Airlines IAG Cargo and Qatar expand freighter partnership
06 / 08 / 2015
IAG Cargo and Qatar Airways have extended their freighter partnership and added new routes.
The two airlines announced this morning that the initial contract would be extended indefinitely, while the number of destinations covered has increased from the one originally announced to nine.
The two airlines said they had decided to expand the tie-up following on from its initial success.
IAG Cargo chief executive Steve Gunning said: “Through such agreements we are able to support our customers where they need us and drive network growth in an asset light way.
“This puts IAG Cargo in a strong position and allows us to focus on delivering the quality products and services our customers demand.”
Qatar Airways chief officer cargo Ulrich Ogiermann added: “Qatar Airways Cargo is delighted to further enhance its freight operations and strengthen existing commercial ties with IAG Cargo.
“As the world’s fifth largest cargo carrier, Qatar Airways Cargo’s expanding fleet and exceptional growth, together with our proven reliability and global network, offer a strong platform to enable bilateral alliances.”
The routes now covered by the agreement in addition to the existing Heathrow-Hong Kong route are: Hong Kong to Madrid; Mumbai to London; Dhaka to London; Pakistan (Karachi and Lahore) to three Middle Eastern points (Doha, Dubai and Kuwait); Delhi to London; Chennai to London; Shanghai to Madrid and Islamabad to Kuwait.
Late last week, following the announcement of IAG’s first-half results, Gunning said IAG continuing to explore partnerships although he had no details to announce at the time.
Two weeks ago, the airline group announced a new freighter partnership with Finnair. It views partnerships as a way to increase its network without needing to invest in assets, given its belief that market over capacity is set to stay.
“I think the new normal is that you will see excess capacity in the market and therefore price and yield will be under pressure in most markets,” he told Air Cargo News last week.
“Our job is to react to that and manage our business accordingly, hence, driving premium product mix, being more asset light and moving away from owning freighters."