ACW Europe Supplement 23

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ACW Europe Supplement is sponsored by AIR CARG O WEEK SUPPLEMENT EUROPE

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Your guide to the latest developments in the international airfreight industry





April 2023


According to a research report published by Business Market Insights on “Europe Air Cargo Market Forecast to 2028 – COVID-19 Impact and Regional Analysis,” the continent’s airfreight market is expected to grow from $30.27 billion in 2022 to $43.29 billion by 2028; at a CAGR (Compound annual growth rate) of 6.1% from 2022 to 2028.

Online retailing attracts more prospective customers than brickand-mortar-based competitors due to the rapid usage of the internet by the 750 million population of Europe. In addition, e-commerce market players have a variety of logistics options such as modes of surface transport and air transport to deliver packages to their customers.

The majority of purchases are influenced by the demographics of European countries, which depends on several factors such as the percentage of the youth population indulging in e-commerce activity, the economy of the country, the age group interested in e-commerce and the level of awareness in these countries. The fast-growing crossborder e-commerce market remains a key driver of the Europe air cargo market growth. In addition to rising domestic volumes sent by large and small e-retailers, the Europe air cargo market growth is expected to witness significant growth opportunities during the forecast period.

Turkish Cargo, DHL International, Air France KLM Martinair Cargo, United Parcel Services Inc, and FedEx are among the leading air cargo market players profiled in the report. These air cargo market players have a well-established customer base along with diversified product offerings for customers. Further, these players have a large consolidated share of the Europe air cargo market. These companies are acquiring smaller vendors and capturing contracts from various end users from emerging countries across the world.

The Europe air cargo market is segmented on the basis of type, service, end-user and country. Based on end-user, the Europe air cargo market size is segmented into retail, pharmaceutical and healthcare, food and beverage, consumer electronics, automotive and others. By country, the Europe air cargo market is primarily segmented into France, Germany, the UK, Italy, Russia, and the Rest of Europe.

Study findings

Europe is the second-largest regional market in the global air cargo market. The UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain are the key contributors to the Europe air cargo market in the region. The region has the presence of several major manufacturing industries. The automotive sector contributes significantly to the GDP of various European countries as well as employs billions of people in the region. Germany does not have large-scale consumer electronics production factories; however, the presence of massive automobile manufacturing firms has fuelled the trade, transportation and logistics operations between Germany and other countries in the world. On the other hand, economically strong countries such as Italy, the UK and Spain are generating huge demand for air cargo products and services for the optimisation of supply chains of pharmaceuticals, e-commerce, food and beverages processing and other industries. Further, advancements in the Industry 4.0 revolution and integration of machine learning and deep learning with automation are expected to provide significant opportunities for the efficient integration of air cargo in the supply chain operations in the coming years.

Moreover, the growth of the e-commerce sector and consumer electronics industry, as well as a surge in demand and sale of

temperature-sensitive products, are propelling the Europe air cargo market growth.

Moreover, the presence of major globally operating air cargo market players such as Cargolux, Air France KLM Martinair Cargo, DHL, FedEx Express and United Parcel Service is one of the major factors catalysing the growth of the Europe air cargo market. The rising air cargo volume across different airports such as Frankfurt Airport, Munich International Airport, Maastricht Aachen Airport, London Heathrow Airport, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and Liege Airport is another major factor bolstering market growth. For instance, according to the Frankfurt Airport Authority, the airport recorded an increase of ~18.7% in 2021 in its air cargo volume compared to the air cargo capacity of 2020.

