Hong Kong Air Cargo charts new course

The inception of Hong Kong Air Cargo has emerged in the midst of rising opportunities present in the industry. Strategic plans are in place to not only expand the carrier’s prominence and focus in the air cargo industry, but to also take the reins over the entire supply chain. By Cheryl Soh

Early this year, Hong Kong Airlines formed a new wholly owned subsidiary: Hong Kong Air Cargo (HKAC). Established in 2006, Hong Kong Airlines had its roots in Hong Kong where it maintains its global vision, building up a fleet of 34 aircraft (consisting of five freighters and 29 passenger aircraft), a network of 41 major cities in Asia Pacific cities and a respected reputation within ten years. As of 2016, the freighters cover 11 freight routes and 13 destinations; and cargo volume exceeded 327,500 tonnes, which accounted for 7% of Hong Kong International Airport’s overall throughput. Th e cargo business has experienced consistent year-on-year growth since the introduction of the first A332F freighter aircraft in 2010.

Today, both the passenger traffic and cargo volume of Hong Kong Airlines ranks second in the Hong Kong market. The formation of HKAC is all part of a strategic expansion to build a comprehensive supply chain model. HKAC aims to develop its warehousing, ground handling, and cold chain businesses – having complete control over the whole supply chain and having their own customers. Chief commercial officer of Hong Kong Air Cargo, Jeffrey Zhang said, “We are not just focusing on air freight as the air cargo industry is becoming saturated. In a traditional air cargo model, customers are just the forwarders or cargo agents and we are unable to get in direct contact with the final customer.”