Hong Kong Airlines enjoys a cargo ‘sweet spot’

In a contrarian move to much of the industry, up and coming cargo carrier, Hong Kong Airlines continued to add freighter capacity in 2014, bucking the headwinds with rising volumes and utilisation of both its passenger belly and maindeck capacity. Manfred Singh has the story.


Hong Kong Airlines enjoys a cargo ‘sweet spot’


For a cargo carrier, having a homebase at the world’s biggest cargo airport can only be a good thing. But it clearly takes more than location to make the business work and for Hong Kong Airlines, being nimble and flexible are only part of the story. Eddie Chan, Hong Kong Airlines general manager, cargo revenue management, was proud to declare the teamwork of the carrier’s various departments when he accepted an Industry Choice Award on behalf of the cargo carrier at the recent Payload Asia Awards 2014. That teamwork has seen the relatively young airline’s cargo loads not just growing, but growing rapidly.

Jeffrey Zhang, Hong Kong Airlines’ cargo director, detailed the figures citing Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) data, which indicated that Hong Kong Airlines (including freighter and belly cargo) had uplifted 268,873,238 kg of freight and mail to/from its Hong Kong Airport hub between January and November 2014. “It is a growth of 37 per cent, compared to the same period of 2013,” Zhang noted.

That in itself is a number to be proud of, but even more so, the total volume is equivalent to a market share of seven per cent of the total tonnage handled by Hong Kong International Airport – not a trivial market share considering HKIA is the home of industry giant, Cathay Pacific. In the same period, Hong Kong Airport handled 3,987,418,471 kg of freight and mail, up six per cent y-o-y.