At the same time, Maersk on Friday also chose Denmark’s second largest airport, Billund, as its air freight hub for Maersk Air Cargo, with daily flights creating jobs in the region. To this end, Maersk Air Cargo also announced its intent to enter into an agreement with the Flight Personnel Union, part of the Danish Confederation and Trade Unions.
“Air freight is a crucial enabler of flexibility and agility in global supply chains, as it allows our customers to tackle time-critical supply chain challenges and provides transport mode options for high value cargo,” Aymeric Chandavoine, global head of logistics and services at Maersk, said. “We strongly believe in working closely with our customers. Therefore, it is key for Maersk to also increase our presence in the global air cargo industry by introducing Maersk Air Cargo to cater even better for the needs of our customers.”
Maersk’s owned controlled capacity, powered by Maersk Air Cargo, is designed to make supply chain journeys more resilient and intuitive. As a standalone service, Maersk Air Freight can help customers make the most of opportunities by getting their air cargo to its destination on time.
The new air freight company is the result of the existing in-house aircraft operator, Star Air, which has transferred activities into Maersk Air Cargo, the new carrier supporting existing and new customers and Maersk’s end-to-end logistics.
“Maersk Air Cargo is an important step of the Maersk Air Freight strategy, as it will allow us to offer customers a truly unique combination of air freight integrated with other transport modes,” Torben Bengtsson, global head of Air & LCL (less than container load) at Maersk, said. “We see an increased and continued demand for air cargo both today and going forward, as well as a growing demand for end-to-end logistics.”
Maersk last operated from Billund in 2005. From Europe, Maersk Air Cargo will progressively deploy and operate a controlled capacity of five aircraft–two new B777F and three leased B767-300 cargo aircraft. Three new B767-300 freighters will also be added to the U.S.-China operation that will be initially handled by a third-party operator. The new aircraft are expected to be operational from second half 2022 and onward up to 2024.
Maersk’s ambition is to have approximately one-third of its annual air tonnage carried within its own controlled freight network. This will be achieved through a combination of owned and leased aircraft, replicating the structure that the company has within its ocean fleet.
The remaining capacity will be provided by strategic commercial carriers and charter flight operators. Maersk Air Cargo is expected to be fully operational as of the second half of this year.