WCS17: Etihad takes freighter number ten
14 / 03 / 2017
Etihad has taken delivery of its tenth all cargo aircraft, an Airbus A330F. The new addition takes the Abu Dhabi-based carrier’s Airbus freighter fleet to five, joining five Boeing 777 freighters.
Etihad has launched ten new freighter routes in the past 12 months and carried 602,026 tonnes of cargo in 2016, aviation group president and chief executive James Hogan told the IATA World Cargo Symposium (WCS) in Abu Dhabi on 14 March.
“Etihad Cargo is a US $1 billion business, which makes it one of the world’s most successful air cargo operations,” he said, noting that it had become the fastest-growing division of Etihad Airways since it was founded in 2004, a year after the airline itself.
However, Hogan acknowledged the uncertain global outlook, with capacity outpacing demand and China’s transition to a service industry, although Etihad Cargo was well positioned to maximise opportunities in 2017, thanks largely to the company’s investment in partnerships.
“The Etihad Aviation Group’s seven equity partner airlines form the world’s sixth largest cargo group and wider partnerships are playing an increasing role in our business. We are working with Avianca to extend our reach in the important market of South America; with AirBridge Cargo in the US, Middle East and Moscow for the oil and gas industry; while our Preferred Handling Partner programme builds strong partnerships and ensures consistent quality and service across the Etihad Cargo network.”
Abu Dhabi itself is positioned to connect mature, expanding and emerging markets via Etihad’s home hub and it was no accident that several major industry players including FedEx, UPS and DHL also had strong Gulf hubs, said Hogan.
Etihad Cargo operates to 124 destinations from Abu Dhabi with a mix of freighter and belly capacity.