Popular Danish shipping company Maersk is to launch its own cargo airline by the second half of 2022 in an attempt to explore another freight area.

Maersk announced its plans in a statement on Friday. The new carrier will be based in Billund, Denmark. 

Transport by sea, land, and…air?

Maersk Air Cargo is the company’s most recent venture and it aims to strengthen end-to-end logistics for the Danish company. 

Active in ocean and inland freight transportation and associated services, such as supply chain management and port operation, Maersk has already made a name for itself as a world-renowned shipping giant. Impressively, the Danish business conglomerate was the largest container shipping line and vessel operator in the world from 1996 until recently in 2021.

The shipping company will undoubtedly wish to increase its operations and levels of expertise, and its decision to venture into air transportation isn’t surprising given the company’s 2021 acquisition of Senator International, an shipping and air freight forwarder. Last December, the company purchased two Boeing 777Fs. 

And the successful company is not entirely new to the aviation sector. They own Star Air, a Danish air cargo airline that operates a fleet of 14 Boeing 767F cargo aircraft. However, it is clear that they now wish to make a greater mark in the air cargo sector with its name at the forefront. 

Star Air aircraft
Star Air is headquartered in Dragør, Denmark. | © Flickr

Maersk Air Cargo will take over operations from Star Air.

By 2024, Maersk Air Cargo intends to add two new 777Fs and lease three 767-300Fs from its complete launch in 2024. These aircraft will run alongside Star Air’s current capacity. In regards to flights between the U.S and China, Maersk is planning to contract three 767-300Ds from another firm – further details have yet to be shared. 

Maersk Air Cargo
Maersk emphasises the reliability of Maersk Air Cargo on its website and its ability to overcome typical air cargo challenges and disruptions. | ©

In a statement the Global Head of Logistics and Services at Maersk, Aymeric Chandavoine said:

“Air freight is a crucial enabler of flexibility and agility in global supply chains as it allows our customers to tackle time-critical supply chain challenges and provides transport mode options for high-value cargo. We strongly believe in working closely with our customers.”

Chandavoine’s comments carry weight, especially as the demand for cargo and air freight has increased significantly since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. Amid current supply chain shortages due to a host of reasons (one being the Russian invasion of Ukraine increasing costs), it makes sense that shipping giant Maersk wishes to take advantage of the budding opportunity in front of them. 


Given the matter in which plans are progressing, it is likely that Maersk Air Cargo’s first flight is only months away. 

Let us know what you think of Maersk’s expansion to air cargo in the comments below!


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