Luxembourg freight carrier Cargolux Airlines International has operated its first ever scheduled flight into Brazil with the Boeing 747-8F after finally getting the all clear to use the aircraft on its flights into the country. The jet debuted on Cargolux’s flight ‘CV7687’ to São Paulo’s Viracopos International Airport on June 16, 2013 and will now be used regularly on the route. Cargolux has already deployed the aircraft to 78 destinations worldwide, but up now the type has not had clearance to serve the South American country.
When the freight specialist launched scheduled flights into South America with the stretched 747 in February 2013 after inaugurating flights to Latacunga in Ecuador, it revealed that discussions to get the aircraft certificated for operations in Brazil was a “challenge”. However, working with Boeing officials and supported by Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, it has managed to get clearance for its operations, overcoming an operational headache that had forced it to schedule less efficient and smaller 747-400s on its Brazilian network.
“We are extremely pleased to see our new flagship freighter eventually operating to a first airport in Brazil,” said Richard Forson, Interim President and Chief Executive Officer. “I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the Luxembourg government and the Brazilian authorities for their unwavering support. And I would like to thank to the Cargolux employees in Luxembourg and Brazil who worked very hard to make this happen. We look forward to other Brazilian airports following suit, so that the entire Brazilian market can benefit from the superior performance of our Boeing 747-8 freighters.”
Alongside Viracopos, Cargolux also serves the Brazilian destinations of Curitiba, Manaus and Petrolina. It hopes the gradual introduction of the 747-8F will further support airfreight exports from Brazil, permitting commodities like automotive parts, pharmaceutical products and fruits to reach their markets throughout the world in a more efficient and sustainable manner.
Elsewhere, in the US, Cargolux has launched flights to Rickenbacker International Airport in Columbus, Ohio introducing a twice weekly service from Hong Kong from June 16, 2013 using a 747-8F. The new route has been established with strong support from forwarding company Hellmann Worldwide and the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, which controls Port Columbus International, Rickenbacker International and Bolton Field airports, says the carrier.
“We are pleased that we are expanding our North American network by adding Rickenbacker International Airport to our global portfolio of destinations’, said Forson. “The airport infrastructure and service is very accommodating for air freight operators and well adapted to the needs of the 747-8F.”
The Columbus Regional Airport Authority and select businesses located at Rickenbacker Inland Port accounted for US$6.6 billion in total annual economic output in 2012, while Rickenbacker International Airport handled a total of 22,755 tonnes of cargo in the first four months of 2013. Columbus is one of the major fashion and apparel markets in the world and home to a number of large international fashion companies. The new direct Cargolux flight from Hong Kong offers shippers of fashion goods and other commodities fast and convenient connections from Asia to this market.
“The Central Ohio region is gaining a valuable logistics asset with the entrance of Cargolux and their advanced 747-8 freighter aircraft service through Rickenbacker International Airport,” said David Whitaker Vice President of Business Development and Communications for the Columbus Regional Airport Authority. “The expertise, flexibility and reliability that Cargolux is known for creates smart opportunities for businesses in our region and beyond.”
These key developments for Cargolux follows the introduction of a regular service between Atlanta and Munich, via Luxembourg, earlier this month supporting the needs German freight forwarder Senator International Spedition. The new connection was launched on June 3, 2013 is being operated on a weekly basis using a 747-400F. “Import tonnage on this flight mostly originates in the United States and Asia. At the same time Munich offers us an excellent opportunity to consolidate general cargo intended for other areas in our network,” added Forson.
While Cargolux has previously flown a number of charter flights from the Bavarian capital, this is the airline’s first regular airfreight service to and from Munich. Until now, the airline has relied on its ground trucking services to transport freight between its Luxembourg hub and Munich.