NewsWeek Etihad ventures into East Africa market
KUWAITI LOW-FARE carrier Jazeera Airways is to inaugu- rate a twice-weekly A320 service to the Iraqi city of Najaf on 17 April.
ACCORDING TO the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines, carriers in the region flew 7.8 percent more international freight tonne-km in February than in the same month last year.
IN A RECORD-BREAKING year for revenue Garuda Indonesia carried 229,000 tons of cargo in 2011, an increase of 10.8 percent compared to 2010.
LAN AIRLINES will introduce its new B787 aircraft on routes linking Santiago, Buenos Aires, Lima, Los Angeles, Madrid and Frankfurt during their first year of operations.
ETIHAD Airways inaugurat- ed a double-daily A320 service to the Kenyan capital of Nairobi from Abu Dhabi on 2 April. Noting the Nairobi route
as Etihad’s first passenger ven- ture into the East African market, the company said it is a strategic part of its vision for growth in the continent. As the inaugural flight
touched down at Jomo Keny- atta International airport, CEO James Hogan com- mented: “This year will see considerable growth for us within Africa as a whole, as we observe strong and emerging markets across the continent.”
Etihad Crystal Cargo,
which introduced freighter services to Nairobi in March 2009, will continue to operate all-cargo flights at their current frequency of five a week. A spokesman said the com-
bined bellyhold capacity of the passenger services and the main-deck space of the cargo aircraft will allow the airline to carry 340 tonnes of cargo each week between Nairobi and Abu Dhabi. Through transhipment at
the airline’s Abu Dhabi hub, cargo can reach major com- mercial destinations in China, Europe and the US, as well as across North Asia, South-East
Asia, the Indian subcontinent and Australia. With Chinese investment
in Africa growing every day, cargo demand in both direc- tions is certain to be strong.
n Cargo revenue at Etihad in the first quarter of the year was up from US$142 million for the first three months of 2011, to $159 million for the same period this year.
ECS Group takes stake in Niger all-cargo carrier
ECS Group, the leading net- work general sales and service agency (GSSA) headquartered in Paris, has taken a control- ling interest in Niger Air Cargo, a new all-cargo airline in West Africa. The airline, launched in
association with a private investor in Niger, will operate a weekly MD-11 or DC-10 freighter service from Bel- gium’s Liège airport to Niamey, the capital and largest city in Niger. Each flight will offer up to 85 tonnes of cargo capacity. ECS Group is acting as the
exclusive global GSSA for Niger Air Cargo, utilising the strength of its network of offices in 51 locations in 31 countries in Europe, the Mid- dle East, Africa, the Americas and Asia. Every station will sell the service and deliver cargo to Liège for consolidation. Bertrand Schmoll, CEO
Nigeria and Mali, as well as the domestic market.” He added: “The registra-
tion of Niger Air Cargo will allow ECS to seal special pro- rate agreements with other carriers interested in this reli- able link into Africa and intra-Africa.” ECS Group expects a wide
Schmoll offers “an innovative cargo solution”
of ECS Group, said: “This new project is a very impor- tant step for ECS and our airline partners to Africa. “Firstly, we are offering an
innovative cargo solution into Niger to support its growing market. We will also offer unique logistics solutions in the region ... especially with
range of cargoes to be gener- ated for the route, including communications equipment, apparel, healthcare products, fresh food and other perish- ables and relief goods. Niger Air Cargo will oper-
ate its own warehouse in Niamey with a dedicated team of personnel. By working with ECS
Group, it aims to establish Niamey as a hub for distribu- tion to major cities in West Africa. This will be supported by the location of a freighter aircraft in Niamey in the near future, Schmoll added.
UTi predicts soft demand in challenging conditions
REVEALING fourth-quarter results for the company’s 2012 financial year, Eric Kirchner – CEO of supply chain manage- ment company UTi – has warned that difficult times still lie ahead. UTi made US$12.4 mil-
lion in net income from its activities in the three months up to the end of January in
what he said was a “solid oper- ating result”. Kirchner added: “As we
look ahead, it is difficult to predict how the global econ- omy and world trade will perform this year. “It is likely that volumes
will remain soft in the first half of the year, with the pos- sibility of modest growth in
the second half,” he went on. Fourth-quarter revenue in
2011 – at $1.2 billion – was up by 0.7 percent year-on- year, but the company handled less air freight during those three months than it did in the same period a year previously, in what UTi described as a “challenging environment”.
9 April 2012
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