African-focused Avient tests Asian waters

UK-based, Africa-focused Avient Aviation has operated what it calls a “market test flight” to Hong Kong with one of its DC-10 freighters in preparation for its commercial launch into the Asian market later this year. Speaking to Payload Asia on the sidelines of the recent Air Cargo Europe exhibition in Munich, Simon Clarke, the airline’s […]



UK-based, Africa-focused Avient Aviation has operated what it calls a “market test flight” to Hong Kong with one of its DC-10 freighters in preparation for its commercial launch into the Asian market later this year.

Speaking to Payload Asia on the sidelines of the recent Air Cargo Europe exhibition in Munich, Simon Clarke, the airline’s chief operating officer said the all-cargo airline is planning to operate a twice-weekly Hong Kong- Sharjah-Lagos service from August 2009, with onward connections to a number of destinations in Africa.

The new ser vice marks a significant departure for Avient which until now has focused on scheduled services on the Europe-Africa and Middle East-Africa trades from its operational bases at Paris-Vatry and Sharjah with a fleet of three Zimbabweregistered DC-10Fs .

Clarke said the volumes to Africa are holding up but rates are under extreme pressure. “It has suddenly become extremely competitive with rates being pushed down by existing players and new entrants to the market,” he says.

As the air cargo industry hit the skids in late December, cargo carriers started shifting excess capacity into the African market, bringing a slew of players into the continent like Air France Cargo, Cargo B, Singapore Airlines Cargo, Jade Cargo, Emirates SkyCargo and so on.