Global Airline Services commercial director, Bob Matharoo says 2017 has been a record year and it has exceeded its carriers’ expectations.
“The reasons are due to the current strong exports figures, simply having an experienced, dynamic sales force, understand our markets and cultures and have local robust relationships,” he explains.
The GSSA sells cargo for Turkish Airlines, El Al Israel Airlines and SriLankan Airlines and has seen significant tonnage growth for the carriers compared with 2016 of 28 per cent, 18 per cent and 48 per cent, respectively.
Matharoo says 2016 was exception to rule, as it was the first year for a long time where
it has experienced no seasonal trends, and Global Airlines Services was busy all year around, which has continued in 2017.
As for strong verticals, he notes: “Each GSSA will work to their unique markets trends and this all depends on the principles they represent. For us the carriers we represent have quality services, which cover the globe.
“Apart from the growth in general cargo, we have also seen growth in pharma, e-commerce, IT & telecommunications, automotive, aerospace, and fish.”
Looking ahead, Matharoo feels it remains undecided as to if the recent impetus for air cargo is a start of a stronger growth trend in UK.
“There are a number of reasons the industry is reporting strong growth in areas such
as cross-border, e-commerce and pharmaceuticals, which are expected to continue to
offer opportunities in UK for airfreight in 2017 and beyond,” he says.
With Brexit on the horizon, Matharoo feels wider weakness in world trade conditions remains an ongoing concern such as the impact of Brexit: “The true impact of Brexit, will not be known until legislations are all in place, it will take two years for UK to extract itself from the European Union (EU).
“The government has advised it will leave the single market however retain access to the common market.
“The common market will create a boarder around the EU, goods from outside which are taxed at the same level regardless of which country inside the market imports them, while members benefit from free trade with the market.
“The UK may end up with a deal that does not include access to the common market, which would mean UK exporters may have to lower prices to appeal to EU buyers who will have to pay taxes on goods imported from Britain.”
He believes outside the EU the UK already has large exports markets such as the US, China, Japan, the UAE and Canada while countries such as India have strong business flows with UK creating a potential free-trade partnership connection.
“This will have an impact on the GSSA/airline cargo business, where we a GSSA could see destination trends transform, creating a diverse market,” Matharoo adds.
He is upbeat as says the UK is a “respected trade partner” for its financial, technical and scientific based industries, but Brexit will play a major role on export and import legislations from UK, and will dictate new synergies.
Matharoo adds: “The strength of the pound with play an important role, we all hope for a smooth transition with Brexit.”