Maersk is looking to enhance its air freight offering as it announced the launch of its air freight unit, Maersk Air Cargo, which is expected to be fully operational in the second half of 2022.
The shipping giant said it plans to increase its presence in the air cargo arena and will progressively deploy and operate five aircraft, including two new B777F and three leased B767-300 cargo aircraft.
Maersk added that three new B767-300 freighters will be added to its US-China or transpacific operations, which will be initially handled by a third-party operator. The new aircraft are expected to be operational from the second half of 2022 and onwards up to 2024.
The Danish company has chosen Billund Airport, considered Denmark’s second largest airport, as its main hub. The forwarder said it targets approximately one third of its annual air tonnage to be carried within its own controlled freight network.
Maersk plans to achieve this through a combination of owned and leased aircraft, replicating the structure that the company has within its ocean fleet, with the remaining capacity to be provided by commercial carriers and charter flight operators.
The new air freight company is the result of existing in-house aircraft operator, Star Air, transferring its activities into Maersk Air Cargo, which has received excellent support from customers, suppliers, employees and the Danish Civil Aviation Authority.