Etihad Cargo has racked up some impressive traffic statistics for the first half of this year and the carrier’s vice president for cargo, David Kerr, says it continues to outperform the industry, with significant increases in freight and mail carried.
“The fleet carried over 290,000 tonnes, representing an 8.8 per cent growth in volume for the same period last year,” enthuses Kerr.
“That growth can be attributed to the continued expansion of the airline’s global passenger and cargo network and the addition of new passenger aircraft to the fleet, which have provided extra bellyhold capacity.” Kerr explains.
“We have also rolled out new cargo products designed to meet the specific needs of customers and the strong export and import demands between financial centres and key emerging markets.”
At the beginning of this year, Etihad also launched Tempcheck, a cool-chain cargo service created to ensure the integrity of temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical and healthcare products.
Simultaneously, Etihad Cargo upgraded its temperature-controlled storage facilities in Abu Dhabi and installed facilities to support the new venture.
In June, Etihad Cargo expanded its freighter network with a twice-weekly cargo service to Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo, operated by a Boeing 777 Freighter, transiting via Murtalla Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, Nigeria.
Additional bellyhold capacity has been provided through three Boeing 787 ‘Dreamliner’ aircraft, to Washington DC, Brisbane (Australia) and Zurich (Switzerland). Two new Airbus A380s are being used to serve London and Sydney (Australia).
“Etihad Cargo is a vital part of the airline,” Kerr observes. “The cargo division is already a billion-dollar part of the wider airline group and is continuing to expand.”
Kerr says: “We’re witnessing new trade patterns from emerging markets such as China, Vietnam, Bangladesh and India to Africa via our hub in Abu Dhabi. We are perfectly positioned to take advantage of those trends through our strategic location and with new long-range aircraft being added to the fleet.”
As well as investing in a new cargo terminal in Abu Dhabi to help create an even larger global freight hub, Kerr notes it is working with partners. “We have several strong partnerships, with one example being Avianca Cargo. Both airlines share a common goal in working together to expand their networks for their respective and mutual customers.
“We see a lot of shared opportunities in this partnership which provide mutual benefits and aim to expand in South America, with Avianca Cargo being one of the strongest competitors in this area of the world.”
Kerr concludes: “Our vision is to be seen by our customers as a reliable and trusted partner, and by our partners as a company to do business with – delivering value for both parties.
A lot of what we do is based on the premise of partnership, as evidenced by the work we are doing with partner airlines such as Alitalia, Air Berlin and Jet Airways in the Italian, German and Indian cargo markets.”