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DB Schenker launches cargo flights connecting America, Europe and Asia

  • This is a first in the company’s history as DB Schenker launched via Munich Airport the first of two routings touching the three continents
  • Every week, there will be 43 freight flights which can transport as much cargo as 135 wide-body passenger aircraft would hold
  • The first new route has started flight services from Chicago via Munich to Tokyo and Seoul before flying back to Germany and from there again to the US
  • The second connection will be launched end of February and alternates from Munich to Chennai and Chicago

DB Schenker announced the launch of two own-controlled cargo services connecting America, Europe and Asia directly as it extends its global flight network amid the ongoing pandemic and lack of freight capacity on passenger flights.

In a January 21 release, the global logistics service provider said this is a first in the company’s history, as the first of two routings touching three continents took off this week 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,” it said.

Thorsten Meincke, member of the management board for air and ocean freight at DB Schenker, said: “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 and secure capacity for customers in a challenging environment, said the statement.

Jost Lammers, CEO and chairman of the management board at Munich Airport, confirmed that Munich Airport has been chosen as the hub for DB Schenker’s intercontinental cargo flights between the US 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,” Lammers said.

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.

The company said that in 2020, the number of flights it controlled and marketed 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.

Photo courtesy of DB Schenker

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