AirBridgeCargo Airlines’ 1,000-plus 747 freighter flights into Amsterdam Schiphol and Frankfurt airports made the all-cargo carrier Schiphol’s largest all-cargo customer, and second only to KLM in terms of total cargo volumes for the year. It is also the second biggest cargo carrier in Frankfurt.
The announcement mirrors Schiphol’s own news that it had set a new cargo record for 2016. Given AirBridgeCargo’s geographic advantage for moving E.U.-bound freight from China through its Moscow hub, the carrier benefitted from increased volumes between China and the E.U. The carrier can traverse continents and still shave thousands of kilometers off the distances flown by its Gulf and Turkish competitors.
Schiphol noted that flights to Asia transiting European destinations – including Baku and Moscow – all increased. The airport saw the results as evidence of its emergence as an Asian-trade hub. “A proportion of Europe’s growth of 74 percent to 104,061 tonnes outbound, and 42 percent to 105,736 tonnes inbound, was therefore down to cargo transiting to and from Asia,” the airport said.
As well as expanding its 747 freighter fleet to 16 aircraft in 2016 with the arrival of its ninth new 747-8F, AirBridgeCargo also launched a series of new routes, including destinations such as Phnom Penh, Seattle, London Heathrow and Oslo. More expansion of its scheduled cargo operations is planned in 2017.