Marseille acts as gateway to North Africa

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Throughout its history, the French city of Marseille has always been an important trading centre, and the airport is helping retain this position by acting as a gateway to North Africa.

Marseille Province Airport cargo manager, Jean-Marc Boutigny says North Africa “is full of energy with growing demand”, and trade is growing fast, particularly with Algeria. He says Marseille is handling more and more American, Japanese and Chinese freight in transit to Algiers or Hassi Messaoud.

A new weekly Marseille-Algiers-Marseille freighter route has been confirmed in cooperation with Icar Aviation and Air Algérie Cargo.

Boutigny comments: “This new freighter service will start on 3 July 2018 thanks to a brand new B737-800F chartered by Icar Aviation to Air Algérie Cargo. It is dedicated to all freight forwarders involved in transportation from and to Algeria.

“We are all very excited to develop this new reliable logistical bridge between Marseilles and Algiers.”

Algeria is Marseille’s main trading partner with 2,500 tonnes of general cargo last year, followed by Tunisia with 2,000 tonnes of mainly express cargo.

A lot of drilling parts and industrial spare parts fly to Algeria and most traffic into Tunis is for DHL Express. Out of North Africa, the main goods from Casablanca in Morocco include fishes, fruits and vegetables, crayfish from Annaba in Algeria and dates from Biskra in Algeria.

North Africa continues to be a focus area, with historical partners including Air Algérie Cargo, Icar Aviation and Tunisair Fret.

Boutigny says: “We work together to promote new markets, new economical areas, to find solutions to short the time of transportation and facilitate the rules. It’s a real ‘’go between’’ relationship to go forward.”

He remains confident about the future of North Africa, saying: “As the Western Mediterranean cargo hub, Marseille Provence Airport will be ready to support all its customers to propose ‘’tailor made’’ services.”