A.P. Moller - Maersk (Maersk) has chosen Bournemouth Airport (BOH) as its UK gateway for a trial of a new route from China.

Carrier Maersk Air Cargo has started the weekly service from Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport (HGH) in Zhejiang province to Bournemouth using a 45-tonne capacity Boeing 767-300 freighter, working with BOH’s in-house air freight business Cargo First.

It is the latest coup for Bournemouth’s fast-growing cargo operation which continues to establish itself as an alternative gateway outside London.

For Copenhagen-based Maersk, the route is part of its growing air freighter network between mainland China, Southeast Asia, Europe and the US. In March it launched a service from Hangzhou to Billund Airport (BLL) in Denmark, and from Hangzhou to Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD) in the US in April.

The Bournemouth route will initially operate until the end of the year, helping to meet peak demand, with potential to continue thereafter.

Gary Jeffreys, Managing Director of Maersk Area UK & Ireland, said:

“It’s fantastic to see Maersk Air Cargo landing in the UK. This represents our integrator strategy and demonstrates our product offering and capabilities across all modes of transport. Whether it be time critical, capacity challenges or product launches we have the capabilities to meet our customers’ demands.”

Steve Gill, Managing Director of Bournemouth Airport, said:

“We’re delighted that Maersk has chosen Bournemouth for this new route as we grow our ambition to become the UK’s number one entry and exit point for time critical cargo. We now have 500 tonnes of weekly import capacity operating between China and Bournemouth as more customers take advantage of our location, lack of slot constraints and ‘One Team’ integrated approach across all airport and cargo handling operations.”

Bournemouth Airport and Cargo First are part of the UK’s privately-owned Regional and City Airports (RCA) group, which also owns the neighbouring Cargo First Logistics Park at Bournemouth Airport, with over one million square feet of warehousing development potential

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