Bournemouth Airport (BOH), a regional airport on the south coast of England, might not be where one would expect to find a hub for international air cargo flights to China.
However, the UK’s 21st busiest airport is getting an air cargo boost, with Maersk Air Cargo becoming the latest carrier to launch flights from Bournemouth to China.
The move follows niche Bournemouth-based operator European Cargo, which has just increased its own Airbus A340 freighter frequencies to Chengdu from daily to nine services per week.
Danish operator Maersk Air Cargo (formerly known as Star Air) has said it will trial a weekly service to Bournemouth from Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport (HGH) in Zhejiang, using one of the airline’s fleet of 22 Boeing 767-300F.
It has already operated to Bournemouth from Billund (BLL) several times in November. Following its short visit to Bournemouth, the aircraft returns to Billund before operating into Navoi (NVI) in Uzbekistan, Hangzhou, and then back to Navoi and Billund.
The airport becomes Maersk’s first regular operational station in the UK. Maersk said it would operate at Bournemouth Airport until the end of 2023 to meet peak demand and would reconsider the situation after that.
“It’s fantastic to see Maersk Air Cargo landing in the UK,” said Gary Jeffreys, Managing Director of Maersk Air UK & Ireland. “This represents our integrator strategy and demonstrates our product offering and capabilities across all modes of transport. Whether it be time-critical, capacity challenges, or product launches, we have the capabilities to meet our customers’ demands.”
But it’s not just Bournemouth Airport in the UK attracting attention from cargo airlines and freight forwarders alike. Birmingham Airport (BHX) is part of global freight company Geodis’s air network, with Titan Airways operating its sole A330-300F on the company’s behalf between Birmingham, Zhengzhou, and Chengdu several times per week.