Bournemouth Airport’s Cargo First air freight business and base operator European Cargo are gearing up for the autumn peak having seen continued growth on Asia-to-UK e-commerce trade routes.

The successful partnership combines Cargo First's handling operation and strategic location at Bournemouth Airport just 90 minutes from London, with European Cargo's growing fleet of fully converted Airbus A340-600 long-haul freighters.

With three freighters already operating on China-UK routes (Chengdu and Haikou) and more aircraft commencing operations in the coming months, Cargo First and European Cargo are pitching Bournemouth as the go-to hub for peak season e-commerce and will jointly attend Air Cargo China in Shanghai later this month.

This comes at a time when the busy London hubs are already constrained and volatility in the Red Sea continues to drive multi-modal cargo solutions.

Bournemouth Airport Managing Director Steve Gill said: "Our collaboration with European Cargo has established Bournemouth as a reliable and cost-effective hub for e-commerce and other air freight into the UK, with a proven track record of delivering a highly efficient service for time-sensitive consignments for our customers.

“With European Cargo's additional freighters coming on stream shortly and the constraints facing other UK hubs, we see a significant opportunity to grow the market further as we ramp up for the peak season."

Gill said Cargo First had recruited 15 new staff to warehouse, aircraft handling and security roles in the last year and was looking at longer term infrastructure investment to create more dedicated cargo facilities at Bournemouth.

European Cargo’s Chief Executive Jason Holt added: "We recently celebrated the first anniversary of flights from Bournemouth to Chengdu and in our first year operated almost 300 flights carrying some 20,000 tonnes of cargo. 

"With our fourth fully converted long-haul freighter expected to enter service in July and two more by October, we see continued growing interest in our aircraft and services. We continue to gear up to handle the autumn peak and accompanying additional services coming on stream in the next few months."

IMAGE CREDIT: Bournemouth Airport and Cargo First