Geodis leases aircraft to combat capacity crunch
31 / 08 / 2021
By Damian Brett
Geodis has continued to expand its airfreight operation to combat capacity shortages by leasing an aircraft for the first time.
The branded A330-300 converted freighter will operate between Amsterdam, London, Chicago and Hong Kong, while China-Europe flights will be added for the peak season starting September.
The move comes in response to tight airfreight capacity as a result of fewer passenger flights.
Geodis chief executive Marie-Christine Lombard said: “With the continued strain on airfreight capacity, we wish to ensure a more sustainable supply of air cargo space for our clients and are therefore investing in this, our own, first dedicated freighter. Our aim is to constantly find dependable solutions to secure our clients’ supply chains, which are critical to their business growth.”
The forwarder said that the aircraft had been leased for “several years” and would initially fly three times per week between Amsterdam (AMS) London (STN) and Chicago (ORD) and will additionally be deployed on weekly rotations connecting Amsterdam and Hong Kong (AMS–HKG).
The length of the contract reflects expectations of an ongoing shortage of air cargo capacity over the coming years as passenger networks take time to be re-established.
All of its airfreight products – AirFast, AirSave and AirFlex – will be available on the flights.
Last year, Geodis expanded its AirDirect charter network with the addition of flights between Shanghai and Amsterdam while earlier this year it added a weekly flight from Shanghai (PVG) to Guadalajara.
While the covid pandemic has seen freight forwarders expand their use of charter operations in response to capacity shortages the use of a dedicated aircraft is not quite as common.
Eric Martin-Neuville, executive vice president freight forwarding of Geodis said: “Our AirDirect service has operated more than 650 air charter flights so far across Asia, Europe, North and Latin America in order to secure capacity for our customer shipments worldwide.
“The experience gained from these operations has led to the decision to charter our own Geodis Freighter. This will provide our clients with a reliable schedule of flights, under our operational control, helping them overcome the significant logistical constraints that the market is currently enduring.”