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   Vol. 15  No. 28
Monday April 6, 2016

Aircraft Facilities Spiral Etihad Upward

Aircraft Facilities Spiral Etihad Upward

    Although it has often found itself—alongside its Middle East peers— caught up in rows with regulators and competitors (mainly in Europe) about how it has funded and managed its expansion, there is no doubt that Etihad Airways is a major star in the world of air freight even when markets are stubbornly slow.
    In 2014 Etihad Cargo recorded a 19.2 percent year-on-year surge in cargo revenue, which totaled $1.11bn, aided by a 16.8 percent increase in freight and mail volumes to 569,000 tons.
    Its cargo division produced a “standout performance,” said the Abu Dhabi-based airline, while industry veteran James Hogan, the carrier’s Australian president and chief executive, saluted Etihad Cargo, adding that it “has consistently outperformed the global market” and its “impressive 17 percent growth in freight ton kilometers in 2014 is four times the industry average.” High praise, indeed.
    Growth was a bit slower in 2015, but it has still been eye-catching given the disappointing growth in world trade and the bearish nature of cargo markets for much of the year.
    David Kerr, VP of Etihad Cargo, attributes the growth to the continued expansion of the airline’s global passenger and cargo network, and the addition of new passenger aircraft to the fleet, which have provided extra bellyhold capacity.
    “We have also rolled out new cargo products designed to meet the specific needs of customers, and the strong export and import demands between financial centers and key emerging markets,” he told FlyingTypers.
    “During the first half of the year the airline launched new passenger services to Kolkata, Madrid, Entebbe, Edinburgh, and Hong Kong to complement our existing global network, enabling Etihad Cargo to extend its reach and offer bellyhold capacity to new routes in India, Africa, Europe, and Asia.
    “Last year we also launched Tempcheck, a new cargo solution created to ensure the integrity of all temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical and healthcare products as they are transported around the world.
    “As part of the Tempcheck introduction, we upgraded our temperature controlled storage facilities in Abu Dhabi and installed purpose-built facilities to support the new venture. We are continuing to providing a range of active solutions from all major industry providers, including recognized providers such as Envirotainer, C-Safe, and Va-Q-tec.”
    Etihad currently operates a fleet freighter aircraft to 38 destinations on its passenger network, while its freighter-only routes serve key cities around the world including Bogotá, Chittagong, Dar es Salaam, Djibouti, Dubai World Central, Eldoret, Guangzhou, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Houston, Kabul, Miami, Sharjah, and Tbilisi.
    “We’re witnessing new trade patterns from emerging markets such as China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and India to Africa via our hub in Abu Dhabi,” said Kerr. “We are perfectly positioned to take advantage of those trends through our strategic location and with new long range aircraft being added to the fleet.”
    An additional two B777Fs are due to join the fleet this year, joining its current freighter roster of three Boeing 777Fs, three Boeing 747Fs, and four Airbus A330Fs.
    Cargo operations will also be aided when Abu Dhabi airport is upgraded. “The Midfield Terminal project is due to complete in 2017,” said Kerr. “We are building for the future here and that is why we are currently investing in a new cargo terminal in Abu Dhabi to help create an even larger global freight hub.”
Sky King

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