Cargolux Italia is the largest Italian all-cargo carrier and has steadily grown its presence and network in recent years, which has helped it through a tough year writes Justin Burns.
2016 has been a difficult with negative market headwinds impacting performance, especially on certain Asian routes such as Hong Kong and other Chinese destinations.
Cargolux Italia chief executive officer, Pierandrea Galli says on the export side, it has seen strong demand on sectors to Japan, where it operates three times a week.
On the three weekly flights to China and a twice-weekly service to New York it is also seeing high demand, while on the import side, the strongest market is Hong Kong, where it operates four weekly flights, as well as China.
Asia is its core trade lane and the strongest demand is on lanes into the region and it is taking full of its dual-hub system in Zhengzhou, as well as in Hong Kong for imports.
As for the Italian marketplace, Galli says in the first three quarters of 2016, the Italian markets have not shown much growth, but with strong support from customers it has increased its market share.
Galli also notes: “The main products out of Italy are luxury goods. However, we are steadily increasing our cool chain and pharma shipments, especially from Central and Southern Italy. It is a challenging market though, as we face competition from belly carriers.”
In 2017, Cargolux Italia is planning a consolidation of its current operation, but he explains there is “always room for growth” and it is “always open” when new opportunities arise.
Galli says: “We are concentrating on our current product portfolio and creating the best possible value for our customers within our current network. We still see room to increase our sales activities in the markets we serve.
“In the coming years, the main opportunities are in increasing our presence in China, through our hub at Zhengzhou. There is also growth potential in Japan where we are currently limited by bilateral agreements between Italy and Japan. But Cargolux Italia is a flexible airline and we are ready to take on any opportunity that we see in the market or from our customers.
“The main challenge, naturally, is the growing competition in Milan Malpensa, where other carriers are increasing their frequencies.”