U.K.-based air charter service provider Chapman Freeborn’s group cargo operations director Pierre van der Stichele said that the domino effect of an unamicable Brexit could result in major delays for ground services and, potentially, increased demand for charter services in the region.
Van der Stichele compared the potential of a no-deal Brexit to infamous supply chain bottleneck incidents like the U.S. port strikes in 2015, which essentially shut down Pacific ports along the West Coast, stalling delivery times and costing stakeholders millions of dollars.
“A couple years ago, it created a whole blockade of traffic,” van der Stichele said. “There were a lot of charters that operated from China and Far East to the U.S. simply because the ports were on strike,” he added, suggesting that pattern could begin to emerge in Western European supply chains this spring.
“We have two clients that have booked standby aircraft,” an An-12 and an ATR 72, both turboprop freighters, he said. “A lot of people are starting to question, ‘What could we do?’ And we’re starting to see more calls come in – emails from specific freight forwarders [asking], ‘What would it cost for an airplane of this size?’”