The northeastern regional airport of Schwerin-Parchim in Germany has been acquired by Beijing-based LinkGlobal Logistics for an undisclosed amount. The transaction, which will become effective on July 1, is the first of its kind in Europe with a Chinese enterprisetaking over an entire airport.
“We want to develop Parchim into an international air freight hub and plan to build a multipurpose industrial and logistics centre at this site,” said LinkGlobal chairman Jonathan Pang. He added that the facility would be renamed as “Parchim International Airport”.
“We’ll start with three rotations per week and will step up the project in the months to come,” said Pang. If things run as expected, LinkGlobal wants to deploy up to 50 freighter flights each week in the near future. Initially, these will be charter flights, organised by Link Global and operated by partners such as DAS Air Cargo, MK Airlines, Etihad Crystal Cargo or Turkmenistan Airlines, later to be followed by scheduled freight traffic.
Upon signing of the sales contract the Chinese logistics firm has guaranteed to spend 20 million euros within the next two years to enhance the ground facilities at its newly acquired facility. Furthermore, Pang stated that“100 million euros or even more” willbe reserved for making Parchim a hotspot for the logistics and air freightbusiness in the years to come.
Asked why LinkGlobal had decided to participate in the tender and to finally acquire the “Baltic Airport”, Pang said that by far the most important reason was the operational accessibility around the clock with no night flight curfews. In addition, he said there were several geographical advantages andcost saving aspects.
“Compared to Amsterdam, London or Paris the aircraft that flying in from the Middle East or China save one hour of flight time, which means less fuel and thus saves money.”
Another important aspect was the 3,000-metre runway of Parchim International Airport, which allows operations of the biggest and fully-loaded freighters. And last but not least, Pang stressed the near-to-market argument with Hamburg as well as Berlin close by and emerging eastern European economies in the vicinity.
Since LinkGlobal is a logistics firm, Pang said he is looking for a partner to operate the airport. Insiders believe that the most logical option would be to co-operate with Hamburg Airport and spokesperson Stefanie Harder confirmed that Hamburg Airport’s doors are open for discussions. – Heiner Siegmund