The Azeri freight carrier and its Japanese peer have signed a capacity deal, implying that JAL Cargo utilizes the main deck capacity of Silk Way West’s freighter fleet. Both carriers speak of an interesting business accord to mutual commercial benefit.
Their agreement inked on July 20, resembles the capacity contract rubber stamped by Qatar Airways and IAG Cargo, after IAG-member British Airways stepped out of freighter operations in May 2014,
then using the all-cargo fleet of QR on key routes instead.
Urgent need of freighters
JAL Cargo and Silk Way West Airlines (SWW) are in a comparable situation: The Japanese carrier who stepped out of all-cargo ops in 2010, as part of Japan Airlines’ recovery out of bankruptcy is in urgent need of freighter capacity. This was emphasized in the past on various occasions by leading JAL Cargo managers that complained about lost market shares on routes to China, Europe and the U.S. caused by missing main deck options.
In search of a potential partner the JAL scouts eventually landed in Baku, home of Azeri’s SilkWay Group, to work out possible perspectives for joining forces.
A successful endeavor shown by the contract now signed. While JAL Cargo needs capacity, SWW is able to fill the gap thanks to its fast-growing freighter fleet operating on intercontinental routes between the Far East and Europe. Therefore, their decision to join forces seems to be a very rational step.
Upping Europe flights
In their release, the airlines speak of a “win-win situation for both partners.”
While inking the deal, SWW announced to up its weekly 748-8F ops between Baku and Europe from three to four in order to offer sequenced connections for both carriers.
“Right from the start of our Japan services more than two years ago, we have always been eager to increase our exposure,” stated Wolfgang Meier, CEO and President of Silk Way West Airlines upon the signing ceremony. He went on to say: “The co-operation with JAL Cargo fits perfectly into the growth strategy we are pursuing, and it does represent a quantum leap in the development of Silk Way West Airlines.”
To this, Hiroo Iwakoshi, Executive Officer Cargo/Mail and board member of JAL Cargo answered politely: “Having these kinds of positive communications is pleasing JAL Cargo and we welcome more capacities very much especially with the use of Silk Way West’s Boeing 747-8F aircraft within our network.”
Silk Way West Airlines’ Vice President for APAC, Nurid Aliyev, added: “This co-operation is not the first one we do pursue in this format as we have already successfully been working together with Malaysia Airlines Cargo after they had stopped their full freighter activities. As our global hub Baku is perfectly located along the ancient Silk Road our geographical position is at the crossroads between orient and occident and Silk Way West Airlines, thus, very much favors this partnership.”
Details of the contract are not revealed. For instance, whether JAL Cargo purchases a fixed transport volume on each of SWW’s flights to and from Japan or if the agreement favors flexible loads depending on market demand.