Brussels Airlines Cargo Enters Close Cooperation with AV Cargo

If one carrier lacks capacity, at least temporarily, another airline might give a helping hand. This is the basic idea behind the deal between Brussels Airlines Cargo and AV Cargo that has just come to life.


Herman Hoornaert of Brussels Airlines Cargo (left) and AV Cargo’s Simon Clarke entered into a partnering agreement /
source: hs, AV Cargo

Brussels Airlines Cargo Enters Close Cooperation with AV Cargo

If one carrier lacks capacity, at least temporarily, another airline might give a helping hand. This is the basic idea behind the deal between Brussels Airlines Cargo and AV Cargo that has just come to life.

Win – win, it’s a term suffering increasingly from overuse. In this case, however, the notion of a two-sided benefit touches the very core of the arrangement. On the one side there is Brussels Airlines Cargo that serves more than a dozen routes in sub-Sahara Africa. Although, traffic flows from Belgium to southbound destinations that run well most time of the year get under some pressure between June and September caused by very high passenger demand during those months. High passenger load factors  are surely very important for the company, but make the work of the cargo people sometimes more complex since the lower deck compartments of the aircraft are jammed with the luggage of the airline’s guests  resulting in  cargo capacity constraints in summer.  “We frequently have an overflow of air freight during the holiday season that we would normally have to turn down,” states Head of Cargo Sales Herman Hoornaert of the Belgian airline.

Not so during this summer and possible never again in the coming years. This could be the result of a partnership Brussels Airlines Cargo and AV Cargo have just agreed on. According to the contract, the freight division of the Belgian carrier will hand over all southbound shipments that are threatened to strand at Brussels Airport due to capacity shortage on board their long-haul Airbus A330 fleet to partner AV Cargo.

Rejection of shipments is no option
Currently, the cargo carrier operates two MD-11Fs on routes between Liege airport in the eastern parts of Belgium into Africa, serving line-haul destinations such as Bamako, Ouagadougou, Freetown, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Dakar. A third MD-11F is undergoing maintenance work and will join the fleet right after, confirms AV Cargo’s CEO Simon Clarke. “Instead of rejecting their client’s cargo we take care of our partner’s overflows and fly the loads to African places serviced by us, depending on their needs,” the manager pinpoints the basic deal. This interline agreement based on special pro rates fits AV’s strategy to capture additional business, in this case in full accord with a partner.

The only catch here is that many of the goods have to be trucked from Brussels Airlines Cargo’s gateway Brussels Airport to Liege at the expenses of the Belgian carrier. But this is the better solution than having shipments getting stranded, emphasizes manager Hoornaert. “This way, we remain a trustful partner to our customers and don’t  risk to disappoint them,” he adds.
AV Cargo boss Clarke, a supporter of long lasting arrangements, hopes to continue the transport agreement also during the peak season prior to Christmas and hopefully next summer as well.
He says that his airlines, although administered in the UK, feels very comfortable with Liege as operational hub. States Simon: “They are very innovative, haven’t got any slot restriction or night flight ban and make strong investments to cater for carriers.”
“We feel very comfortable there,” he resumes.

Heiner Siegmund

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