Beginning 1 March, the Zurich-headquartered Swiss carrier will commence serving Osaka, operating an Airbus A340-300 five times a week on the intercontinental route. It’s the carrier’s
second Japanese destination following their daily flights to Tokyo Narita Airport.
Arguments from the cargo division, which signaled an important contribution to earnings, were a decisive factor for the inclusion of Osaka in the airline's global network.
Osaka and the surrounding region offer great business opportunities for Swiss WorldCargo, argues head of Cargo, Ashwin Bhat. Specifically, he refers to special and high-value commodities such as pharmaceuticals, electronics, and high-end goods in general, traveling both ways between Switzerland and Japan. Provided the estimated demand is accurate, Mr. Bhat and his team are very confident that cargo will contribute an important portion to the overall profitability of the route. Because the aforementioned products, achieving a good price/performance ratio, “fit exactly our niche that we concentrate on because we very much believe in the value we deliver to our customers,” the manager states.
Tango and Jun march in step
This positive expectation is also based on outstanding services delivered on the ground and provided by the newly appointed Head of the Kansai Region, and former manager in the forwarding industry, Jun Nakatani and his team. “Nakatani-san is a cargo expert and a great person, with whom we will have much joy.” When asked about profitability on the route, Mr. Bhat commits himself: “We will earn money right from the start.”
In total, Swiss WorldCargo employs 10 staff in Narita and Kansai, headed by Tango Tomonari, based in Tokyo. The local handling agent assigned in Osaka is ANA Cargo Inc. Asked about a possible participation of SWC in the existing route joint venture, Mr. Bhat says that while no such decision has been made at the time, he points to ongoing discussions between Lufthansa Cargo and Swiss WorldCargo to further improve and coordinate their freight business.
Extensive trucking network ensures fast road feeding
The new Osaka flights complement the carrier’s daily Zurich-Tokyo services operated nonstop with a Boeing 777-300. In total, this adds up to 45 tons of lower deck capacity provided by SWC to and from Japan.
Daily trucking services between Narita and Kansai ensure high capacity utilization. In a statement, Swiss WorldCargo points out that thanks to the forthcoming Osaka flights, the carrier will soon offer cargo customers enhanced opportunities for tail-to-tail transfers, as well as connections to major intercontinental destinations. Additionally, an extensive trucking/RFS network allows increased opportunities for transfer destinations.
“Our increase in capacity to Tokyo (up 40% since 1 February, HS), as well as our new service to Osaka, offers a key way in which we can continue to connect one of the Far East’s most important pharmaceutical and technological goods markets with Switzerland,” notes Alexander Arafa, Head of Global Area & Contribution Management, Swiss WorldCargo.
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