MIDDLE EAST: Etihad Crystal Cargo forecasts revenue drop

Etihad Crystal Cargo, the Cargo arm of Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, is anticipating a drop in its revenues this year on the back of escalating fuel prices and a decline in global demand for commodities, a senior official at the company has revealed. “It is very difficult for us and the entire airfreight industry at […]


Etihad Crystal Cargo, the Cargo arm of Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, is anticipating a drop in its revenues this year on the back of escalating fuel prices and a decline in global demand for commodities, a senior official at the company has revealed.

“It is very difficult for us and the entire airfreight industry at the moment. The rising price of fuel has inevitably raised our operating costs to an all-time high and we don’t see this changing soon,” Des Vertannes, Etihad Crystal Cargo’s Executive Vice-President for cargo, told Emirates Business.

“Due to the tight market conditions, we might not attain the same level of revenue performance as last year.”

Last year, Etihad Crystal Cargo posted revenues of US$300 million, comprising 20 per cent of Etihad Airways total revenues. But the cargo division anticipates its contribution to the overall revenues of the airline will drop to between 17 per cent and 18 per cent this year.

“The difficulties we are experiencing are a reflection of the global trend within the air freight industry,” said Vertannes.

As a result of increasing fuel costs, airfreight companies globally have had to increase their fuel surcharges almost every three weeks. Since the beginning of 2008, fuel surcharges have gone up by over 30 per cent, causing a sharp decline in air cargo, as shippers seek cheaper modes of transport.