Last May Panalpina added Queretaro International Airport (QRO) in Mexico to the “Speedy” loop of its Charter Network, which also connects Mexico City (MEX) and Guadalajara (GDL) with the forwarder’s air freight gateway in Huntsville (HSV), Alabama.
“It was a very good 2018 for the Panalpina Charter Network in Mexico,” said Panalpina’s global head of the Charter Network, Matthias Frey. “We closed the year with 37 regular flights into Querétaro, 71 into Mexico City and 104 into Guadalajara. We also operated 19 ad-hoc full charters into Querétaro and 11 into México City between May and December 2018.”
Querétaro’s addition to the regular connections of the Panalpina Charter Network means Panalpina is the only freight carrier to serve three international airports with scheduled flights within and out of Mexico.
Panalpina is also the first and only company to offer a transatlantic flight from Querétaro to London Stansted Airport (STN) in the UK and to Luxembourg (LUX) via Huntsville, offering contingency solutions for medical, food supply and other urgent goods in light of Brexit.
The flight can bring in any airworthy merchandise from the Americas directly into London and then take UK goods to Luxembourg, flying over the channel and avoiding coastal borders which will most likely represent the major bottlenecks for UK-EU trade.
UK-related supply chains will likely need re-engineering, and Panalpina has set up a special task force to help customers get the answers and individual solutions they need, regardless of Brexit outcome.
The new Querétaro lane reflects Panalpina’s growth in aerospace and the continuous adaptation of the company’s Charter Network to meet evolving market needs and customer demand in Mexico.
But the addition of Querétaro to the Panalpina portfolio of destinations in Mexico has been very well received not only by its primary focus customers in the automotive and aerospace sectors in the Bajío region, but also elsewhere in the country.
One example is that of customers facing the rising costs and capacity restrictions caused by the exponential growth in flight operations at Mexico City International Airport, which are affecting the efficiency of cargo operators.
“Querétaro is actually expanding its facilities for cargo and does not have any truck restrictions. It may become the ultimate alternative for large cargo aircraft in the Mexico City metropolitan area,” said country head of Air Freight Mexico, Erico Boehme.
Panalpina added Querétaro has a potential market of 45 million consumers within a 350 km radius, and all of Panalpina’s inbound flights can connect with an exclusive trucking service and ad hoc charters to all the hotspots in Mexico.
This combination of scheduled and ad hoc charter flights, as well as overland services, Panalpina said allows it to efficiently and reliably distribute imported products to Mexico City, Guadalajara, Querétaro, Puebla, Monterrey, San Luis Potosí, Aguascalientes, and elsewhere.
Panalpina’s transatlantic fixed schedule also plays a strategic role for flying perishables out of Guadalajara, ensuring Mexican fresh produce is safely steered through the Panalpina Perishables Network on the way to its final destination.
Every week, Panalpina’s 747-8F flies the following transatlantic (Dixie) and Mexico (Speedy) routes. They include LUX to HSV to QRO to GDL to HSV to STN to LUX once a week (Mexico loop on Fridays, new QRO stop instead of MEX) and LUX to HSV to MEX to GDL to HSV to STN to LUX once a week (Mexico loop on Mondays) and LUX to HSV to LUX twice a week.
In addition, Panalpina offers one more transatlantic roundtrip (LUX to HSV to LUX) using a Cargolux full charter, bringing the total number of scheduled transatlantic roundtrips to five.