Thursday, October 18, 2018

Isolated State Sees Extra Air Freight Routes Opened as National Cargo Carrier Extends Portfolio

More Services Announced Despite Sanctions by Neighbouring Arab States
Shipping News Feature
QATAR – CHINA – NORTH AMERICA – Qatar Airways Cargo, the state owned flag carrier, has commenced freighter services to Macau, the airline's fourth freight destination in Greater China. Alongside the launch of the new twice-weekly services to Macau, the carrier has also introduced transpacific cargo services, providing direct flights over the Pacific from Macau to North America, resulting in reduced flight times and faster services for customers. Ironically it may be the country's diplomatic isolation from many of its Arab neighbours which is fuelling the Qatar's national carrier's expansion.

The ongoing dispute which meant the only land crossing into the country was blocked by Saudi Arabia also saw air space denied to Qatar Airlines as the Yemeni civil war escalated and the country opposed the Hadi-led Yemeni government whose position was supported by the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan its GCC partners and other states. This has meant that Qatar has had to accept both flights and sea borne supplies from the likes of Iran and Turkey, whilst upgrading its own transport processes.

China and the Americas are key markets for Qatar Airways Cargo, with many of the major industrial and manufacturing centres in the Guangdong province of China located on the West/Macau side of the Pearl River Delta. Electronics, garments and e-commerce goods are the major commodities exported out of Macau, while imports into Macau consists primarily of consumer goods. The transpacific flights also increase capacity to and from North America, further benefiting customers Qatar Airways Chief Officer Cargo, Guillaume Halleux, said:

“We have launched our newest freighter destination, Macau, just in time for the holiday season when air freight demand is high and the market is strong. The new services will connect manufacturing industries and exporters from the region to North America directly and quickly, without requiring a stopover at our hub in Doha. The launch of these services demonstrates our commitment to our customers in helping their businesses grow, while also enabling us to expand our presence in these key regions.”

Macau becomes Qatar Airways Cargo’s fourth freighter destination in greater China after Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Shanghai. The cargo carrier also transports belly-hold cargo on passenger flights to seven destinations in Greater China. In North America, the carrier has an extensive network of nine freighter destinations and 11 belly-hold cargo destinations.

The carrier’s Boeing 777 freighter operates twice a week from Doha to Macau. From Macau, it departs across the Pacific to Los Angeles and Mexico City. On the return leg, the freighter flies over the Atlantic to Liege before arriving at the carrier’s hub in Doha. One hundred tonnes of cargo capacity is offered on each flight leg.

Qatar Airways Cargo says it offers solutions for the air freight of a wide variety of products, including livestock, dangerous goods, valuables, vulnerable goods, automobiles, perishables, oversized cargo and general cargo. The cargo carrier offers QR Charter for bespoke charter requirements, utilising its most modern fleet of Boeing B777s, Airbus A330s and Boeing 747 freighters.

Qatar’s portfolio of products currently includes QR Pharma, QR Fresh, QR Live and QR Express, offering efficiency and compliance in the handling of temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical and perishable cargo, transportation of live animals as well as time-critical shipments. The fleet continues to grow with last month, the cargo carrier receiving two more Boeing 777 freighters.