Boxes are loaded onto an aircraft via a conveyor belt
Boxes are loaded onto an aircraft via a conveyor belt

Last mail plane takes off

Published: 28 March 2024, 15:40

Nighttime connection to Stuttgart discontinued

After more than 62 years, Deutsche Post has discontinued its domestic airmail service. On Thursday night, the last aircraft took off from Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) shortly after midnight and flew to Stuttgart.

Boxes are loaded onto an aircraft via a conveyor belt

Until now, a mail flight had departed for Stuttgart at 0.30 am four-to-five days a week, with the aircraft from Stuttgart landing at BER at around 1 am. There were 459 mail flights between Berlin and Stuttgart at BER throughout 2023. Mail transport is now being switched to other modes of transport.

This is made possible by an amendment to the German Postal Act, which slightly extends the maximum permissible letter delivery times. Previously, Deutsche Post was obliged to deliver at least 80 percent of all letters on the next working day. For letters sent from Freiburg to Usedom, for example, this was only possible with the help of the mail aircraft. The revision of the Postal Act now makes it possible to forgo domestic mail flights at night.

In the passenger cabin of an aircraft, the seats are covered and a conveyor belt is laid over the backrests of a row of seats, which is used to transport boxes to the rear of the aircraft.

However, Deutsche Post will not be able to manage entirely without aircraft in the future: the company will continue to use airmail in some cases for letters sent abroad. These small quantities are transported as additional cargo in the belly of regular passenger aircraft.


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