Guillaume Halleux, Chief Cargo
Officer at Qatar Airways Cargo has seen plenty during
a distinguished career in air cargo at Air France and elsewhere but what
he discovered when he joined Qatar Cargo was a surprise.
“Overall this is one airline that
is extremely cargo minded, from the Group CEO, His Excellency Mr. Akbar
Al Baker, to the station level.
“Cargo has a voice,” Guillaume
told me, “it is respected and listened to at Qatar Airways.
“This is a reflection of the fact
that 50% of the airline’s cargo volumes are moved on the bellies
of the passenger aircraft. “There are a number of aircraft type
decisions for the passenger planes that are being made because of the
input from the cargo division.”
“Additionally, the staff dedication
and obsession for customer satisfaction is common amongst all employees.
“This winning combination benefits
not only our organization but also our customers.”
Freighters & Growing
“Continuing from a successful end
to 2017, we started off 2018 positively. “This year, we had three
Boeing 777 freighters join our fleet bringing our freighter fleet count
to 25 as of today.
“At the Farnborough Air Show held
this year, the order for an additional five Boeing 777 freighters was
also a significant moment for cargo.
“We have grown tremendously over the
past 15 years in quality and capacity, and are now the world’s second
largest cargo carrier according to IATA’s international FTK.
“This is a high point for the cargo
division and the airline.
“Cargo revenues also rose 34.4% in
the 2017/18 fiscal year while airfreight volumes increased 17.8% to 1.36m
tons,” Guilluame said.
Products & Technologies
Additional product enhancements are taking
place such as the rollout of mail scanning that went live on October 1
across 49 stations in our network.
“The milestone rollout offers multiple
benefits to customers such as real-time track and trace of mail consignments,
100% paperless operations, ease of billing and accounting for customers,
performance monitoring with real data, electronic data interchange (EDI)
visibility taken by the airline from origin to destination and many more.
Even More Inside The QR Offering
“Ownership, entrepreneur spirit and
customer focus are key to success at Qatar Airways.
“The rest of 2018 looks good and there
are no signals that should give rise to concern.
“We have recently received two of
the aforementioned Boeing 777 freighters and are ready to inject additional
capacity to key trade lanes in time for the peak season. We are also investing
heavily in technology and innovation to simplify business processes for
the benefit of our customers.
“Our operational performance, network
expansion, investments in innovation and fleet expansion are the key factors
in our offering, but most importantly, we understand and deliver according
to our customers’ needs and this is what sets us apart and contributes
to our success,” Guillaume declared.
“The top agenda right now is for us
to support our customers for the peak season which is almost upon us.
“We will be adding a number of extra
flights on pretty much all continents to provide extra space at the time
of the year the market needs it the most.
“The last quarter of 2018 is looking
positive and we are certain to close it on an extremely successful note,”
Once upon a time it was Emirates that was
all the news in air cargo, expanding its world position from what was
a once upon a time place, called Dubai.
Today Emirates has slid into middle age,
stepping back from the spotlight with big announcements and million-dollar
trade show displays at cargo events, while holding its cards close and
continuing as a world power in air cargo.
Meantime Qatar Airways Cargo has come along
during the past decade fast tracking itself to the top of the heap, seemingly
unstoppable even as local politics in the Middle East have unsuccessfully
attempted to shut the airline’s ability to function.
While not specifically addressing the aforementioned,
Guillaume explains some drivers in the growth at Qatar Air Cargo.
“The most recent and common misunderstanding
about QR is to believe that the illegal blockade imposed on Qatar by the
neighboring countries is the drive behind QR Cargo growth. It is not.
About 85% of our volumes are in transit
in Doha; imports into Qatar did increase after the blockade but this accounts
for less than 3% of our growth.”
“The employee-centric culture at the
organization is an important factor to our success.
“Our global team of professionals
has a passion and obsession for service.
“We make every effort to meet our
customers’ requirements in terms of products, schedule, quality
of service and customer experience.
“Over the years, our strategy has
paid off and we see our brand becoming increasingly popular among freight
forwarders and customers.
“We are also strategically located
at the crossroads of Asia, Africa, Americas and Europe, so we are able
to run our operations with a hub-and-spoke approach,” Guilluame
“I am a big fan of the think tank
and brainstorming sessions.
“Such intellectual combinations not
only give rise to several new ideas but also help provide valuable and
actionable solutions for organizations.
“As for telling you about one or two,
I am afraid you’ll have to wait until the copyrights are registered
“When we work with an account, we
are certainly looking for a long-term relationship in the business rather
than a transactional relationship.
“Any business thrives on trust and
“Customers are always at the heart
of everything we do.
“Growth will be driven mainly by pharmaceuticals,
perishables, express and e-commerce shipments for the next five years.
“With our product portfolio and product
enhancements to cater to these growing verticals, we are well positioned
to offer air freight services for these products in addition to other
types of cargo that we transport on our freighters and belly-hold flights.”
The Americas Counts
“Our customers can expect not only
an expanding network and a young and modern fleet but also enhancements
in our products and innovation in customer experience.
“We consider the Americas as a very
important market and we certainly see opportunity for growth in the market
as our expansion in recent years indicates. “The Americas contribute
approximately 10.8 per cent of Qatar Airways Cargo’s overall network
tonnage carried as per YTD Aug-18.
“Currently, we fly our freighters
to twelve destinations and offer belly-hold cargo capacity to thirteen
destinations in the continent offering businesses a seamless service via
our state-of-the-art hub in Doha.
“We also offer capacity on intra-American
destinations and direct flights from U.S. to Europe and vice versa.
“The demand from our growing customer
base will see us continuing our expansion in the continent.”
Angeles Opens October
“As an illustration I can share the
upcoming opening of a new MFM-LAX that begins in October and I can also
state that there will more new stations in 2019 in the Americas,”
Monsieur Halleux assures.