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Maersk setting up cargo airline

Photo: Maersk maersk-air-cargo-b767-300-cargo-aircraft.jpg
AP Moller-Maersk is launching a cargo airline as the top the container lines continue to expand their logistics and multimodal offerings.

Maersk Air Cargo will be based out of Billund, the second largest airport in Denmark and will progressively deploy and operate a controlled capacity of five aircraft – two new B777F and three leased B767-300 cargo aircraft.

Maersk announced a push into air freight in November last year when it ordered the two B777F aircraft that will form part of the new cargo airline’s fleet, as well as acquiring German forwarder Senator International, which has its own air freight operations.

“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,” said Aymeric Chandavoine, Global Head of Logistics and Services, AP Moller – Maersk.

“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.”

With the global supply chain disruption that has been seen over the last two years logistics executives say that customers are increasingly turning to combinations of sea and air freight for more time critical deliveries.

The activities of Maersk’ inhouse aircraft operator Stat Air will be transferred into Maersk Air Cargo.

Torben Bengtsson, Global Head of Air & LCL (Less than Container Load), AP Moller – Maersk, said “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.

“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, why it is important for us to strengthen our own-controlled capacity and advance further on our air freight strategy.”

Maersk Air Cargo is expected to be fully operational as of second half of 2022.

Air cargo has become part of the strategy for cash rich top container lines as they seek to diversify across the supply chain. Last year CMA CGM set CMA CGM Air Cargo which has a fleet of four Airbus A330-200F freighter aircraft and has ordered two Boeing 777 freighters.

Meanwhile MSC Group and Lufthansa have expressed an interest in acquiring a majority stake in Alitalia successor ITA Airways, a move that would give MSC a presence in both passenger and cargo aviation.