Britain’s Bournemouth ready for the rush


Bournemouth Airport and handler Cargo First are gearing up for peak season, with resident operator European Cargo due to bring additional A340-600 freighters on stream shortly to cater for growth in Far East to UK e-commerce.

European Cargo already operates three converted Airbus A340-600 freighters on China-UK routes (Chengdu and Haikou) with further aircraft due to commence operations in the coming months, Bournemouth says that busy London hubs are already constrained and volatility in the Red Sea continues to drive multi-modal cargo solutions.

Bournemouth Airport managing director Steve Gill, said: “Our collaboration with European Cargo has established Bournemouth as a reliable and cost-effective hub for e-commerce and other air freight into the UK, with a proven track record of delivering a highly efficient service for time-sensitive consignments for our customers. With European Cargo’s additional freighters coming on stream shortly and the constraints facing other UK hubs, we see a significant opportunity to grow the market further as we ramp up for the peak season.”

He added that Cargo First had recruited 15 new staff to warehouse, aircraft handling and security roles in the last year and was looking at longer term infrastructure investment to create more dedicated cargo facilities at Bournemouth.

European Cargo chief executive Jason Holt added: “We recently celebrated the first anniversary of flights from Bournemouth to Chengdu and in our first year operated almost 300 flights carrying some 20,000 tonnes of cargo. With our fourth fully converted long-haul freighter expected to enter service in July and two more by October, we see continued growing interest in our aircraft and services. We continue to gear up to handle the autumn peak and accompanying additional services coming on stream in the next few months.”

European Cargo’s Airbus A340-have a maximum payload of 76 tonnes and a cargo capacity of 440 cubic metres.

Both Bournemouth Airport and Cargo First are part of the UK’s privately-owned Regional and City Airports (RCA) group. RCA also owns Coventry Airport, Exeter Airport and Norwich Airport as well as executive jet centres.