In European transport, multimodality is becoming an increasingly important issue. While the focus is usually on handling goods between road and rail, perhaps involving inland waterways, there are also other transport modes involved, including air transport. We took an interest in how the air transportation proves successful in the transport of goods in the Czech Republic. Therefore we approached various companies which are linked with air cargo and asked how they see the current state of affairs.
The Prague airport Vaclav Havel is usually associated mainly with air passenger transport. However, Prague is also an ideal place for transporting cargo within Europe and the world. The airport has good connections with other cities in Central and Eastern Europe. “Nowadays at the airport Vaclav Havel we have four regular cargo carriers. They handle annually over 84,000 tons of cargo (as of 2014),” said Jiří Vyskoč, director of air commerce, Prague Airport. “In view of the fact that even the field of air cargo was hit by the economic crisis in the past, we are glad not only with the actual increase in passengers traffic, but also with the gradual recovery in handling of air cargo,” added Jiří Vyskoč.
Next year, the airport expects eight percent increase in cargo. Cargo transportation is for Prague Airport an important part of air traffic. The airport therefore encourages airlines to develop new routes from / to Prague. There are also incentive programs, in which Prague Airport provides discounts on landing charges in the initial period of operation.
German air cargo operator Lufthansa Cargo AG was founded in 2004 as a wholly owned subsidiary of the parent Deutsche Lufthansa AG. Today it provides air transportation services and air logistics worldwide. Together with its mother, Lufthansa Cargo resides at Frankfurt airport, which is the main Lufthansa hub. Thanks to the connection with parent Lufthansa, it can use not only its own fleet of aircrafts, but also the cargo capacity of passenger planes of Lufthansa.
“The Czech Republic is an attractive air transport market as there are a range of classic industries that use air transport, such as automotive, consumer electronics, pharmaceuticals,” said Lufthansa Cargo spokesman Andreas Pauker. “Lufthansa Cargo operates numerous flight connections in the Czech market. Our offer is completed by unlimited and flexible capacity of road transportation services. In the Czech Republic we work closely with local providers of freight forwarding services – this has been provided by our competent team at the airport in Prague. Moreover, the official statistics show strong economic growth in recent quarters of a year. This indicates that the importance of the Czech air cargo market will further increase for Lufthansa Cargo,” pointed out Andreas Pauker.
Multimodal solutions with an air transport are also important for DHL Express. The company is a part of a German logistics company Deutsche Post DHL, which provides global express and logistics services. “The great advantage for the Czech Republic is its geographical position, thanks to which Czech Republic is an important crossroads of trade routes,” said Tomáš Zdražil, Marketing Manager of DHL Express (Czech Republic). “In the field of air transport statistics clearly show a significant increase within the main Czech airports in Prague, Brno and Ostrava. DHL Express (Czech Republic) uses local airports, currently mainly Mošnov, and transport shipments by road to its main European hub in Leipzig / Halle. For example, in the area of Prague and Bohemia we are now able thanks to the new modern terminal in Klecany carry shipments to Leipzig and to the world much more effectively than before,” said Tomáš Zdražil.
Also TNT Express appreciates the good position of the Czech Republic for air cargo multimodality. “The Czech Republic is due to its geographical position and its industry a very interesting market,” said Managing Director of TNT Express Worldwide Miloš Malaník. “We provide air express shipments worldwide for numerous Czech companies. Moreover, thanks to the unique road network TNT, we deliver within Europe only about two to three days slower than air express, but with a significantly lower price. For transportation to other continents, we can effectively combine land and air transport. In the Czech Republic we use airports in Prague and Brno on a daily basis. This allows us to offer very short delivery times and to pick shipments at late hours,” said Miloš Malaník.
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