The Zurich-based freight carrier targets new destinations in Far East and North America adding them to its itinerary. Their names will be announced later this year when two additional long-haul passenger jetliners have been added to the fleet.
Currently, Swiss operates ten Boeing 777-300ER passenger aircraft. By the end of this year two more Triple Sevens are scheduled to be delivered by the U.S. aircraft manufacturer, upping their
total number to twelve.
The forthcoming fleet expansion is music to the ears of Ashwin Bhat, the carrier’s Head of Cargo, since each of the jetliners is able to accommodate 24.5 tons of freight in their lower decks with a full passenger load. This matches the main deck capacity offered by a Boeing 737 freighter, making the Triple Sevens akin to small freighters.
Growing global footprint
The passenger aircraft offer a maximum range of 14,500 kilometers at full load and are equipped with temperature-controlled sections in their lower decks. This is of utmost importance for Swiss World Cargo because its pharma portfolio is spreading constantly and steadily.
Thanks to the impending fleet growth “We will be able to once again expand our global footprint,” says Mr Bhat.
Asked which new routes Swiss intends to add to their transcontinental network, which their customers might be eager to know as early as possible, he remains tight-lipped pointing at ongoing market surveys. “All I can say at this point of time is that we target a new destination in Asia and one or even two in North America,” he says, vaguely indicating the compass direction.
Edelweiss capacity is “good to have”
Simultaneously, Mr Bhat emphasizes the importance of Swiss group member Edelweiss, whose entire belly-hold capacity is marketed by Swiss WorldCargo. “During the last six months we have added Colombo, Ho-Chi-Minh City and Buenos Aires to the network, therefore widening our reach simultaneously.“ Although the Edelweiss traffic, driven mostly by vacationers is seasonal, it supplements Swiss WorldCargo’s route map. Each of their four A340s, operated on transcontinental routes, can lift up to 15 tons “on a good day,” as Ashwin Bhat says, depending on the number of passengers and their luggage. He adds to this an important planning aspect: “24 hours prior to departure we know the number of travelers on the Edelweiss flight which allows us to maximize the aircraft’s lower deck capacity.“
Pharma stand high on the agenda
Further to this, the manager points out that Swiss WorldCargo is streamlining its portfolio of pharma products in order to continue offering its customers best-in-class pharma shipment services, for which the freight airline has built up a reputation as a market leader.
This is an approach that obviously works, evidenced in mid-June when Swiss WorldCargo won the DHL Care Award – for the fourth time in a row. It reflects the carrier’s excellence in the handling and safe shipment of temp-sensitive life science products, as DHL declared while handing over the accolade.
Continued focus on quality
Finding the best shipping solution for their customers seems to be part of the company’s genes. Last Tuesday, they announced the approval of the CSafe RAP container for being loaded on board their wide-bodied aircraft. On the occasion, Susanne Wellauer, Head of Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare Vertical Industry Management, commented: “Our partnership (with CSafe) underscores not only a continued focus on quality in shipping temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical goods worldwide every day, but also our dedication to finding the best solutions for doing so.”
Delivering tailored pharma services reflect a broader attitude of service excellence Swiss WorldCargo has become renowned for. In this respect, Mr Bhat speaks of a “quality management concept,” covering the entire supply chain. Key component of this advance is improved sustainability in as many areas as possible. In close cooperation with industry stakeholders, “we monitor and evaluate each angle of our business and determine which KPIs bring the biggest impact and what areas we can continue to develop in,” he states.
Standstill is regression
And the next initiative is just around the corner: an updated Customer Relationship Management tool, as they describe it. Once implemented, it will ensure a detailed overview of customer needs and manage the entire spectrum of the sales and after sales cycle throughout Swiss World Cargo’s organization.
The above illustrates that standstill is no alternative for the Zurich-headquartered carrier.