Panalpina leveraging Silk Way West

Silk Way West Airlines’ forthcoming service mentality has prompted Panalpina to extend its cooperation with the Azerbaijan-based carrier.


Panalpina leveraging Silk Way West


Silk Way West Airlines’ forthcoming service mentality has prompted Panalpina to extend its cooperation with the Azerbaijan-based carrier. So far, Panalpina has offered a midweek scheduled charter from Luxembourg to Shanghai via Baku and back. However, Panalpina has now introduced a second rotation on the weekend, as well.

Panalpina is adding calls in Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku, as part of its long-term strategy to expand and optimise its controlled air freight network. Scheduled charters that are operated by Silk Way West Airlines and fly between Luxembourg and Shanghai now call in Baku four times per week. Silk Way deploys B747-8 freighters, which are particularly well-suited for the transport of outsized oil and gas equipment and temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals.

“This is a two-way, twice-weekly connection with blocked space in both directions,” says Sou Ping Chee, Panalpina’s head of Air Freight for Asia Pacific. “Eastbound we fly mostly temperaturesensitive pharmaceuticals, where we see further growth potential. The majority of this cargo flies all the way to Shanghai Pudong International Airport, which is home to new cool chain facilities. On the way back to Europe via Baku, we carry mostly fast fashion and high-tech products.”

“We deliver equipment from Luxembourg to Azerbaijan for the country’s main oil and gas fields east of Baku in the Caspian Sea,” says Slavey Djahov, Panalpina’s head of Air Freight for the Middle East, Africa and CIS (MEAC). Panalpina’s cargo mix into Baku is slowly shifting, with most of the cargo that is offloaded in Baku destined for the company’s international oil and gas customers, but volumes of technology goods, as well as pharmaceuticals, are also growing.