Drums of war

Now that the disruptions to business and society in Europe caused by the Covid pandemic have generally eased, demand for air cargo in Europe has been hit by another blow: the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

This continuing military adventure is negatively impacting European cargo capacity. As Russia is the second largest country in Europe, their invasion of Ukraine has led to airspace and landing restrictions for many Russian aircraft across different countries of Europe. For instance, the ban on overflight operations across Russian airspace territory has adversely affected the cargo shipments across international air transport operations. Since the invasion, several countries such as the UK, Germany, Lithuania, Estonia, Slovenia, Romania, Poland, Czech Republic, and Latvia have shut down their national airspace for Russian aircraft. In turn, Russia banned its national airspace to aircraft from some 36 countries, including all 27 members of European Union, Germany, Canada and US. This has led to a reduction in the number of cargo and passenger aircraft operations across these European countries and reduced many cargo operations of several cargo airlines.

Moreover, air cargo operations between Asia Pacific and Europe have been negatively impacted due to flight cancellations and route diversions that have also led to delays in cargo deliveries across these regions. The majority of the global cargo hubs have also witnessed major disruptions along with capacity reductions and flight rotations that have led to increased cargo rates across the world. Such factors have impacted negatively in the Europe air cargo market.

Market falters

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released data for February 2023 global air cargo markets showing that air cargo demand rose above pre-pandemic levels. While global demand, measured in cargo tonne-kilometres (CTKs), fell 7.5% compared to February 2022 (-8.3% for international operations), half the rate of annual decline seen in the previous two, February demand for air cargo was 2.9% higher than pre-pandemic levels (February 2019)—the first time it has surpassed pre-pandemic levels in eight months.

European carriers saw the weakest performance of all regions with a 15.3% decrease in cargo volumes in February 2023 compared to the same month in 2022. This was an improvement in performance compared to January (-20.4%). Airlines in the region continue to be most affected by the war in Ukraine. Capacity decreased 1.5% in February 2023 compared to February 2022, says IATA.

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The commitment of United Airlines Cargo to its European clients and network was on full display just over a year ago when flight UA973 to Chicago took off from Brussels Airport on March 10, 2022, with the billionth Covid vaccine to be shipped through Brussels Airport on board.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, United has moved millions of vaccines through Brussels Airport and we’re proud to be a part of this milestone,” said Manu Jacobs, director of specialty products at United at the time. “While the pandemic continues to affect communities around the world, it’s more important than ever that people all over the globe have access to vaccines. Covid has highlighted the need for collaboration to keep our customers and employees safe, and we’re grateful to work with Brussels Airport as we continue to combat this pandemic. The entire United team continues to prioritise moving critical shipments as part of our commitment to supporting the global supply chain.”

Transatlantic leadership

The Chicago-based carrier currently serves 23 European countries, both in the European Union and outside of the trading bloc, as well as Turkey. Only two European countries, Switzerland and the UK, offer non-EU stations.

Specific key cities offer connections with United Airlines Cargo’s tie-ups, including Lufthansa Cargo. Frankfurt, Vienna and Munich are portals in United Cargo’s joint networks.

One key market for United Airlines operations is Spain. According to data compiled by Spanish aviation media player Aviacionline through official Aena Estadísticas, United Airliness moved 7,911 tonnes of cargo between the United States and Spain in the January-September period in 2022. The airline was expected to return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of that year, making this one of the fastest recovering mar-

kets in the airline’s transatlantic network.

In return, the United States is one of the most important intercontinental markets for Spanish airfreight. Last year, 74,984 tonnes of air cargo had been moved between both nations according to data compiled by Aena Estadísticas. United has a 7.9% share of this segment and competes with Iberia, American Airlines, Delta, Air Europa and World2fly, notes Aviacionline.

The airline continues its “transatlantic leadership” with the 2023 summer schedule, says the carrier. The summer schedule includes adding new service to two cities – Malaga, Spain and Stockholm, Sweden – as well as six more flights to some of the most popular destinations in Europe, including Rome, Paris, Barcelona, London, Berlin, and Shannon. In total, United will fly to 37 cities in Europe, Africa, India and the Middle East next summer, more destinations than all other US airlines combined.

Patrick Quayle, senior vice president of global network planning and alliances at United, said: “We expect another busy summer and are proud to build on our industry-leading global network to offer our customers the widest range of destinations.”

