January 11th, 1995
Upstart ready for competition
Stockholm Skavsta concentrates on air freight
Air freight companies are crowded at Stockholm's Arlanda International, on the ground and in the air. But now there's competition: Stockholm Skavsta, concentrating on freight flights, and about an hour south of Stockholm by road. At Nyköping, on the E4, it can take all types of aircraft, including the heaviest freight aircraft.
Stockholm Skavsta is an exmilitary airfield, owned by the town of Nyköping and providing all the modern services and facilities needed by freight forwarding companies: long, renovated runways, night flying facilities, large transit stores, customs services, conveyors and space for company buildings.
The Nyköping town council has previously maintained a low profile in its dealings with the airport, but as freight quantities have increased and business in the region has started to demand improved air links, the council has stepped up its involvement.
- We've received a very positive response from business in the Stockholm / Mälar Valley region, says Thomas Nilsson, Skavsta's Managing Director. For a start, our charges are quite a lot lower than elsewhere, which of course is appreciated. And our relative smallness means that we can respond quickly and flexibly and that there's always plenty of starting and landing slots available.
100 km from Stockholm, Skavsta is Sweden's fourth largest airport in terms of ground area. It's also in the top five in terms of the amount of freight carried, amounting to about 7080 tonnes/week. DHL has a daily flight to Copenhagen and the UK, and accounts for about a third of the freight through the airport.
The right side of Stockholm
Among the major exporters in the region who are making increasing use of Skavsta are SaabScania, Ericsson, TetraLaval and Astra. A factor common to all of them is that they are all located to the south of Stockholm. Today, much of their air freight is handled by Arlanda, which means that it must first be carried by road through Stockholm in order to reach Arlanda International. There are no alternative routes to and from Arlanda than through Stockholm. A situation that the companies regard as timeconsuming and unsatisfactory from an environmental viewpoint.
About 60 % of all freight to or from Arlanda is for companies south of Stockholm. As far as Skavsta is concerned, its situation to the south of the city is a major competitive advantage.
The airport is also placing great emphasis on adapting to environmental requirements. As far as the airlines are concerned, it is much nearer to the continent, reducing fuel costs.
Complement to Arlanda
The terminal is newly renovated, with a taxfree shop in the same building as Nyge Aero. One of this company's specialities is heavy maintenance for various operators. The Swedish coastguard service recently decided to base one of its two airsea rescue stations at Skavsta due to the synergic effect of the availability of Nyge Aero's services, the modern hangar and the position: close to Stockholm and the coast, with a deepwater harbour within 20 km.
Local businesses have not been slow to see the benefits of Skavsta Business Park. Many companies have close links with aircraft, flying or freight. The freight depot has become a busy link in freight connections to and from Europe and the Baltic countries, with trucks constantly fetching and delivering.
Although the growth in traffic through Skavsta competes directly with Arlanda International, the airport does not regard itself as a competitor.
- We're a complement to Arlanda, which is suffering from congestion on the ground and in the air. Everyone would benefit by Skavsta taking some of the pressure off Arlanda. We have the capacity to expand, but we've no intention of abandoning what we see as the benefits of a small airport: punctuality, a good choice of slots and fast, friendly service, says Managing Director Thomas Nilsson, and adds, with a gleam in his eye:
- But of course, first come, first served .....
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