EMIRATES SkyCargo is the Air Cargo News Cargo Airline of the Year once again. The giant UAE carrier, with its ever-expanding global network of passenger and all-cargo services, is this year’s readers’ overall favourite, in a tight 2013 voting contest which closely involved Lufthansa Cargo and American Airlines in a photo finish.
The line-up of winners – listed in full in this issue’s Global Spotlight on the centre pages – were announced at a glittering London gala ball.
The global competition – now 30 years old – is the longest-established and most cherished worldwide air cargo awards event of its kind and always attracts huge interest.
Readers of the globally-circulated Air Cargo News vote online for their best airline cargo service providers – and there are awards too for forwarders and GSAs, handling companies and airports.
There is also an annual lifetime achievement award, given to an industry visionary. This year’s recipient is Chris Leach, effervescent chairman and founder of global brokerage Air Charter Service.
Winning companies, like Emirates SkyCargo, employ best practice whilst weaving continuous innovation into their business plans, even though the air cargo industry has been in the economic doldrums during the last two or three years, with volumes and profits under attack across the world.
“Therefore, all of this year’s winners have had to contend with a shrinking marketplace – and increasing regulatory pressures – whilst continuing to bravely invest in game-changing business strategies,” says Nigel Tomkins, Air Cargo News’ managing director.
“Winning an accolade from customers under such difficult circumstances is particularly rewarding,” he adds.
“Having organisations like Turkish Cargo and Kenya Airways as first-time winners this year, sends out a clear message that global air cargo flow patterns are changing. The continuing emergence of Turkey, parts of Africa and Latin America are clear markers for these shifting sands.”
Other winners this year are: The Americas: American Airlines; Africa: Kenya Airways; Asia/Pacific: Turkish Airlines; Europe: Lufthansa Cargo; the Middle East: Emirates SkyCargo; All-cargo carrier: Cargolux; Best Airport (less than 350,000 tonnes): King Khaled Airport, Saudi Arabia; Best Airport (greater than 350,000 tonnes): Abu Dhabi Inter-national Airport; Freight forwarder: DB Schenker; Ground handler: Swissport; Charter Broker: Chapman Freeborn; GSA: Kargosistem.
Innovative solutions were the key to Turkey’s Kargosistem earning its GSA award. The Istanbul-based and family-owned business, maintains daily contact with some 95 per cent of Turkey’s IATA forwarders.
Its answer to capacity shortages out of Istanbul was for Kargosistem to take an exceptional and unusual risk – by purchasing advance maindeck capacity.
“In 2012/13 there were serious shortages of first-sector capacity from Istanbul,” says a company spokesperson. “By committing to some maindeck capacity ourselves, we were able to eradicate bottlenecks whilst achieving sustained improvement in tonnages and revenues for clients,” he adds.