Along with adding new flights, United will fly nine routes it added in 2022, including direct flights between New York/Newark and Nice; Denver and Munich; Boston and London Heathrow; Chicago/O’Hare and Zurich; and Chicago/O’Hare and Milan, as well as flights to four destinations not served by any other North American airline, including the Azores, Portugal; Palma de Mallorca, Spain and Tenerife, Spain.

Cargo will benefit from United’s new summer 2023 flights. Highlights include the fact that United is adding a fifth Spanish destination to its global network with new direct flights between New York/Newark and Malaga. Starting May 31, there will be three flights per week to Malaga on a Boeing 757-200. This means United flies to more desti-

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, United has moved millions of vaccines through Brussels Airport and we’re proud to be a part of this milestone”

nations in Spain than any other US airline and next summer will offer direct flights to three Spanish cities that no other US airline serves, including Tenerife and Palma de Mallorca.

On May 27, United will return to Stockholm for the first time since 2019 with service from New/York Newark. United first began serving Stockholm, in 2005. It will reconnect the city with daily flights on a Boeing 757-200.

San Francisco will see daily flights to Rome launching on May 25 on a Boeing 777-200ER. United is the only US airline to offer direct flights to Europe from its hub in San Francisco. With flights to Rome, Milan, Venice and Naples, United continues to fly to more cities in Italy from the US than any other airline in the world.

Beginning May 25, United will add more seasonal flights to Shannon, Ireland with new daily flights from Chicago O’Hare. United is the only US carrier to offer direct flights to Shannon with its existing seasonal service from New York/Newark, and also offers direct flights to Dublin from Chicago, New York/Newark and Washington Dulles. United will fly a Boeing 757-200 on this route.

United will begin capital-to-capital service between Washington, DC and Berlin, Germany on May 25. United will be the only carrier to offer non-stop flights between these cities with daily flights on a Boeing 767-400ER. United offers more flights to Berlin from the US than any other airline, with existing year-round flights from Newark.

United will have 23 daily flights to London Heathrow, after adding a second daily flight between Los Angeles and London Heathrow on March 25 on a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. This new flight builds upon United’s recent London expansion, with additional flights from Newark, San Francisco, and Denver, as well as new flights from Boston.

United is also adding more options for travel between Washington Dulles and Paris Charles de Gaulle with a second daily flight

launching June 2, operated by a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. United currently offers year-round flights to Paris from New York/Newark, Washington Dulles, Chicago and San Francisco.

New EU data requirements

United Airlines Cargo has shared with clients that, effective March 1, 2023, the European Union (EU) introduced new customs requirements. Specifically, airfreight shipments travelling to or through the EU, Switzerland, Norway, and Northern Ireland, will require additional information prior to shipping. This is to comply with the EU’s Import Control System 2 (ICS2), a new, large-scale customs electronic import system intended to enhance safety initiatives and simplify information exchanges.

The carrier says that the additional data capture will likely require process and/or technology changes for most airlines. As such, the EU had agreed to allow extensions for full compliance beyond the March 1 effective date. United is one of several carriers who had requested extensions.

Cool approval

United Cargo has completed the technical approval of the Frankfurt-based DoKaSch Temperature Solutions’ Opticooler RKN, to enhance its temperature-controlled airfreight transportation services catered primarily to the pharmaceutical industries’ global shipments.

On nearly all wide body international flights operated by United Airliness, including those to and from Europe, shippers and forwarders worldwide can now draw upon the readily available and highly reliable temperature-controlled packaging solutions from DoKaSch-TS.



Richard Thackeray, chief operating officer for East Midlands airport-based HAE Group, is in harness as the airfreight industry in Europe is seeing the backwash from Brexit, seven years after the vote to leave.

A provider of services to the air cargo industry for over 25 years, HAE Group has seen some significant shifts in undertaking activity with the remaining 27 countries of the European Union.

