Two out of three ain’t bad, as the saying goes, but it was nevertheless a disappointment for Copenhagen Airport that after landing new widebody freighter services from Air China and China Airlines last year, it missed outon its third target, Jade Cargo International.
Jade has decided in February to use its third B747-400ERF to launch freighter services to Stockholm, capping a successful run for the Swedish airport that has also seen it win freighter services from Korean Air andCathay Pacifi c since last August.
The return to operations of Great Wall Airlines have also affected Copenhagen indirectly, with Singapore Airlines reducing its freighter calls at the Danish airport from eight to seven weekly on the summer schedule. The reason is that the eighth frequency was being operated by one of the Great Wall aircraft, its livery covered over temporarily with aSingapore Airlines banner.
Still, the thrice weekly B747-200F services from Air China, started in September, and three weekly MD-11Fs from China Cargo Airlines, started in January, have provided a substantialboost to Copenhagen’s fortunes.
The former service helped boost the airport’s cargo throughput by 7 percent to 380,000 tonnes in 2006, and though Lars Korup, Copenhagen’s head of cargo, is not making any fi rm predictions for 2007 yet, he expects ChinaCargo to produce further growth.
He now reckons that the Scandinavian airports have enough freighter capacity – “or maybe even a bit of overcapacity” – so for the coming year will be focusing on supporting the four Asian freighter operators already in Copenhagen– the other being Korean Air,which calls three times weekly – andhelping them to fi ll their fl ights andmaybe to increase frequencies.
On the belly cargo front, Copenhagen gained Continental and Delta last year, but an expected service from Emirates did not materialise. However, SAS is now planning to start a thrice weekly A340 service to Dubai from October.
As for the recently-agreed EU-US open skies deal, Korup does not forsee much impact on Copenhagen’s cargo traffi c. “The Danish government is already very liberal with traffi c rights,” he says. “For example, Singapore Airlines fl ies its freighters from India to Copenhagen and on to Chicago and has traffi c rights on all these legs.”
On the facilities front, handler WFS has reported itself very pleased with its new handling operation in Copenhagen, which opened in May 2006 and which handles Korean Air among other carriers.
Olivier Bijaoui, president and CEO of the handler, says the 7,000 square metre terminal, which has a capacity of 60,000 tonnes, was nearly full in January 2007 and hinted that it might be expanded.
Korup also continues to work on creating a multimodal logistics park at the airport, but says this is a long term project. “We have a couple of potential customers and may have something to announce later in the year,” he says. – Peter Conway