In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, DB Schenker has extended its global flight network. For the first time in its company history, own-controlled flights connect America, Europe and Asia directly.
This week the first of two routings touching three continents took off from Munich Airport. The new offer comes in addition to the major commercial block space agreements DB Schenker holds with preferred airline partners. It is a reaction to the ongoing lack of freight capacity on passenger flights. Every week, the 43 flights can transport as much cargo as 135 wide-body passenger aircraft would hold.
Thorsten Meincke, member of the management board for air and ocean freight at DB Schenker, commented: “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.”
As of this week, the first new route runs from Chicago via Munich to Tokyo and Seoul before flying back to Germany and from there again to the US. It is operated by National Airlines and offers a combined weekly transport capacity of 400 tons. The second connection will be launched end of February and alternates from Munich to Chennai and Chicago , with a combined weekly capacity of 300 tons. Both routes will run for one year to provide stability in a challenging environment.
Jost Lammers, CEO and chairman of the management board at Munich Airport, said: “We are very pleased that DB Schenker, one of the most important and largest logistics service providers in the world, has chosen Munich Airport as the hub for its intercontinental cargo flights between the USA and the Far East. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there is unfortunately a great deal of belly-load capacity missing due to the greatly reduced number of flights. This makes cargo-only traffic all the more important for Munich Airport. For this reason, Europe’s first 5-star airport not only offers passengers an excellent range of services, but is also at the highest level in cargo handling.”
In total, DB Schenker controls a global flight network spanning almost all continents. With late departures at key gateways in many markets, later cut-offs for shipment drop-offs can be realized. All connections are operated with Boeing 747 and Boeing 777 full freighter jets.
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. 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.