Parchim Int’l Airport sees blue skies ahead

With a handful of charter and scheduled cargo customers already secured, the Chinese owners of the former East German, Soviet-era air base now known as Parchim International Airport have grand plans to turn it into a major cargo hub.

Airbus A380 Antonov 124 Jade Cargo LinkGlobal Logistics Parchim Int'l Airport

In 2007, China-based for LinkGlobal Logistics paid nearly US$130 million for Parchim Airport, in an unprecedented deal that saw Chinese investors buying their first airport outside of China and beating out 10 other competitors in the process, including Hamburg Airport and Emirates Airline in an international tender.

The airport has an authorized annual capacity of 180,000 flights – thanks largely to its military roots – and can handle all kinds of civil aircraft, including the Antonov 124 and Airbus A380.

“We could see the opportunity and we have the capability to develop this airport and that is why we are committed to this project,” said Jonathan Pang speaking to Payload Asia on the sidelines of Air Cargo Europe.

When asked about the substantial competition – both from well established players across Europe as well as the up-and-coming airports that military roots – Pang says, “we don’t see it as competition we see it as being complementary.”

“In Europe there are many airports but in some airports they have restrictions – some cannot do extraordinarily large cargo or have slot and night restrictions,” he explains. A recent project involved a shipment of train carriages for Bombardier from Germany to India. Parchim was selected, Pang said, because it had the handling facilities, the slots and crucially, 24-hour operational.