Europe & CIS : Cargoitalia establishes ACMI/charter division

Cargoitalia, Italy’s only all-cargo airline, has established a new division to cater for its growing ACMI and charter business, which now accounts for around 30 per cent of Cargoitalia’s total flying time.


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Europe & CIS : Cargoitalia establishes ACMI/charter division

Cargoitalia, Italy’s only all-cargo airline, has established a new division to cater for its growing ACMI and charter business, which now accounts for around 30 per cent of Cargoitalia’s total flying time. The new division has been named Cargoitalia Ondemand and is headed up by newlypromoted Giacomo Sciuto in the position of Charter & ACMI manager. Cargoitalia’s charter and ACMI work has grown dramatically, the carrier said, most recently with the signing of a longterm contract for Lufthansa Cargo to operate twice-weekly from Frankfurt to New York and Chicago; the contract follows a number of ad hoc flights for Lufthansa since 2009. Cargoitalia also renewed its contract for Africa West in June and now involves a doubling of the previous weekly flights from Liege to destinations throughout west Africa. “The MD11 freighter is in a league of its own,” said Sciuto. “It is proving an ideal aircraft for scheduled airlines needing short-term or periodic additional capacity. It is large enough to provide the extra general cargo space they require, and can also cater for outsize cargo. But it does not require the same constant high levels of demand as newer and larger equipment like B777 or B747 freighters. “We are also receiving a steady flow of charter enquiries and movements. Again, the size of the aircraft is winning jobs for which the B747 is too large and too expensive, and the A300/B767 are too small. Much of our work is in Africa, which is a traditionally strong market for the MD11F with its high temperature and high-altitude operating capabilities.” The success of Cargoitalia Ondemand has been a welcome boost to Cargoitalia’s fortunes, following recent cutbacks in its scheduled services says managing director Giacomo Manzon: “2011 has been a difficult year for all freighter operators, with falling demand, overcapacity and rising fuel costs. Our routes have been impacted, resulting in our need to temporarily reduce frequency and suspend some services. “Ondemand is absorbing our spare capacity, which means we are now able to maintain our scheduled services until the market conditions are right to re-start our expansion programme.” He concludes: “We are re-modelling Cargoitalia as a more flexible operation that can cater for every type of freighter requirement, from scheduled service through long-term ACMI contracts to one-off charter flights. We now recognise the full potential of this market, and the ideal suitability of the MD11F for such work. As we recommence our scheduled service growth programme, we will also now make full provision for Ondemand. This diversification into two parallel businesses will strengthen Cargoitalia and better prepare it to face tough market situations in the future.”