As of 1st November, the Russian carrier starts selling air freight in most parts of Europe autonomously. Affected by the decision are local sales agencies who have been informed that their contracts terminate on 31st October. SU Cargo’s management expects this step to lead to streamlined coordination of sales efforts, additional revenues by upping volumes and cutting commission costs.
Affected by Aeroflot Cargo’s decision to steer most of their sales initiatives from their European headquarters at Frankfurt-Hahn airport are the carrier’s partner agents in France, Italy,
Belgium and the Netherlands. Spain is left out from any changes for the time being but will probably follow suit sometime in the future in order to adapt to the company’s general strategy
directed from the airline’s Moscow headquarters, says Hahn-based Regional Cargo Manager Valery Serafimov.
No significant loss of volumes expected during the transition period
Mr Serafimov adds that he doesn’t expect any major hiccups for the cargo business of his airline in the aforementioned countries as a consequence of the organizational changes in sales. This, because “parallel to the sales efforts of our local cargo agents we have offered forwarders for some time already the option to book their shipments directly with us.” This alternative for securing transport capacity on board the Aeroflot fleet was accepted very well by customers, he states. Hence, “we feel at home in markets like Italy or France due to our direct business contacts we established with many of the local agents involved in air freight there,” emphasizes Valery. That’s why the transition from old to new won’t seriously harm his freight division in any way. “Neither tonnage nor revenues will dramatically decline in the coming months,” he anticipates
Weekly belly freight capacity of up to 800 tons
Currently, Aeroflot’s Cargo Representation in Europe is serving eight countries in Europe, operating 60 flights per day either to/from Moscow or St. Petersburg (by SU subsidiary Rossiya). “This adds up to a capacity of roughly 800 tons each week that we are offering the market,” states Valery. About 1/3 of the total tonnage loaded on board SU’s passenger jets originates from the German market, “our by far most important European marketplace,” says the manager.
According to him, approximately 50 percent of all exports flown by his airline from Europe to Russia are destined to local consignees in Moscow and the greater Moscow region, whereas the other half is transited in Moscow Sheremetyevo airport for catching onward flights to destinations in Far East, Southeast Asia or to one of the neighboring CIS states, like Kazakhstan or Uzbekistan.
This 50/50 percentage hasn’t changed much lately and will presumably not fluctuate in the near future, Valery notes.