Jeddah 25th July 2013
Saudi Airlines Cargo has released performance results for the first six months of this year, revealing a 6% growth in a sluggish air cargo market.
In the period from January – June 2013 Saudia Cargo moved a total of 270,000 tons, thus breaking last year’s record of 250,000 and achieving a 6% increase in revenue and a 4% increase in tonnage.
Cargo moved on the bellies grew by 29%, with the main contributors being the USA (+50%) and the UK (+40%), while cargo boardings on the freighter network grew by 3%.
The airline’s growth is the result of a number of factors. During the first half of the year, the carrier increased its freighter capacity from Dhaka and commenced B747 freighter flights in Mumbai and Kano, Nigeria. It also started operations with its first B747-8F in June, which is currently scheduled on Riyadh-Hong Kong-Riyadh-Frankfurt-Saudi Arabia flight rotations.
In terms of charter activity, revenues were lower than anticipated in the first six months due to a shortage of aircraft availability. As of July 2013, however, the airline increased its fleet to fifteen aircraft (4 MD11s and 11 747s), three of which are dedicated to offering sufficient capacity in the growing ad hoc charter market.
“Although the current market is a bit soft, we still expect to achieve a 10% growth during the second half of the year”. commented Nabil Khojah, CEO of Saudia Cargo. “This is principally due to the boost in our charter activity, optimization of our freighter network, adjustments to freighter schedules and increases in the number of freighters to some of our key destinations,” he added.
Saudi Airlines Cargo operates a fleet of 15 freighters and sells the belly-capacity on 145 passenger aircraft for Saudi Arabia’s flag carrier Saudia, spanning a rapidly expanding global network of 225 destinations. In addition to its scheduled freighter services, the cargo airline also provides cost-effective and practical worldwide charter flight solutions from a growing fleet of dedicated charter aircraft.