A.P. Moller-Maersk has decided to heap its aviation offerings into a new brand, Maersk Air Cargo, folding the Star Air branding in the process.
At the same time Maersk has choosen Denmark’s second largest airport, Billund, as its air freight hub for Maersk Air Cargo.
“Air freight is a crucial enabler of flexibility and agility in global supply chains as it allows our customers to tackle time-critical supply chain challenges and provides transport mode options for high value cargo. We strongly believe in working closely with our customers. Therefore, it is key for Maersk to also increase our presence in the global air cargo industry by introducing Maersk Air Cargo to cater even better for the needs of our customers,” said Aymeric Chandavoine, global head of logistics and services, A.P. Moller – Maersk.
It will allow us to offer customers a truly unique combination of air freight integrated with other transport modes
Maersk Air Cargo will progressively deploy and operate a controlled capacity of five aircraft – two new B777F and three leased B767-300 cargo aircraft. Three new B767-300 freighters will also be added to the US-China operation, which will be initially handled by a third-party operator. The new aircraft are expected to be operational from second half 2022 and onwards up to 2024.
“Maersk Air Cargo is an important step of the Maersk air freight strategy, as it will allow us to offer customers a truly unique combination of air freight integrated with other transport modes. We see an increased and continued demand for air cargo both today and going forward as well as a growing demand for end-to-end logistics, why it is important for us to strengthen our own-controlled capacity and advance further on our air freight strategy,” said Torben Bengtsson, global head of air & LCL at A.P. Moller – Maersk.
Maersk’s ambition is to have approximately one third of its annual air tonnage carried within its own controlled freight network. This will be achieved through a combination of owned and leased aircraft, replicating the structure that the company has within its ocean fleet. The remaining capacity will be provided by strategic commercial carriers and charter flight operators.
Maersk Air Cargo is expected to be fully operational as of the second half of 2022 and comes at a time when other cash-rich liners, notably France’s CMA CGM, are also strengthening their air cargo offerings.