When something ceases there is always again a beginning, a saying that holds a lot of truth. Proven again these days by Mississauga, Ontario-based Cargojet Airways (CJT) who re-established their former Latin American services after having split with Air Canada and now run the flights on their own account. Several strategic interline agreements are safeguarding this network decision.
222nd Cologne flight
It was anything but spectacular last week at Cologne-Bonn airport when a CJT operated Boeing 767-300 freighter took to the air, bound for Hamilton and heading thereafter straight to Atlanta, Bogota and Lima. Although noticed only by a few experts, it was a memorable flight, reminds Pauline Dhillon, EVP, Marketing, Government and PR at Cargojet: “According to data, it was exactly our 222nd service to CGN since we landed first at the German airport six years ago,” she commented.
The new flight adds to the existing weekly service, linking Cologne with St. John’s, Newfoundland and Halifax, Nova Scotia. “On the eastbound leg roughly 70 percent of the loads consists of seafood, mainly lobsters,” illustrates Richard Cromwell, Halifax Branch Manager and responsible for Cargojet’s business in Eastern Canada. Westbound it is machinery, tools, automotive parts, and particularly bulky cargo to optimize the load factor.
Who then is Cargojet?
The decision to double B767F capacity on the Cologne route was mainly triggered by market demand, reasoned Gord Johnston, Senior VP Sales in his address to roughly 50 forwarding agents attending the road show organized by CJT in cooperation with Cologne-Bonn Airport. “When we first started six years ago, customers kept asking: who the hell is Cargojet?” he recalls. “Meanwhile a lot of them know!”
And for those who still are not very familiar with the details and history of the freight airline he added: “We exist since 15 years, are a publicly traded company, operate 14 domestic Canadian routes, and control 90 percent of the time sensitive overnight business in Canada.” This is Cargojet’s bread-and-butter business, Gord emphasized, mainly based on operational deals with UPS, DHL and Amazon, accounting for 750 tons each night on average.
More main deck capacity
The transatlantic and Latin American services, conducted on the carrier’s own account, add to their revenues generated through their North American activities and broaden the business platform, thus lowering commercial risks. Manager Johnston left no doubt that the international segment will keep growing, referring to upcoming fleet changes. These concern the replacement of three aging B727Fs with two Boeing 757Fs and one 767-300F, thus upping the carrier’s main deck capacity beginning the second half of this year.
In total, CJT operates ten B767-300Fs, one B767-200F, seven B757Fs, and the aforementioned three B727 freighter aircraft.
Behind this background, the doubling of the Cologne flights fits into the airline’s broader picture. A decision, no wonder, much welcomed by the airport management, the German forwarding community, Oliver Hellwig of local ground handling agent Wisskirchen, who partners with CJT for years, and particularly Cargojet’s European sales agent Skyline Air Services. Their managing director, Hassaan Aglan states: “Thanks to the new flight that links Cologne directly with South America, we can offer the European exporters a premium product.”
He thereby refers to the fact that the new service enables same-day deliveries, since the aircraft takes off in Cologne every Sunday morning at 9 a.m. CET and arrives in Lima at 11:50 p.m. local Peruvian time.
Cargojet is one of Skyline’s main mandate airlines, accounting for roughly ten percent of the agent’s current sales. With the additional cargo flight in place, Mr Aglan expects this figure going up to at least 15 percent in the months to come.
Andreas ante portas?
According to information obtained by CargoForwarder Global, Andreas Otto, former Lufthansa Cargo Head of Sales and Product at Lufthansa Cargo and current Austrian Airlines‘ Chief Commercial Officer stands high on the list of candidates to become the new CEO of Cologne-Bonn Airport. Andreas comes from the region and is still familiar with the local conditions, despite being based in Vienna since 2014.
CGN’s top position is currently vacant after long-term Chief, Michael Garvens felt he should quit the job last December following a shady political campaign. Other interested candidates in taking the CGN chair seem to be Thomas Weyer, Munich Airport’s Head of Finances and Infrastructure, Nuremberg Airport’s Helmsman Michael Hupe, former BER Boss Karsten Muehlenfeld and former Hahn Airport Chief Markus Bunk. It is unclear at this stage if the Airport’s Deputy Chief and COO, Athanasios Titonis will throw his hat into the ring as well.
The final outcome of the beauty contest is expected to be announced by the Supervisory Board on 19 March.