‘Competition keeps us on our toes’
With 183 weekly wide-body aircraft services connecting customers to 150 cities in 80 countries on six continents, Emirates SkyCargo is moving on the right track. Jassim Saif, Vice President, Cargo Commercial–West Asia & South East Asia, Emirates Airline t
spares, perishables and electronic items. Emirates SkyCargo is one of the key facilitators of cargo from India. We operate stations in nine locations, including Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Cochin, Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Thiruvananthapuram. What are your expectations for FY 2016-17?
We expect to see healthy growth in all of our key markets in the coming year, especially in regions like Africa, the Middle East and North America. Besides growing our network, we will continue to grow our capacity as the airline receives new aircraft. For India specifically, we are optimistic about the air cargo industry. Air cargo demand out of India is growing in terms of tonnage. At the same time, we have noticed an increase in the amount of capacity offered in the market. This is mainly due to operators enhancing their passenger aircraft fleet to wide-bodied aircrafts, which has led to increase in belly capacity. Hence, customers have a wide range of choices for sending their freight anywhere in the world. What is the current state of air cargo operations in the country? There are currently over 60 carriers operating from Indian airports i ncluding i ntegrators, charters, LCCs and full service airlines like Emirates SkyCargo. The good news is that competition keeps us on our toes and customers get more choice. The challenge is that excess cargo market capacity at most airports puts great pressure on yields and despite the overall growth in air exports, the demand has been erratic month-on-month and is extremely sensitive to factors such as currency exchange rates and oil prices.
Air cargo demand out of India is growing in terms of tonnage. At the same time, we have noticed an increase in the amount of capacity offered in the market
These current challenges and the industry changes of the past few years, including market volatility, financial crisis, security and environmental restrictions, could turn out to be the catalyst for more in the industry to innovate and embrace technology.
For Emirates SkyCargo, we believe that the key to success for the air cargo industry lies in innovation, particularly in IT, as a means to excel across the entire air freight value chain, and not just within the context of an airline, a forwarder, or a ground handler. This is an area that we continue to invest in. Which are the top markets to which cargo is transported?
Emirates SkyCargo is the largest airline cargo operator in the world, ranked #3 in RTKMs, after the big consolidators FEDEX and UPS. The top market regions for cargo from India include the Middle East, Europe, Africa and the US. We operate in many of the world’s fastest developing markets, including 27 gateways in Africa, 16 in the Middle East and 18 in the Far East. For our customers, this means quick access to new markets, and also access to primary as well as secondary cities in major markets like the UK, Germany and China.
We continue to expand our global network, with Yinchuan and Zhengzhou coming online in China, Cebu and Clark in the Philippines, Yangon in Myanmar and Hanoi in Vietnam in the next few months.
In India, where we have operated for over 30 years and have the expertise and products to cater to all of India’s key verticals for airfreight. What are the vital trends in the Indian air cargo industry?
According to IATA’s airline industry forecast (2014-2018), India will be amongst the top 10 largest international freight markets by 2018. It is also projected to be the second fastest growing market, after Iran, with a CAGR of 6.8 per cent and adding over 600,000 of total freight tonnes.