Changing times, changing values
02 / 03 / 2015
WHILE Air China Cargo has received a US$320 million cash injection from its shareholders, it appears that Dutch operator Martinair has a ‘for sale’ sign posted on its cargo fleet.
Two different approaches, but for very different reasons.
Air China and Cathay Pacific, the two largest shareholders in Air China Cargo, feel there is value in providing further capital for a carrier in the Asian powerhouse.
There is a clear strategy for investment in a fleet of new B777 freighters that will replace Air China Cargo’s older less fuel efficient aircraft.
The Franco-Dutch partnership of AF-KLM has reportedly commissioned global investment specialist Goldman Sachs to find a buyer for Amsterdam-based Martinair that has six MD-11Fs, one B747-400BCF and four B747-400ERFs on lease from KLM Cargo – an interesting mix of unfashionable aircraft. It seems unlikely the fleet will find one willing buyer. But such a fleet disposal, whether as a whole or parcelled out, will be an indicator of how the investment community values such assets.
There is an alternative to these options. We have already heard that Lufthansa Cargo is looking to secure an alliance with Japan’s All Nippon Airways. The latter will bring an extensive network of belly capacity, hubbed via Tokyo, which can feed a relatively stable Asian market.
Cash injection, fleet disposal, or strategic alliance – all three have their merits at a time when carriers are looking for answers in a market where the ‘new normal’ of global growth looks to be four per cent per annum.
That is a far cry from the double-digit heydays of the pre-2008s, when the only question was: how can we increase freighter capacity to meet demand?
The airfreight world has moved on.