Silkway West maintains China freighter schedule and honours block space agreements

Azerbaijan-based B747 freighter operator Silkway West Airlines is maintaining its flight schedule to China, despite the coronavirus epidemic, and is keeping to block space agreements (BSA) with customers.

With more than 20 flights weekly connecting China via its global hub in Baku, Silkway is “performing its operation through a mix of charter and scheduled flights” the carrier stated.

Wolfgang Meier, chief executive and president of Silkway West Airlines, said: “We have decided to honour the loyalty of our BSA customers also throughout difficult times.

“Therefore we have not followed the way in cancelling all our scheduled flights by operating just charters as we think that, in the long run, it will bring us even closer to our partners.

“We are a forwarders airline and we will further expand on those relationships by enhancing the group of close partners.”

Continued Meier: “In addition, we would like to thank our pilots and the entire team in being utmost cooperative in finding the right pattern to keep up the operation throughout.

“Together with our international teams we have managed to demonstrate a solidary unity towards our colleagues and customers, which I am really proud of.

“As the result of our ongoing operation our activities just have been broadcasted China wide on CCTV Channel 1, as well through other TV stations.”

The airline stressed that all its flights will be operated “in accordance with recommendations from the WHO and other regulatory bodies as well as Silkway’s own restrictions including no crew layovers in China”.

Silkway office staff in Shanghai, Zhengzhou and Tianjin worked from home to ensure that the airline could offer its services with as few restrictions as possible.

Added Meier: “Of course it is currently a daily challenge to manage the imbalances of the various trade lanes but we do count on the understanding of our partners as this is a real special situation.

“We are very much focused on our operations to and from China but I shall emphasize that our global network is up and running. Markets in North America, Europe, the Mideast, South Asia, South East Asia, Japan and Korea are been served on fully fledged basis.”

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