How Vienna Airport has established itself as a crisis-proof air cargo center

The Covid-19 crisis is putting Vienna Airport to the test, just like the entire aviation industry. The airport is functioning as a reliable airfreight center for Central and Eastern Europe during the crisis thanks to years of investment into its logistic center.

"Vienna Airport offers its customers fast turnaround times and is well prepared for current and upcoming challenges due to years of investment in airport infrastructure, its excellent geographical location and its 24-hour operating license," says Julian Jager, member of the Management Board of Flughafen Wien AG.

With the ability to handle all types of aircraft, Flughafen Wien AG employees proved their adaptability during the Coronavirus crisis. One example is the handling of 'preighters' - passenger aircrafts used solely for air cargo.

Flexibility is also provided to airline customers by 24-hour operations of all facilities, such as customs, border control, and health authorities. With its Pharma Handling Center built in 2018, Vienna Airport is ideally equipped for time and temperature-critical transports of medical goods.

Despite the crisis, the airport's logistics and handling facilities were able to maintain their function as a hub to Eastern Europe for goods from the electronics and automotive industries. There was growth in important aid goods such as masks, Coronavirus tests and protective suits as well as in production goods, urgently needed pharmaceutical products and in the e-commerce sector.

"In the current very dynamic market environment with rapidly increasing freight volumes in Europe, Vienna International Airport is well-positioned with its existing capacities.

Although there is a decline in belly cargo due to the lack of passenger aircraft, we have been recording increases of up to 30 per cent for months, especially in unloads/import cargo," explains Michael Zach, vice president Sales & Finance, Ground Handling & Cargo Operations at Vienna Airport.

Vienna Airport offers advantages as a European freight hub for road transport, too: the catchment area of the dense road feeder network for air freight extends far beyond neighboring countries and the major European hubs to the Balkans, Ukraine and Poland.

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