The collaboration between IAG Cargo and Qatar Airways Cargo, which dates back from last May, has been extremely fruitful up to this point, says Dave Shepherd, Head of Commercial at IAG Cargo. Meanwhile, additional projects are standing on both carriers’ agenda to be jointly accomplished.
Dave Shepherd, IAG Cargo’s Head of Commercial, speaks of India, Bangladesh and Pakistan that will soon be served by QR Cargo and IAG Cargo according to the capacity sharing model which was
introduced last May on both the Hong Kong to London and Doha to Madrid routes. From the very beginning this capacity sharing model has proven to be working very well with no operational hiccups
whatsoever, states Dave.
Coop to mutual benefit
Soon, the initial phase of this pact could be followed by a second stage. Dave states: “After a very fruitful start we hope to continue and expand this commercial cooperation for a long time.” QR Cargo offers a very solid platform for mutual air freight transports that proves to be beneficial for both sides, the manager lauds.
In Doha, QR Cargo Helmsman Uli Ogiermann emphasizes that “IAG Cargo’s strong commitment to us absorbs some risks of our operation.” “We are looking forward to conclude more of those arrangements and to also expand our partnership with IAG based on our reliable operation and the strong growth we will have.”
At what date additional routes will become part of the deal both managers don’t reveal at this point of discussion.
Risk sharing strategy
Bilateral alliances like the one agreed between IAG Cargo and Qatar Cargo last spring might be a blueprint for other carriers. “Based on our own experience I can say that there are a number of items supporting this approach,” Dave says. It’s the sharing of risks between a main deck capacity provider such as QR Cargo and a carrier like IAG that has decided to abandon freighter operations in favor of solely utilizing the holds of its passenger fleet for uplifting air freight that seems to work out well for a mutual benefit. This is clearly exemplified by the improving traffic figures IAG Cargo presents since their lease contract with provider Global Supply Systems for three Jumbo 747-8 freighters expired at the end of April this year.
BA-IB merger paid off
Turning to Iberia Cargo IAG Cargo’s Sales Chief concedes that they are amidst a challenging process of restructuring. Despite Iberia’s current situation things should not be seen only by quarterly figures but from a more holistic and long-term perspective, Dave recommends. “I’m absolutely positive we will enjoy their belonging to the IAG Holding in the years to come.” This has paid off already to a certain degree. “Due to Iberia’s dense Latin American network we were able to strengthen our market position between Mexico and Argentina substantially,” he notes.
Speaking about special products which IAG Cargo is increasingly committed to, Dave emphasizes that millions had lately been invested by the airline to secure cool chains from door to door. He agrees that almost every carrier tries to capitalize on transporting temperature sensitive items like pharmaceuticals or any health care products. “Many will tell you they can properly handle these goods but in reality it’s only a few that are capable of providing a first class service.”
He leaves no doubt that IAG Cargo belongs to the chosen few.