The cargo flows between Europe and Asia have great potential for development considering the increasing Internet commerce. Wolfgang Meier, Senior Vice President of the Silk Way Group, has pointed this out at a meeting of the German Aircargo Club Deutschland (ACD) in Frankfurt am Main. The Azerbaijan-based cargo airline Silk Way Airlines has established an extensive air network along the historic Silk Road in recent years, and is the biggest cargo client at the Frankfurt-Hahn airport.
Wolfgang Meier pointed out that e-commerce is one of the growth drivers of the private Silk Way Group, whose clients include Chinese Internet retailers. Apart from their domestic hub in Azerbaijan’s capital Baku, the airline currently serves 40 destinations within Asia as well as destinations in Western Europe and North America. From April, the African continent will also be served regularly. At the Baku Airport, the group also owns air freight facilities, using special logistics services to handle sensible refrigerated goods – such as pharmaceutical products – according to the current handling Standards.
In his statement Wolfgang Meier criticised the different approval procedures of cargo chartering in Europe. “Shipments originating in Germany is often transhipped to neighboring countries due to traffic law restrictions and time-consuming regulatory procedures. This benefits mainly the Benelux countries, where airports are sometimes open for air cargo charter around the clock. The approval of ad hoc charters there is only a question of hours. ”
The air freight expert of Silk Way appealed Germany to better dovetail economic necessities and policy decisions. Germany was partially standing in its own way when it comes to using its excellent infrastructure, and sometimes does not even recognise the economic potential. Hence e.g. Hahn airport was sold under its value – without applying creativity to sustainably develop this site, although its performance is crucial for Germany’s industry and the entire region, he said at the ACD event.