Press article fom 30.07.2002
Air France Cargo 5 years in Frankfurt-Hahn
Frankfurt-Hahn Airport, July 2002. Air France Cargo has been operating an air freight transhipment centre at Frankfurt-Hahn Airport for exactly five years now. Europe's largest freight carrier centres the whole German road feeder service here as an interface to the intercontinental air cargo hub in Paris. Even in times of weak economic activity, Air France has succeeded in maintaining a level of air freight transhipment of around 120,000 tonnes per annum.
"As Air France's plan to set up a hub in Germany was firmed up in 1996/97, not only customers and shipping agents questioned the purpose of this measure but also one or two of the staff. But the doubts were soon laid to rest," remembers Freight Director, Otto Meyer. As he ceremonially opened the Hahn Cargo Hub on 2nd July 1997 together with the Board of Directors from Paris, it was clear to most people that the great French freight carrier was following a lasting development in the German market in order to immediately satisfy the turn-around time requirements of the air cargo industry.
"The concept is successful. The freight arriving in Hahn is allocated to aircraft pallets intended for particular destinations and is currently still transferred to Paris Charles de Gaulle by surface feeder services to the gateway of the Air France cargo fleet, with an average of 146 scheduled lorries per week. After a minimum transit time of five hours, the loading of the aircraft to the final destination can be completed," expounds Otto Meyer on the concept implemented in Frankfurt-Hahn.
After just two years, Air France had outgrown the hall specially built for the company. An example of the rapid growth "on the Hahn". A new cargo terminal with ca. 9,000 square metres of freight transhipment area was built directly on the newly-constructed freight apron of the expanding airport in the Hunsrück and was put into service in October 2000.
Air France Cargo has transhipped almost 600,000 tonnes of freight in the last 5 years in Frankfurt-Hahn, around 120,000 tonnes per year. The airline employs 36 staff at the German hub. The transhipment stores are operated by Aviapartner. "As a member of the world-wide freight alliance, Skyteam Cargo, our company is the No. 2 supplier on the German air cargo market with a strong presence at the large German airports," says Ernst Zörner, Manager of the Hahn German Hub. "With the liberalisation of the traffic legislation for EU carriers and an extension to the runway, which is currently in planning, Hahn can certainly become a regular take-off and landing point for Air France Cargo in the coming years."
These endeavours are supported by the Airport Company. "We congratulate Air France on its success in Frankfurt-Hahn. What is more obvious than to ship cargo directly from Frankfurt-Hahn by aeroplane. To achieve this, we see the need for an extension to the runway and are currently preparing the application documentation for the area planning process," reports Jörg Schumacher, Managing Director of Flughafen Frankfurt-Hahn GmbH. The documents are to be submitted in September.
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