Ethiopian Cargo: Vision 7, 25,000 tonnes by 2025
With the average of 18,000 tonnes on freighters and 6,500 tonnes in belly space, Ethiopian Cargo serves 30 international destinations. Berhanu Kassa, Director Global Cargo Sales & Services, Ethiopian discusses expansion plans and more.
Q How many freighters does Ethiopian have and how is the fleet shaping up?
We have five B777s and two B575s. One more B777 freighter is to join the fleet in December 2015. The B777 freighters are used for long haul services for Europe, the Far East, and Indian Sub-Continent while the B757s are used to cover the Gulf region and African destinations.
Q What is your major export commodity from India? Which other verticals are you focusing on?
Garments, industrial goods and medicines or pharma products are the major export commodities from India. And, currently we are focusing on targetting temperature sensitive pharma products.
Q Are you planning to add more stations to export cargo from India?
We are targeting Bengaluru to be the next freighter destination. A flight is already planned and the service will start in the first week of November 2015.
Q Please tell us about the location of the new cargo terminal and facilities you will be offering the cargo agents.
The existing cargo terminal has become two small to accommodate the growing cargo traffic. Hence the expansion will provide a total of 1.2 million tonnage capacity per year. The new cargo terminal is four times larger than the existing facility.
The first phase of the expansion will be completed in 12 months from now. The terminal will offer additional cold room facility for efficient services of local perishable exports such as flowers, fruits and vegetables and meat, and for transiting temperature sensitive products. Cargo agents will have adequate office and working space to expand their business and facilitate services.
Q How are you doing in the transportation of time and temperature-sensitive goods? Currently, the existing cargo terminal has two cold room facilities, out of which one is exclusively used for the handling of flowers, fruits and vegetables exported to
various countries. In Europe and Middle East, this can accommodate two B777 freighters load at a time.
The second cold room is used mainly to handle meat exports and for the storage of other temperature-sensitive products, including pharma. This cold room has pallet ETVs suitable to store produces on airline pallets which are ideal to keep such products temporally during transit.
Q What do you foresee as India’s contribution in comparison to your global presence?
Indian products such as garments, fabrics, industrial products and medicines are well consumed across African countries. Ethiopian airlines has been in India for over 40 years, connecting the sub-continent to all African nations in its wide network. Therefore, India has a special place for Ethiopian Airlines cargo business growth and its global presence.
Q Now there is a marked increase in the acceptance of Ethiopian in North India. What has been the strategy for India?
Ethiopian is serving Delhi with twice weekly B777 freighter schedules; the flight operates between Shanghai-Delhi-Addis Ababa. The flight shares 40 per cent of its capacity for Delhi to uplift cargo for African destinations. Frequency can grow further based on increasing demand.
Q What is your opinion of the fact that the Indian air cargo industry is facing huge operating costs?
For us, the operating cost is still manageable but the declining rates are a major concern.
Q What is the USP in terms of creating value to customers?
Our wide network in Africa, both on freighter and passenger flight still remains a our USP. Strategic location, a modern fleet and a cargo facility are our added advantages.
Q What are the tonnages on flights out of India? How are flights into India doing as far as import tonnages are concerned?
Ethiopian uplifts an average of 300 tonnes from Mumbai and 50 tonnes from both Delhi and Chennai per week. Traffic has seasonal variance, but it has been a steady growth over the years. Import volume is insignificant.
Q In November 2010, Ethiopian set out a bold vision of 7, 25,000 tonnes of cargo by 2025. What is the current status?
Our uplift for the year ending June 2015 has a record of 2,90,000 tonnes. With increasing capacity in terms of fleet and cargo facility, we are confident that we are on track to meet our target of 725,000 tonnes yearly uplift by 2025.
Berhanu Kassa Director Global Cargo Sales & Services Ethiopian