“In the GSA section in our solutions business, it has meant that our compliance and carrier services have been in increased demand. The

value-added services we offer include customs clearance, advising and issuing documentation. There is however less business transhipping the UK from the EU,” he notes.

“A level of complexity has been added relative to customs and compliance, however, conversely many customers to long haul destinations now seek direct services rather than trucking to an EU Hub.”

Thackeray considers that operations to and from Europe are one of HAE Group’s strongest markets as it offers services on one of Europe’s

“In the GSA section in our solutions business, it has meant that our compliance and carrier services have been in increased demand”

largest overnight air networks. It has always been a key market for HAE in terms of GSA activity and also in its solutions business. This is expected to grow.

General confidence

Thackeray points out that capacity in the market has increased and seems to be back up to 2019 levels. There is less intra EU trucking to and from the UK following increased customs complexities. The summer schedules of many carriers have grown as well in 2023, so capacity is certainly there, whether demand will match the capacity with many economies struggling to grow is still to be seen.

HAE partners and sub contracts to its sub-agents on the EU mainland and it has its own operations in the UK and Ireland. While the GSA business is UK and Irish focused, the group has long-term airline partners and a large customer base.

Thackeray says: “We have just rebranded our Solutions activity as Groupair in Europe. We have a large trade lane to and from Southern Africa for exports and imports to and from Europe so this is where we see our immediate growth out of the key gateways in Germany and the Netherlands. We have also commenced wholesale activity to and from Hong Kong and China.

“We were lucky not to be affected by the ‘Great Resignation’. However, everyone is feeling the pinch relative to the cost of living increases. Our technology and offshoring ability mean that we will always sell in country but have a unique ability to offshore some of

the workflow elements of our business.

“Not many of our teams have changed careers – international air cargo can still be fun!”

He says that HAE Group has advanced plans for the Benelux region and Germany. While, in general, European air cargo operations have felt impact from the continuing Ukraine military adventure, HAE Group has also not escaped impact from events.

He says: “Yes, there has been an impact operationally and commercially.Most cargo has now found alternative routings. However, sea/air ex-Asia that we handle in the Middle East has been in low demand.”

Elsewhere in Europe, “Q1 ended strongly and we hope this can continue through the year and we expect demand to and from Asia and Europe to pick up in the second half of the year. We think with our GSA+ services we can mitigate the economic impact of reducing yields and growing capacities, as we like to think we give our customers more options and we work hard with our airline partners to be the service of choice.

“We have learnt to embrace change and analysed every link in our workflow from origin customer to destination handover. Our teams have embraced hybrid working and we have invested heavily in digitising as many components of our business as we can.

“This has freed up our teams to stay close to our customers and airline partners to help navigate the changes presented to the entire supply chain … more to come we are sure!” concludes Thackeray.

“We have just rebranded our Solutions activity as Groupair in Europe.”


from all over Austria, the surrounding areas, and the wider cargo community. These include forwarders, airlines, handling agents, customs brokers, transport companies and many more from the cargo industry, as well as all air cargo parties from neighbouring Eastern European countries. Those interested in attending should expect a newsletter including details on registration, advertising space and sponsorship.

FlyPharma’s vision

FlyPharma Europe is designed to bring together pharma, biopharma and biotech companies with air cargo and logistics service providers to promote open dialogue and new connections. It aims to provide solutions between stakeholders, with Vienna offering an ideal biopharma logistics location to host industry professionals, foster important conversations and connect delegates from across the world.

