create new and reliable cargo options for our customers. I am especially excited about our new routes via Munich Airport. Our existing and strong flight network will become even more global.”

Last year, DB Schenker rapidly expanded its air cargo charter network as it looked to tackle capacity shortages caused by the grounding of passenger flights.

In 2020, the number of flights controlled and marketed by DB Schenker rose to a record high.

“Many of the new connections were initially established to substitute missing passenger flights,” DB Schenker said. “This continues in 2021. In addition, medical supply products will remain an important driver for air capacity demand. General air cargo volumes for automotive equipment and consumer goods are increasing while the capacity-shortage prevails.

“With the extended flight portfolio DB Schenker also creates additional capacities for potential Covid-19 vaccine transportation demand.”

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