CAL Cargo Airlines tells Air Cargo Week (ACW) it has had a good start to 2015 as it launches twice-weekly flights to Atlanta but has shelved plans for services to China.
The airline launched flights to the US city of Atlanta in the state of Georgia on 25 September from Liege Airport in Belgium. In May this year, CAL chief executive officer, Eyal Zagagi told ACW that the airline was considering flights to a Chinese city such as Shanghai but economic problems meant it decided it was not viable.
Zagagi tells ACW: “We saw what was happening in the market [in China], we had to conclude this was not the right thing to do.”
He continues: “We started to look in a different direction. Atlanta is very strong, stable, with a significant need for something like CAL … Atlanta flights are full, it looks like a very positive start.”
He tells ACW that CAL had been looking at other US cities such as Chicago but did not feel it was viable. “We were potentially looking at Chicago. Asian carriers are flying around the globe from Asia to the US via Europe with very low rates.”
Zagagi says Atlanta is well positioned on the East coast of the US for cargo from states such as Pennsylvania, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Florida and Texas. He says road access is very good and is expecting to move automotive parts. The airline is working on a product call CAL AUTO for automotive parts, which Zagagi says is very important for Atlanta.
Zagagi tells ACW: “We looked at several destinations in the US. [Atlanta] has very good access for trucking, it is very convenient. It seems to be a good area to push our products such as pharma and automotive.”
He says CAL has also been considering other locations. “Some lanes at the moment we are also looking at include Halifax [Canada] as a potential step. Last year we did Monckton [Canada], it has seen some good flights and not so good flights.”