Etihad Cargo predicts modest growth in 2017

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Etihad Cargo senior vice president, David Kerr

2017 will be a year of modest growth at Etihad Cargo following a strong start, senior vice president David Kerr (pictured) predicts.

He says the first two quarters have been the strongest for a couple of years and Etihad Cargo has enhanced its fleet and network.

Etihad Cargo took delivery of an Airbus A330 Freighter earlier this year, bringing the freighter fleet to 10 – five A330Fs and five Boeing 777 Freighters.

The freighter network has also expanded with flights to Phnom Penh in June and an additional Colombo – Rickenbacker – East Midlands – Abu Dhabi service.

Etihad Cargo also signed a memorandum of understanding with Royal Air Maroc to cooperate on a number of trade lanes including the USA, Canada, Brazil and West Africa.

Describing the outlook, Kerr says: “The rest of the year looks fairly healthy – yields have stabilised and tonnage is growing.”

The United Arab Emirates is a major transhipment hub, and the majority of the cargo Etihad transports is transhipped through Abu Dhabi on trade lanes including Asia-Europe and Europe-Asia.

Kerr says Etihad Cargo has seen its Indian business grow significantly in recent years, particularly pharmaceutical traffic, while e-commerce out of Asia and North America as a whole have also grown.

He says: “As an airline group we have partnerships with other airlines which give us a lot of capacity into markets to which we do not operate directly – such as South America with Avianca Cargo.”

Etihad Cargo flies to or plans to serve more than 110 passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas, and the Americas, and has partnerships with other airlines.

Kerr explains: “Through the capacity on our partner airlines, which we manage, we have increased our offerings on the North Atlantic route through AirBerlin; and all capacity on routes operated by Alitalia to and from Italy is sold through the Etihad Cargo brand using Etihad’s 607 air waybill number.”

Kerr predicts the UAE airfreight market will continue to grow as the economy and population expand, and Etihad Cargo is well placed to serve it.

He says: “Our country’s airlines and airports serve many of the world’s busiest trade corridors thanks to our geocentric location, modern equipment and infrastructure, and a government which has been very supportive of the logistics industry.”