Coyne benefits from Kazakh oil boom

THE growing oil and gas trade in western Kazakhstan is providing greater opportunities for specialised project freight forwarders, according to Larry Coyne (right), chief executive officer of Caspian air transport specialist Coyne Airways.

“We have pioneered services to Aktau, Atyrau and Uralsk in the west of the country in support of the oil industry and now have regular services. We have been active in the region for 14 years and we believe we give the best service. We have planned for the long-term, not for short term gains.”

Key to Coyne’s success is the block space agreements it has on widebody freighters into its regional hub at Tbilisi. Until three months ago Coyne used a weekly British Airways World Cargo flight into the hub, but has now added a second service to cope with growth in demand. “We have agreed a block space deal with Jade for half of its capacity into Tbilisi from Frankfurt. Curiously, not only is the new service doing well, but has generated more freight for our original service. This is because shippers and forwarders have additional confidence in our services. It provides a safety valve for the first flight, so forwarders have another import option.”

Coyne says 70-80 per cent of the freight that arrives at its hub in Tbilisi is bound for western Kazakhstan and is fed by feeder services operated on behalf of Coyne by local reliable airlines. But with reasonable tradeflows, why haven’t the big airlines looked to exploit this market?

Coyne says that many airlines have looked at, or planned, an entry into the market, but the complexity and infrastructure has proved insurmountable. “The key is using Kazakh-registered aircraft to feed the freight into the airports. This is very important as the Kazakh government has a production sharing agreement with the producers Kazakhstan. The local companies see us as part of the market and we benefit from aligning with the local market.”

For the full story, please read the latest issue of Air Cargo News, dated 16 October.

Share this story