The Senegalese Capital sees increasing volumes of air freight shipments. Unlike many other African destinations the flows of imports and exports are almost balanced, which makes it an attractive market place, as Anna Tine and Seydi Ousmane of Brussels Airlines Cargo confirm.
Q: Anna, which role does air freight play for Brussels Cargo here at Dakar?
Tine: Air freight contributes between 24 and 25 percent in average to the revenues generated on this route to and from Brussels. While northbound traffic into Brussels accounts for about 40 percent, incoming goods from Europe to Dakar total 60 percent. Of course there are seasonal peaks of certain products but the whole picture displays a very stable traffic year round.
Q: Being Brussels Airlines’ Station Manager at Dakar you are responsible for all commercial and operational matters of Brussels Airlines here at Dakar. So Seydi could you please describe the specifics of this station and the local market in comparison to other African destinations served by your airline?
Ousmane: First of all and of utmost importance for us is the fact that we have daily flights. These operations make Dakar one of Brussels Airlines’ key destinations in sub-Sahara Africa, together with Kinshasa, Douala and Kigali. All services into Dakar are routed beyond to Banjul or Conakry from where they return the same way. At these destinations we mostly pick up perishables that we take to Brussels on our northbound flights.
In addition, let me point out that over the years we have established very close relations to both forwarding agents and shippers. Unlike Europe it is possible for our team to approach shippers directly to speak with them about their specific products, capacity needs and supply chain expectations. This helps both sides a lot and is not penalized by forwarders.
I suppose that this explains to a certain degree why we received each consecutive year the Brussels Airlines’ number one African Cargo Station Award.
Q: Anna, you manage sales for about a decade. Exporting fresh fish seems to be your core product. How has this developed over the years?
Tine: It has more or less increased continuously since demand in Europe is rising. It is noteworthy to emphasize that the fish are not caught by large vessels but by local fishermen with their lines and hooks. It’s a very customer intensive service we offer because we at Brussels Airlines Cargo follow the product up from the moment we allocate the tonnage to the shipper and forwarding agents through the transit in Brussels and even beyond to their final destinations. It’s a dedicated service from A to Z that we guarantee the market.
Anna Tine is responsible for the Belgian carrier’s cargo sales in Senegal.
Seydi Ousmane is Brussels Airlines’ Station Manager in Dakar.