Manchester looks to fill Chinese gap
29 / 08 / 2012
MANCHESTER Airport is targeting Far East freighter operators in a bid to replace freighter services from Air China and Great Wall Airlines, which ceased some months back.
The airport is still served by the 747Fs of Cathay Pacific and China Airlines, as well as the MD-11Fs of Lufthansa, and its parking stands have been reconfigured to take 747-8Fs. It also reports “abundant” capacity on its two 3,000m runways, with only minor slot constraints at peak periods.
Taking up some of the cargo slack from the departing Chinese carriers have been the Gulf carriers. Emirates has added a third daily service, with an A380, 777 and A330 all operating daily to Manchester, and both Qatar Airways and Etihad are now double daily with A330s.
On the transatlantic, Virgin Atlantic have added a Las Vegas route to their portfolio of A330 scheduled services and B747-400 holiday routes. The airport is also hopeful that American, Delta or US Airways might convert some of their current 757/767 flights to widebodies.
With 114,000 tonnes of cargo in the past 12 months, the airport is still well below the 170,000 tonnes it had prior to the economic downturn, but is hopeful that congestion at Heathrow will soon attract more cargo operators. “Our aim is to reduce the amount of cargo being unnecessarily trucked to London, which delays connectivity for customers and shippers alike,” says a spokesman.