AMSTERDAM, Netherlands: Once again this year, AIR FRANCE KLM MARTINAIR Cargo (AFKLMP Cargo) reaffirmed its commitment to the flower market, meeting seasonal peak flower demand for Valentine’s Day with resounding success.
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and, true to tradition, AFKLMP Cargo shipped about 3,300 tonnes (+10% compared to 2018) of flowers to Europe from leading production and export countries such as Kenya, Ecuador, and Colombia over a two-week period in January and February. These included Kenya’s famous cultivars such as ‘Rhodos’. The additional 1,100 tonnes for Valentine’s Day consist of some 57,500,000 stems.
Using our Boeing 747-400 full-freighter and combi-aircraft, we were able to generate ample main deck capacity to and from our three main flower starting points of Nairobi, Quito, and Bogotá. For the first time, we rerouted four Air France B777 freighter flights from Nairobi to Paris via Amsterdam to support the demand for flowers and Dutch trade. What’s more, the bellies of our long-haul passenger aircraft and interline partners are well suited to carrying flowers to Europe. The greatest share of our capacity is mainly intended to supply the European – primarily Dutch, English, Italian, French and Russian – and Asian, most notably Japanese, markets.
In 2018, AFKLMP Cargo shipped more than 84,000 tonnes of flowers from Africa and Latin America to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. “We met seasonal peak flower demand for this year’s Valentine’s Day with enormous success. We are proud to show our strong commitment and professional dedication to the international flower business, which has a proven history over so many decades,” says Marcel de Nooijer, Executive Vice President AIR FRANCE KLM MARTINAIR Cargo.
Transporting flowers is a delicate process. The quicker they are handled throughout the chain, the longer they will maintain their beauty. The ideal situation is a stable logistics ‘cold chain’ that ensures quick and efficient transportation to keep the flowers as fresh as possible. During the flight on board our aircraft, we respect their delicate nature by constantly maintaining them within optimal temperature range.
To move flowers and plants seamlessly from grower to wholesaler, Royal FloraHolland, Schiphol Cargo, and AFKLMP Cargo have initiated the Holland Flower Alliance, an ambitious group of floricultural logistics professionals dedicated to the pursuit of innovation and sustainability in the floral supply chain. Amsterdam remains Europe’s logistics centre for the flower market, with Schiphol Airport as the world’s preferred Flower Hub, connecting all key production and consumer markets. Royal FloraHolland, located in Aalsmeer, the Netherlands, is the largest trading centre for flowers in the world and plays a crucial role in onward distribution.