CAL set to expand, eying Shanghai PVG

Preferring to keep a low profile for a number of reasons – some obviously being geo-political in nature – CAL Cargo Airlines is set to gain a higher profile as it aims to double its revenue within three years, through a combination of route, charter and fleet expansion.

CAL set to expand eying Shanghai PVG

Operating relatively quietly in the background since it gained its AOC in 1999, CAL Cargo Airlines made the strategic step last year of replacing its two B747-200Fs with two, more modern B747-400ER freighters – one leased and one purchased from the former Lufthansa Cargo joint venture Jade Cargo. As Eyal Zagagi, CEO of CAL Cargo Airlines put it, “we’ve started 2015 on the right foot with two upgraded fully operational aircraft.”

Currently the Israeli all-cargo carrier runs daily flights (5-7 flights per week depending on the season) from Tel Aviv to Liege airport in Belgium and back serving mainly the Israeli market, which as Zagagi notes, “is very consignee driven, so most of the commercial activity in and out for the Israeli market is being done from Israel, not everything but the vast majority of that activity.”

Exports comprise a fair bit of agricultural products, particularly in the winter months, as well as a lot of industrial and high tech products and everything else, he says. Imports, which were negligible in the early years, have grown substantially and now imports are almost always at least as good and sometimes stronger than the exports.

These changes reflect the kind of megatrends in the Israeli economy, Zagagi notes, adding that a weak euro also helps boost imports significantly.