DHL Express has started a cargo operation between Cork Airport and its largest European hub in Germany following a surge in cargo traffic during the pandemic.
The company began operating a Boeing 767 lower-deck wide-body aircraft five-days-a week, Monday to Friday, between Cork and Leipzig, today. It said the new service will benefit customers through earlier deliveries and later collections of parcels.
Cork Airport managing director Niall MacCarthy was on the runway apron to welcome the first cargo flight.
“The changes arising from Covid-19 have provided us with the opportunity to diversify our business into new areas supporting cargo, offshore gas and wind operations,” he said.
“The aircraft to be operated by DHL is a large wide-body and we are delighted that Cork and Munster will now have an additional five-times weekly air cargo operation to serve the expanding needs of the business community of the south of Ireland.
“We look forward to working with our new partners DHL Express into the future.”
DHL Express Ireland operations director Mike Farrell said the Cork region continues to be a hugely important part of the DHL Express Ireland network.
He said as cargo volumes continue to grow in and out of the region, the company has taken the next step in its development and decided to operate a dedicated aircraft from Cork.
“This move will provide for earlier deliveries and later collections which will only serve to strengthen the commercial offer of customers within Cork,” he said.
Condor, the German leisure airline, has leased four Boeing 767-300s to DHL to carry cargo instead of passengers, to increase its cargo capacity on a number of routes as a result of the pandemic.
One of these leased aircraft will operate on specific routes for DHL from this new operation at Cork Airport.
It is the latest business expansion announcement from Cork Airport which, like all airports, has seen its passenger numbers decimated during the pandemic.
Two weeks ago, it announced that offshore helicopter operator, NHV Group, will operate helicopter transfer flights using a Leonardo AW139 helicopter from Cork Airport to the Stena Spey drilling rig to support PSE Kinsale Energy Ltd's decommissioning operations.