ACE: Qatar to open a new cool chain facility and start Heathrow freighter


Qatar Airways Cargo will open a new Climate Control Centre (CCC) next month and is to start a weekly Airbus A330 Freighter service to London Heathrow Airport on 3 June.

The announcements were made at air cargo europe in Munich today where the carrier held a press conference.

The CCC is 2,470 square metres airside transit facility for temperature-sensitive cargo including pharmaceuticals and perishables and will feature two zones operating for two to eight degrees Celsius or 15 to 25 degrees Celsius. It will have capacity for 156 unit load device at a time.

Qatar Airways Cargo also revealed it has opened a 6,700 square metre dedicated transit facility for courier and mail products at Hamad International Airport with a capacity of 256,000 tonnes.

Chief officer for cargo, Ulrich Ogiermann says the carrier is running out of space in Doha and needs both facilities to meet increasing demand and the growth it is seeing.

Qatar Airways Cargo is building a new cargo terminal (CT2) and phase one is set to open in 2021 which will give it the capacity it needs. The 110,000 square metre will boost the carrier’s capacity to 4.6 million tonnes.

As for the new Heathrow freighter service, Ogiermann says it will complement freighters it already runs into London Stansted Airport and he adds if any more slots come up it would be interested. It will run at about 3pm on Saturdays.

He also explains that the carrier is now the third largest international cargo carrier according to IATA figures measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTK) and it plans on expanding its fleet.

It will receive four additional Boeing 777 Freighters between September 2017 and March 2019 to bring the freighter fleet to 25. And new passenger destinations are to launch later this year to the likes of Thailand, Cameroon, Gabon and Slovenia giving it a further 200 tonnes of weekly belly capacity.

Ogiermann says the carrier’s eAWB penetration rate was 72 per cent as of March this year and it is targeting a penetration rate of 80 per cent by the end of the year.