Asia continues to percolate
The air cargo market almost always never fails to surpise.
May 1, 2012
By Donald Urquhart
The air cargo market almost always never fails to surpise. In this most recent global air cargo market decline Asia surprised many by the reversal of its role as the mainstay of cargo demand, suffering the industry recession worse than most other regions. But despite this, interesting developments in the Asian region continue to bubble away.
In this issue of Payload Asia we feature two particularly good examples of this Asian dyanamism – Garuda Indonesia and AirAsia. Two very different carriers with two very different stories, both fascinating in their own right. From Garuda we have a carrier with a long history, one that hit rock bottom a few years back when the European Union added the carrier to its Black List. But perhaps that was the spark that lit the kindling. From that point
on the carrier underwent a rigorous restructuring that has seen it emerge a modern, savvy entity with a clear growth strategy. The news that it plans on purchasing four A330 freighters took many by surprise, but clearly all part of well-laid set of plans premised around tapping Indonesia’s burgeoning growth track.
AirAsia on the other hand is simply unique for its strategy that clearly breaks the low cost carrier taboo against getting involved in cargo. But the carrier has proved the sceptics wrong and has managed to efficiently integrate cargo into its low cost passenger business model without impacting it. In fact, the cargo division has proved itself a boon for the AirAsia group, contributing an impressive six per cent to its bottom line. And perhaps inspired by this success, Singapore Airlines recently announced that its cargo division will manage the belly capacity of the group’s new low cost carrier, Scoot, which will offer decent cargo options through its fleet of B777s passed down from its parent.