More Maersk – this time over in the UK

Maersk Air Cargo chooses Bournemouth for China-UK route trial. Image: Cargo First – Bournemouth Airport

… At the UK’s boutique airport, Bournemouth, that is working on carving a name for itself in the world of air eCommerce. And that is precisely the focus of Maersk Air Cargo’s China-UK flights. The carrier has opted for Bournemouth Airport (BOH) as its UK gateway in a pilot route from China, that will initially run until the end of 2023, and has been created to cover the seasonal peak, for now. Should it go well, the press release points to the “potential to continue thereafter”. Bournemouth, referred to informally as London’s seventh airport (after Heathrow, Stansted, Gatwick, Luton, Southend, and London City airport), given that it is located just 160 km southwest of the capital, has the benefit of not suffering the saturation that its larger international peers face. And it is this flexibility that the airport is seeking to exploit as it focuses on building up its cargo operation, marketing itself as an alternative gateway outside London. Together with Cargo First, which operates the Cargo First Logistics Park (set on a site that offers 93,000 m² of warehousing development potential) at the airport, Bournemouth Airport is part of the UK’s privately-owned Regional and City Airports (RCA) group.

Maersk Air Cargo has already begun operating weekly flights from Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport (HGH) in Zhejiang province to Bournemouth (BOH), deploying a Boeing 767-300 freighter which offers 45 tons of cargo capacity. It collaborates with BOH’s in-house air freight business Cargo First. “For Copenhagen-based Maersk, the route is part of its growing air freighter network between mainland China, Southeast Asia, Europe and the US,” the release states. A Hangzhou connection to Billund Airport (BLL) in Denmark was established in MAR23, followed by a Hangzhou to Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD), US, service in APR23.

Gary Jeffreys, Managing Director of Maersk Area UK & Ireland, stated: “It’s fantastic to see Maersk Air Cargo landing in the UK. This represents our integrator strategy and demonstrates our product offering and capabilities across all modes of transport. Whether it be time critical, capacity challenges or product launches we have the capabilities to meet our customers’ demands.”

Steve Gill, Managing Director of Bournemouth Airport, said: “We’re delighted that Maersk has chosen Bournemouth for this new route as we grow our ambition to become the UK’s number one entry and exit point for time critical cargo. We now have 500 tons of weekly import capacity operating between China and Bournemouth as more customers take advantage of our location, lack of slot constraints and ‘One Team’ integrated approach across all airport and cargo handling operations.”

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