Air France KLM Martinair Cargo (AFKLMP Cargo) has met seasonal peak flower demand for Valentine’s Day and reported it flew 10 per cent more flowers than last year.
The airline group shipped about 3,300 tonnes of flowers to Europe from leading production and export countries such as Kenya, Ecuador, and Colombia over a two-week period in January and February.
These included Kenya’s famous roses, known as Rhodos. The additional 1,100 tonnes for Valentine’s Day consist of some 57,500,000 stems.
Using a Boeing 747-400 Freighter and combi-aircraft, it was able generate ample main deck capacity to and from three main flower starting points of Nairobi, Quito, and Bogotá.
For the first time, it rerouted four Air France B777 Freighter flights from Nairobi to Paris via Amsterdam to support the demand for flowers and Dutch trade.
The bellies of long-haul passenger aircraft and interline partners are also well suited to carrying flowers to Europe and were utilised.
The greatest share of capacity is mainly intended to supply the European – primarily Dutch, English, Italian, French and Russian – and Asian, most notably Japanese, markets.
In 2018, AFKLMP Cargo shipped more than 84,000 tonnes of flowers from Africa and Latin America to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.
AFKLMP executive vice president, Marcel de Nooijer said: “We met seasonal peak flower demand for this year’s Valentine’s Day with enormous success. We are proud to show our strong commitment and professional dedication to the international flower business, which has a proven history over so many decades.”
To move flowers and plants seamlessly from grower to wholesaler, Royal FloraHolland, Schiphol Cargo, and AFKLMP Cargo have initiated the Holland Flower Alliance, a group of floricultural logistics professionals dedicated to the pursuit of innovation and sustainability in the floral supply chain.
Amsterdam remains Europe’s logistics centre for the flower market, with Schiphol Airport as the world’s preferred Flower Hub, connecting all key production and consumer markets. Royal FloraHolland, located in Aalsmeer, the Netherlands, is the largest trading centre for flowers in the world and plays a crucial role in onward distribution.