Freight goods are predominantly transported in large passenger planes as so-called additional cargo at Munich Airport: in relation to the total freight volume in Munich, this additional cargo had a share of around 90 percent in previous years.
Against the background of the global corona pandemic, however, the weight of air freight in Munich has shifted significantly: While the additional cargo fell significantly due to the lack of passenger flights on long-haul flights to Asia and America, the so-called "freight-only traffic" increased significantly in the same period. In the period from January to October 2021, around 55.000 tons of transported goods were handled in pure freight machines at Munich Airport. This is an increase of 38 percent compared to the pre-crisis year 2019. This means that the share of all freight traffic is currently no longer ten, but around 45 percent of the total freight volume in Munich.
“The fact that Munich is now being approached by more and more freight machines shows once again the enormous potential that our airport offers as a transshipment point for air freight. In view of the strong export economy in southern Germany and its close links with markets and production facilities all over the world, I still see considerable development opportunities for our airport, ”said airport boss Jost Lammers. Munich is currently benefiting, among other things, from the regular flights of the Russian cargo airline Air Bridge Cargo, which operates six times a week with Boeing B747-8F jumbos between the Bavarian capital and various Asian destinations.
The positive development in all-freight traffic is also being spurred on by a newcomer: The Moldovan Aerotranscargo has recently landed in Munich twice a week with a cargo jumbo from Hong Kong. The airline carries out this freight connection on behalf of the international logistics service provider DB Schenker. At the beginning of November, DHL Express doubled its freight services from five to ten weekly departures. In addition, Kuwait Airways, Thai Airways and Oman Airlines have registered several charter cargo flights in Munich for the next few weeks.
From the end of November to mid-December, one of the world's largest cargo planes is also to be used more frequently in Munich: the Russian cargo airline Volga-Dnepr Airlines (VDA) is planning a series of Antonov 124 flights over the Bavarian air traffic hub during this period. There is currently no sign of an end to the boom in freight-only traffic. On the contrary: further freight connections from Munich are being planned for the coming year. But there will also be more capacity in Munich in future for belly cargo. Due to the resumption of numerous long-haul flights to North and Central America, such as Miami, Vancouver or Mexico, airlines can now transport significantly more cargo across the Atlantic in addition to their passengers.