I Air Freight Volumes Increases: Airlines upbeat on prospect in 2014
According to the IATA figures for November 2013, worldwide air-freight volumes are showing an upward turn after an extended period of weakness in 2013. It witnessed a strong growth in demand in November that helped the freight load-factors rise above as compared to the same period in the previous year. Cargotalk highlights views from a few major airlines to highlight the recent developments in this sector.
lufthansa Cargo informed it had increased its cargo load factor in 2013 to 69.9% by transported 1.7 million tonne of cargo and mail. Lufthansa Cargo also added the Mexican metropolis of Guadalajara and the Peruvian capital Lima to its schedule.
“We are able to hold our own even in a difficult market environment and have laid the basis in 2013 for important developments in our company,” said Karl Ulrich Garnadt, CEO, Lufthansa Cargo. Lufthansa Cargo will further modernise its freighter fleet in 2014.
The company already accepted delivery of two brand new Boeing-777 freighters in November of last year. Another two of these modern, fuel-efficient aircraft will be handed over to the airline in the first six months of the current year.
According to Keki Patel, Cargo Manager, India & Nepal, Emirates SkyCargo is presently witnessing an upbeat outbound demand from India which is a positive sign for Indian exports. Pharma, chemicals, perishables, machinery spares for OEM, and valuable cargo will continue to show strength in the coming months and beyond.
“We are maintaining good cargo loadfactors from all our 10 stations in India and continue to operate our scheduled freighter operations Mumbai– Dubai turn-around,” he added.
Emirates has catered to few customers’ urgent logistic needs through additional
charter services, ex-BOM and ex-DEL, and ensured their competitive edge in their market-place.
Patel is expecting Indian air exports to improve in tonnage and better returns for the value-added services the airline offers. “We hope to see more maturity coming in the industry with active and serious participation in the projects like e-Freight and CASS Export Billing,” he emphasised.
Pravin Singh, Area Commercial Manager South Asia, IAG Cargo Air Cargo has seen varying levels of regional performance and the Asian markets have been relatively buoyant. IAG Cargo has introduced capacity into the market over the last two years at Seoul and Chengdu airports. They have also noted a gradual shift in China’s production centres from East to West, as part of China’s ‘Go West’ policy. “To meet the subsequent shift in demand, we recently launched a thrice-weekly cargo service between London Heathrow and Chengdu in the South-West. We are looking at additional opportunities in the region and we see China as a key strategic market,” he shared. He pointed out that there have been increases in the flow of goods from Asia Pacific to South America–specifically, hi-tech goods and drugs from India to South
America. “We witnessed increased activity through the end of 2013 with some credit to be attributed to major technology launches as well as on-going economic recovery in the Euro Zone,” he said.
In 2013, IAG Cargo has announced a number of significant enhancements for the Indian market. Hyderabad and Chennai have benefited from additional services, meaning that IAG Cargo now offered daily flights to the major pharmaceutical hub of Hyderabad, and 6 services a week in Chennai. With these announcements, IAG Cargo now operated 46 line flights a week into India. “With improved connectivity at our global hub in London and Madrid, customers can access 350 destinations around the world. We have also invested in our digital distribution channels – IAGCargo.com and the IAG and Cargo App to ensure that customers can interact with us via the channel that suits them best,” Singh said.
Commenting on the future prospect, Singh maintained that the Indian market has been mostly buoyant. With the augmentation in pharmaceutical industry, IAG Cargo has invested heavily in this temperature and timesensitive commodity that requires special handling through our pharmaceutical specific product, ‘Constant Climate’.
“As an airline, we have responded promptly to the demands of a changing market and have provided specialised solutions. We have completed the construction of our Constant Climate Centre in London, to ensure that terminating and transiting pharma shipments are kept in the optimal conditions,” said Singh.
“We are committed to investing in our infrastructure, including technology, to improve the customer experience. In accordance with IATA’s e-airway bill recommendation, we are committed to creating a 100 per cent paper-free air cargo supply chain”, he said.
IAG Cargo is witnessing a divergence in the number of products being produced in India, and being demanded by Indian consumers. “We are planning continued investment in our express solution Prioritise and our pharmaceutical solution Constant Climate. With the additional capacity, and even improving products, Indian businesses
will be able to send goods further, faster and more secure than ever before,” Singh added.
IAG Cargo has announced new routes for the next generation B-787 and A-380 aircraft, which will be deployed across a number of key routes in the IAG Cargo network through 2014. The airline recently announced that its 787s would begin serving Hyderabad from March 30, 2014. The B-787, equipped with specified air-conditioning capabilities in the hold, will prove beneficial to customers in the pharmaceutical manufacturing hub of Hyderabad; ensuring stable onboard conditions to export temperature sensitive goods from the regions.
Ashish Kapur, Regional Cargo Manager – South Asia, Middle East & Africa, Cathay Pacific Airways, says that, “With North America coming out of recession and Europe showing positive trends, we expect the current surge to continue through 2014”. He also maintained that the Indian market has performed well and has been a growing market for Cathay Pacific this year. “In our assessment, pharma will be a high-growth area, and we also feel that the garment industry is set to rebound in 2014 which could be a surprise package. 2013 has been a good year for Cathay Pacific in India. We have lifted close to 56,000 tonne on our freighters from India in this year,” he said.
We are maintaining
good cargo loadfactors from all our 10
stations in India ”
Keki Patel Cargo Manager, India & Nepal, Emirates
We are able to hold our own even in a difficult market and have laid the basis in 2013 for important
Karl Ulrich Garnadt
CEO, Lufthansa Cargo
We are committed to investing in our infrastructure, including technology, to improve the
Pravin Singh Area Commercial Manager,
S.Asia, IAG Cargo
In our assessment, pharmaceuticals and garments will be highgrowth areas in this year”
Ashish Kapur Regional Cargo Manager - S Asia, ME &
Africa, Cathay Pacific Airways