SAA hoping for better year

South African Airways (SAA) Cargo says it is hopeful that business will improve in 2016 as it faces a slow global economy, countries in the region suffer from drought and weakness of the South African rand.

SAA Cargo general manager, Tleli Makhetha tells Air Cargo Week: “We experienced a decline in volumes in 2015 due to a number of factors namely; the cancellation of direct services to Beijing and Mumbai, and the global economy experienced a slump, as a result imports and exports were affected.”

“The price of products is expected to continue rising. The suppliers will look at cutting transportation costs and the risk lies with some shipments being diverted to sea freight. Drought has impacted the agriculture sector in all countries in our region.”

Overcapacity remains a major issue with overseas carriers increasing capacity and dominating the market. Makhetha says: “The airlines from other continents that have vested interests in expanding their share in African markets should also make an effort to contribute towards improving air cargo in Africa.”

Makhetha believes African nations can improve if they work together. “We are of the view that African countries have to cooperate in order to address the imbalance and encourage movement of cargo between countries without any hindrances resulting from rigid local aviation regulations and restrictive intra-African traffic rights.”