After serving the Georgian city uninterruptedly for a quarter of a century, Coyne Airways (IATA: 7 C) had to pull out last year, stopped by the virus and the sudden lack of transport capacity after a partnering airline from the Middle East terminated a blocked space agreement. Now, Coyne is back on stage, finding in Spanish Swiftair a successor who fills the capacity gap by providing a B757 freighter aircraft.
In a telephone call with CargoForwarder Global, CEO Larry Coyne proudly announced the resumption of the Tbilisi flights: “I’m glad that we managed to carry on our air services to Tbilisi and the entire Caucasian region, a market in which we have successfully been active for a very long time.”
The Swiftair flights are operated weekly, departing every Sunday morning (11:00) at Cologne/Bonn (CGN), taking off to Tbilisi (TBS), and Erevan (EVN), before returning to CGN, where the freighter flies on behalf of DHL Express between Monday and Friday. “Deutsche Post told us that they have no use for the freighter on weekends, so we stepped in,” Mr. Coyne explained.
In addition to freight volumes generated in the greater Cologne area, Coyne operates scheduled trucks from several European gateways to connect with the CGN flight, including London (LHR), Paris (CDG), Frankfurt (FRA), and Amsterdam (AMS). Coyne Airways pronounces that it can also accept cargo from virtually any global gateway using a single IATA air waybill and the capacity of its interline partners.
Coyne makes CGN managers happy
“We are delighted that our long-time partner, Coyne Airways, has reinstated its weekly Tbilisi freighter service from Cologne-Bonn Airport to the Caspian region. CGN’s great flexibility, our ‘freighter-friendliness’, and our site’s attractive market position are benefitting customers like Coyne Airways,” Cologne’s Head of Cargo Torsten Wefers commented. He went on to say: “The airline is in good company as evidenced by the recent increase in cargo flights, and the number of new customers who have chosen our airport as an alternative to cargo hubs located in the wider area.”
The B757F can accommodate 30 tons per flight. That might suffice for the moment, but Larry Coyne wants more. “It would be ideal if we could secure capacity on board a big bird serving intercontinental routes between Europe and the Far East, or Southeast Asia, and convince them that a stopover at Tbilisi pays off for all parties involved. Following the unloading of our own consignments for customers located in the Caspian region, the carrier would continue its journey to its final destination,” he illustrates. The manager speaks of 30 to 40 tons per flight and week to which “we would be happy to commit.”
Complement not replace
If that were to happen, he clarifies, it would not be a replacement for Swiftair flights, but a supplement. Only the aircraft’s routing would then change. Instead of landing in Tbilisi, the B57F would call at Erivan and fly on to Dubai, before returning to its German departure airport.
Coyne Airways has traditionally been very active in the Gulf region, where the company operates a large network stretching from Afghanistan to Erbil. By connecting the Caspian hub with the Dubai hub, both markets would be closely linked, emphasizes company CEO, Coyne.
However, that's still a long way off, because a ‘big bird’ first has to be found that will agree to a stopover at Tbilisi International Airport to unload Coyne's Caspian-destined shipments there.
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