TNT boosts Europe-Asia capacity with own freighter

While the economic crisis has seen virtually every air cargo carrier across the globe scale back capacity, cut routes and ground aircraft, TNT Express has taken the contrarian step of actually introducing new capacity on the Europe-Asia trade. Donald Urquhart reports from Hong Kong.

B747-400ER investment key strategy Michael J Drake seamless connectivity TNT Express

Europe’s second largest global express company boosted capacity on its Europe-China route on 18 September with the addition of its own B747-400ER freighter, replacing capacity previously booked on other commercial carriers. The 110-tonne capacity freighter will operate three times weekly between Hong Kong and its main air hub in Liege,Belgium.

TNT highlighted the fact that this service gives customers in southern China seamless connectivity with its air and road network for delivery throughout Europe and said it reflects TNT’s commitment to investing and growing in Asia.

Speaking at a press briefing in Hong Kong last month, James McCormac, regional managing director of TNT Asia Pacific acknowledged it was an “uncertain moment in difficult economic times, but we believe it is the right investment.”

“We have a business case for the new service which justifies the investment and our expectations are that we will over-achieve that business case,” he said, adding that he is confident this will be the case through the traditional peak season and Chinese Lunar New Year period at least. McCormac also affirmed that TNT was committing to this service on a long term basis.

Adding that the key sector driving this expansion is the high-tech market vertical, Michael J Drake, regional MD, TNT North Asia said: “There is a position in the market that we have attained and that we want to strengthen, it’s a key strategy for today and will be a key strategy going into the future and we are resourcing up to maximise it.”