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In liaison with the Icelandair Airlines, DB Schenker is adapting passenger aircrafts for freight transport and will operate 45 cargo flights in May. This is a remedy for the bottleneck in air transport caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

DB Schenker has adapted three Boeing 767 passenger airliners owned by Icelandair into freight transport aircrafts. The operator will use them for the newly launched daily cargo connection called “China Shuttle” between Shanghai and Munich. The first flights on this route have already brought to Europe dozens of tons of medical equipment.

The “China Shuttle” service is specifically targeted at customers who import medical equipment from China, such as masks or protective suits to fight the coronavirus. Reportedly, the operator has already had bookings for several thousand cubic meters of cargo. Delivery time to destinations ranges from five to seven days. There are initially 45 shuttle flights planned from Shanghai Pudong to Munich in about 12 flights per week. Other connections are also planned, such as twice a week to Chicago.

As DB Schenker’s partner, Icelandair has adapted three passenger aircrafts for freight transport. This provides for more than 200 cubic metres of cargo space in the dock and on board. What is more, the “DB Schenker” logo appeared on the fuselages for the first time in the company’s history.

“Where there is no capacity, we create it. DB Schenker is therefore expanding its global supply network to combat the coronavirus” – officially announced Thorsten Meincke, Air and Ocean Freight Director in DB Schenker.

With these additional flights, we have demonstrated our ability to respond to crisis agilely and in the shortest time possible” – he adds.

This is an important agreement for the Icelandair Group at the time of significant revenue loss for our passenger airlines following the COVID-19 outbreak. In this project, we combine our expertise in cargo transport and charter flights worldwide management. One of the Icelandair Group’s assets lies in the flexibility allowing us for a quick and appropriate response. We are pleased to take part in such a significant undertaking and find innovative solutions that contribute to the fight against the global pandemic, which the world is currently struggling with” – Bogi Nils Bogason, CEO of the Icelandair Group, comments on the agreement with the German operator.



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