Dmitry: Most people want to avoid using charter flights if they can but if charter operators can reduce the time vs. money component of the planning, charter certainly has great potential to grow. This is especially true for large and complex projects in landlocked countries with poor infrastructure. In some other cases charter can save costs by pooling the cargo into one plane and even more so if reduction in time results in considerable benefits in terms of shortening the delivery cycle to the end user market.
Do you see the air cargo charter market coming under any greater pressure from other transport modes?
Dmitry: There will always be a need for a charter. As even in the most sophisticated supply chain there is always room for human error.
Robert: Low capital costs due to low interest rates make ocean freight a very attractive alternative.
Justin: There will always be a need for air charters. At the end of the day, in the majority of cases due to the cost, if the client could use another cheaper mode of transport they would. Aircraft chartering is the most expensive mode of transport, however it’s also a vital mode of transport to clients around the world. I don’t believe in the majority of cases that the other modes of transport offer clients the flexibility and time savings that air charters can deliver.
‘There will always be a need for air charters. At the end of the day, in the majority of cases due to the cost, if the client could use another cheaper mode of transport they would. Aircraft chartering is the most expensive mode of transport, however it’s also a vital mode of transport to clients around the world.’
Russi: No. The air cargo charter market will always be a niche business, and an option to other transport modes. A creative air charter broker will always find a charter solution that is better in some ways than other traditional transport modes.
Tony: Yes I do. You are seeing more faster and larger oceangoing vessels, and I think manufacturing is really tailoring production around sea transport. South Korea for example is building one new ship – per day!!! Vessel fleets are increasing, cargo freighters are decreasing.
Geographically are there markets where you expect to see increased air charter activity in 2014?
Tony: Yes, I think West, Central and Southern Africa will continue to grow. There are still areas which are not served by scheduled carriers. Smaller freighters such as the B737-400F
are on the increase and will serve many destinatiions from larger hubs. Lockheed, for example, is looking to “commercialise” its venerable C130 Hercules again because they believe the specialist charter market will remain.
Robert: The hotspots for 2014 are Africa and the Middle East, Iran and Iraq in particular, plus South America.
Russi: Now if you asked me where I thought there would be a decrease in air charter activity in 2014 I could answer that easily! Being a true global player with offices all over the world it is difficult to predict which markets will perform better in a business that is very niche and ad hoc in its nature.
Justin: I would like to see increase in demand across the globe.
Dmitry: The Far East and Australasia have many construction projects developing at the moment, so we expect that trade flows will be strong from Europe and the U.S. into Asia. However, the challenge we will have is to find return cargoes from Asia back to Europe/U.S.
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