Nippon Cargo Airlines: From the sea to the open sky

Since its inception, Nippon Air Cargo Lines (NAC), now Nippon Cargo Airlines (NCA) has always prided itself on being able to turn adversity into opportunities. The brainchild of ocean shipping companies and airlines, the carrier has its foundations firmly rooted in the rich expertise of both sea and air cargo. Payload Asia speaks to the first cargo airline from Japan.

Ichiro Watanabe NCA Nippon Cargo Airlines


Today, the carrier still places a very high value on diversifying its product portfolio to meet customer needs. This is but one of the many strategies it has adopted to differentiate itself in the competitive market. “One of NCA’s advantages is that we operate a cutting-edge B747-8F fleet mainly on the transpacific trunk line, in which the biggest demand growth is expected compared to other trades,” explained Ichiro Watanabe, VP and GM Business Planning and Strategy Nippon Cargo Airlines, on one of the carrier’s key components to the carriers’ main differentiation strategy.


NCA currently operates 25 flights per week linking Asian gateways to major gateways in the US; with the plan to increase this to approximately 30 flights per week by the year 2020 in order to keep up with forecasted customer demand. According to Wantabe, NCA plans to be the biggest main deck provider on transpacific routes.


In addition to the transpacific routes, it also operates four transcontinental and round world flights per week, respectively. Maximizing on round world flights, which go from Narita to Ted-Stevens Anchorage International Airport (Anchorage: ANC), to O’Hare International Airport (O’Hare: ORD), to Frankfurt Airport, to Milan-Malpensa Airport and back to Narita; NCA is also able to provide its customers with transatlantic services through the fifth freedom traffic right.