Panalpina adds freighter calls in Baku, Azerbaijan

Panalpina announced that is adding calls in Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku, as part of its long-term strategy to expand and optimize its controlled air freight network. Scheduled charters that are operated by Silk Way West Airlines and fly between Luxembourg and Shanghai, China, are planned to call in Baku four times per week.

Silk Way Airlines is an Azerbaijan based carrier and deploys 747-8 freighters on the route, which are particularly well-suited for the transport of outsized oil and gas equipment and temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals. Previously 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.

“This is a two-way, twice-weekly connection with blocked space in both directions,” said Sou Ping Chee, Panalpina’s head of Air Freight for Asia Pacific. “Eastbound we fly mostly temperature-sensitive 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.”

The nose-loading capability of the deployed 747-8 freighters is used for outsized oil and gas cargo. “We deliver equipment from Luxembourg to Azerbaijan for the country’s main oil and gas fields east of Baku in the Caspian Sea,” said Slavey Djahov, Panalpina’s head of Air Freight for the Middle East, Africa and CIS.

Panalpina’s services between Luxembourg and Baku, and Baku and Shanghai, are called Caspian Star and Panda Star, respectively.