Who would have imagined a couple of years ago that Qatar Airways would become the world’s number 3 in the World Airline International Cargo Carrier Rankings. This is what QR‘s Group Chief Executive, Mr Akbar Al Baker announced at today‘s Qatar Airways press conference in Doha (27 October).
It was one of various announcements made at the press conference which was hosted by Mr Al Baker and QR’s cargo top man, Ulrich Ogiermann.
The announcement by the QR managers states that according to IATA International Freight Tonne Kilometers (FTK) statistics, that Qatar Cargo is now the third largest international cargo airline worldwide.
According to the statistics, Qatar Cargo was placed as 16th five years ago.
Quite an achievement for the Doha-based national carrier of Qatar.
The freighter fleet has grown considerably during the past few years and now totals eight Boeing 777Fs, six Airbus A330Fs and a single Boeing 747-400F.
Mr Al Baker commented that “being in the top three international cargo carriers in the world reflects the hard work and commitment of the Qatar Airways Cargo team over the past five years.”
Rapid cargo facility expansion planned
Qatar Airways helmsman also used the opportunity today to announce that QR Cargo has plans to erect a second cargo terminal at their Doha hub.
This terminal will in his words be even larger than the existing facility and that the two terminals would enable QR Cargo to handle a staggering 4.4 million tonnes of air cargo per annum compared to today’s 1.4 million tonne capacity.
A deadline for 2018 has been set for the opening of the new cargo terminal.
Uli Ogiermann, Qatar Airways Chief Officer Cargo, comments that “the new cargo terminal underlines our commitment to continued growth and expansion in line with the airline’s objectives for the future.”
He added that “having the ability to handle 4.4. million tonnes of cargo a year will put Qatar Airways Cargo into another league and enhance the efficiency and service already offered at our existing state-of-the-art facility.”
New cargo product lines to be launched
QR Equine and QR Express are the two latest cargo products the carrier will introduce to the market.
QR Equine is geared to the transport of horses through QR’s live animal facility offering the animals a so called “five-star service.” The new service will consist of specialized grooms, temperature controlled areas in QR’s freight fleet, new spacious horse stalls and on-site veterinary staffing.
QR Express plans to give cargo clients a more simplified cargo booking system which enables a higher loading priority along with the guarantee of fast delivery at destination.
QR states that short and flexible close out times along with dedicated ramp transfer will be the key aspects of this new service.
Things are moving at an even faster pace for Qatar Cargo who’s dedicated freighter fleet now serves 40 destinations worldwide.
John Mc Donagh