ASIAN AIR CARGOS SUPPLEMENT – Falling rates put pressure on SAS in Asia

Falling rates out of Asia are putting pressure on SAS Cargo’s freighter cooperationsin the region. Ulrik Marschall, the carrier’s head of corporate communications, admits that it is fi nding it harder to profitably fi ll the capacity it takes on Air China’s thrice weekly B747F from Shanghai and Beijing to Copenhagen, which was launchedlast September. […]


Falling rates out of Asia are putting pressure on SAS Cargo’s freighter cooperationsin the region.

Ulrik Marschall, the carrier’s head of corporate communications, admits that it is fi nding it harder to profitably fi ll the capacity it takes on Air China’s thrice weekly B747F from Shanghai and Beijing to Copenhagen, which was launchedlast September.

“We had a very good start to the service, and there was defi – nitely a real need for it,” he says. “But while there is still plenty of cargo westbound, rates are suffering, and load factors have started to go down.”

He says SAS Cargo still remains committed to the operation and has no plans to terminate it, but does add: “We are of course looking at all the shared capacity we have all the time to be sure it stillmakes good business sense.”

Such analysis recently led the carrier to pull out of its longstanding freighter co-operation with Lufthansa and Japan Airlines between Gothenburg in Sweden and Osaka. SAS had been taking space three to fi ve times a week since the late 1990s on the service, which is operated with aLufthansa MD-11 freighter.

“Once again, it was a matter of price and demand,” says Marschall. “It had been under pressure for some time, and was no longer good business for us.” SAS still operates passenger fl ights to Tokyo, however.