FlyPharma Europe’s Conference Director, Angela Heath, said: “This is an exciting time of development and change for Vienna Airport and the Vienna AirportCity. FlyPharma Europe always looks to locations that embody the progress, challenges and opportunities that will be discussed at the conference itself; Vienna is no different. With Austria’s focus on pharma and life science innovation and the Vienna AirportCity’s emphasis on creating a community hub for the cargo industry, Vienna is the ideal location to bring a global representation of pharma and logistics stakeholders into one room. I look forward to presenting the latest edition of FlyPharma Europe to new and regular delegates.” expands

FlyPharma Conferences is set to stage its seventh event in Europe, to be held in Vienna AirportCity in October 2023. Aimed at “forward-thinking individuals and businesses in the cargo and pharma sectors”, FlyPharma Europe seeks to connect industry professionals and spark discussions regarding supply chain challenges.

In addition to a two-day conference and networking events, there will be an opportunity for delegates to take an exclusive tour of Vienna Airport. Registration is now open.

Vienna was selected for the latest conference because of the growing presence of Austrian biotechnology and pharmaceutical manufacturing. Over the past 30 years, Vienna has been at the heart of exciting scientific developments and life science research. Organisations such as Vienna BioCenter are making their mark as one of the top biology research centres in Europe with major breakthroughs in epigenetic and DNA research in recent years.

At the same time, Vienna Airport has an outstanding pharma handling facility in its cargo handling centre with cargo route connections to a global customer base. Vienna Airport is a gateway between East and Southeastern Europe, making it an ideal base for product transportation. Furthermore, Vienna Airport is one of the very few airports in Southeast Europe that offers direct end-to-end pharma handling services of this quality. This allows for greater quality control, providing solutions to a number of supply chain challenges.

The Vienna AirportCity is an example of how airports are adapting to form community and business hubs where industry professionals connect, providing a first-class office, conference and cargo space that helps businesses thrive. It is located within walking distance to the passenger terminals: something very few airports can offer.

Wolfgang Scheibenpflug MRICS, senior vice president of Vienna Airport, commented: “Airports of today are more than just a runway. Vienna International Airport has extended the aviation services with a quick growing business platform. We see our job as connecting people, business and culture on both a local and a global level: with that in mind, we are happy to welcome the FlyPharma conference to the Vienna AirportCity. The FlyPharma conference aims to connect the pharma industry with the logistics providers, discussing how to together raise value especially in terms of air freight. This approach fits perfectly with our concept of quality business growth.”

Vienna Cargo Day

Co-located with FlyPharma Europe 2023, and taking place one day prior, Vienna Cargo Day will be held on 9 October 2023 at the Vienna AirportCity, 08:00 to 16:30.

Vienna Cargo Day focuses on the sustainability of all cargo topics at Vienna Airport. Topics including digitisation, cargo news from all over the world, and hydrogen as an alternative fuel are primarily discussed. There will also be breaking news about the new Air Cargo Academy in the Vienna AirportCity revealed.

Vienna is a cargo gateway to Eastern Europe, with many clients

Meanwhile, Brussels-based Pharma.Aero has revealed two European freight operators are the latest companies to join its global community of over 50 life science and MedTech supply chain stakeholders. Dachser and SkyCell are the newest additions to the global life sciences collaborative platform.

Frank Van Gelder, secretary general of Pharma.Aero, welcomes the newest additions: “Pharma.Aero continues to expand its global presence by onboarding two companies with strong development and activity in life science logistics. By including Dachser in our group of full members and SkyCell in the group of associate partners, Pharma. Aero further strengthens its knowledge within the life sciences supply chain and logistics.”

Dachser is a global leader in system logistics, with 379 locations in 41 countries, and some 32,850 employees worldwide. The family-owned company, with headquarters in Germany, can draw on a network of 140 air and sea freight locations, has Pharma CEIV-certified locations on three continents and over 400 GDP-trained LSH (Life Science and Healthcare) specialists.

Netka Hohlfeld, department head LSH Logistics at Dachser, underlines the vision and values Dachser and Pharma.Aero share: “The life sciences and healthcare industry is experiencing an accelerated supply chain transformation; an increased need for efficiency, differentiation and access to new geographies; it is being challenged to enable digital supply chain solutions.

