In its regular newsletter to the industry – Cargo Clan – Cathay Pacific Cargo has looked back at what has been a particularly challenging year for any business based at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA), as well as what can be expected for 2020.
The continuing demonstrations and protests at HKIA have had an impact on business, of course, but Nelson Chin, Cathay Pacific Cargo’s general manager cargo and commercial and author of this Cargo Clan, has said that there is much also to look back on with pride as regards 2019.
He noted that the freight carrier’s staff have worked “tirelessly through these challenging times”, and have “been critical in restoring confidence in our hub”.
Chin said that Cathay Pacific Cargo has remained “resolutely committed to the development of our cargo business”, and that 2019 has brought much more than just problems.
For example, Cathay Pacific Cargo this year was the first airline to be accredited by IATA with its CEIV Fresh certification.
The freight carrier ramped up its operations to meet the increased demands of this peak season, Chin observed, and even flew one of its freighters into South America on a cherry charter for the first time.
“Our growth in South America has been a particularly bright spot over the last few years,” he opined, saying this had been driven by the ambitions of South American customers to grow their Asian business and made possible by collaboration with interline partners.
The coming 12 months of 2020 will be a busy time, he continued, given the airline’s ongoing corporate transformation.
Earlier this month, Cathay Pacific Cargo announced a terminal charge concession for its customers in order to increase competitiveness, as well as – said Chin – “demonstrating our commitment to developing Hong Kong as the premier air cargo hub globally”.
“The work continues with some very exciting projects in the pipeline,” he informed, programmes that are consistent with the freight carrier’s strategy to become “the most customer-centric air cargo service provider in the world”.
China said that the expectation is that 2020 will be another challenging year for the international airfreight industry, though Cathay Pacific Cargo’s own market outlook remains “cautiously optimistic”, based on expectations of an easing of trade tensions, moderate improvement in GDP growth and continued e-commerce growth.
Moreover, its own capacity has been “adjusted downwards”, largely because of reduced availability of belly capacity caused by Cathay Pacific’s response to weakened passenger demand.
As for the week ahead in relation to the problems at HKIA, today (December 24) Cathay Pacific Cargo confirmed that its freighter operations and schedule remains unaffected by the ongoing disturbances at the gateway.