“We at Dachser understand the undertaking and strive to be ready to help navigate the challenges and opportunities of the healthcare landscape through a holistic range of patient-centric, forward-thinking, intelligent healthcare logistics solutions. Dachser aims at being strongly involved in the Pharma.Aero community. With the membership, industry requirements and potential challenges can be thoroughly investigated.”

Sustainability as a core principle

SkyCell is a Swiss-based, award-winning provider of temperature-controlled container solutions with a special focus on serving global pharma companies and sustainability. SkyCell brings together big data, software and hardware to transform an ever-evolving supply chain, to enable a market-leading failure rate of less than 0.1%, whilst also reducing CO2 emissions by almost half. Designed with sustainability as a core principle, SkyCell is climate-neutral today and has committed to the goal of end-to-end net-zero emissions by 2040.

Chiara Venuti, Head of Strategic Partnerships at SkyCell, highlights the importance of collaboration across the industry: “I see this partnership with Pharma.Aero as a great opportunity to champion projects, share information and come together as an industry to create a seamless logistics network for our customers. Our commitment to safe, secure and sustainable temperature-controlled container solutions aligns perfectly with Pharma.Aero’s mission to enhance excellence in the pharma supply chain. We look forward to collaborating with Pharma.Aero and its members to develop industry standards and best practices for the life sciences and MedTech sector,“ added Venuti.

“forwardthinking individuals and businesses in the cargo and pharma sectors”


A commercial joint-venture that combines both groups’ complementary air cargo offerings with extended freighter capacity, a broader network of destinations and tailormade solutions has been launched.

AFKLMP and the CMA CGM Group have made effective the launch of the long-term strategic air cargo partnership announced in May 2022. This partnership will have an initial duration of 10 years and will see AFKLMP Cargo, part of Air France-KLM Group, and CMA CGM Air Cargo, part of the CMA CGM Group, combine their complementary cargo networks, full freighter capacity and dedicated services.

This agreement has received all the mandatory regulatory approvals from competent authorities as the current scope of the co-operation excludes North America, Russia, Turkey, and Mauritius.

The partnership will help meet customers’ ever-increasing need for more integrated and resilient supply chains. It will leverage Air France-KLM’s vast air cargo franchise, experience and capabilities, especially as they pertain to specialised cargo such as pharmaceuticals, perishables and express, backed by a worldwide cargo network and state-of-the-art facilities at its global hubs at Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. For its part, CMA CGM will mobilise its large commercial network and global logistics platform. Customers will have direct access to a dedicated online platform - “myCargo” - and digital services for easy online bookings available 24/7, as well as expert customer service. Since March 20, 2023, CMA CGM flights are available for booking on myCargo and customers can easily book and combine flights operated by Air France, KLM, Martinair or CMA CGM Air Cargo on this industry-leading digital onestop shop.

Sustainable full-freighter fleet

With this deal, Air France-KLM and CMA CGM will jointly operate the full-freighter aircraft capacity of their respective airlines. Their combined capacity currently consists of a modern and efficient fleet of up to 12 full-freighter aircraft: six full-freighter aircraft at CMA CGM

Air Cargo, initially based at Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport, with outstanding orders for an additional six aircraft; six full-freighter aircraft at Air France-KLM Group based at Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, with outstanding orders for eight aircraft, notably replacing the existing fleet. The commercial partnership also covers Air France-KLM’s belly aircraft capacity, including 160+ long-haul aircraft.

Air France-KLM Group EVP Cargo and co-operation Lead Adriaan Den Heijer said: “We are very pleased with the operational implementation of our strategic long-term air cargo partnership with CMA CGM Air Cargo. It will accelerate the expansion of our cargo business, a strategic activity for the Air France-KLM Group, by opening up a wide range of new opportunities, in terms of offerings, destinations and solutions to our customers. With our experienced and dedicated teams and a powerful distribution platform, we look forward to further transforming the future through this partnership.”