MASkargo, Silk Way West in cargo partnership
MASkargo said the partnership was in line with the cargo department’s new philosophy of having long-haul collaboration going forward while enhancing its own network within Asia Pacific.
March 17, 2016
By PLA Editor
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Malaysia Airlines Bhd’s (MAB) cargo arm MASkargo and Azerbaijan’s cargo carrier Silk Way West Airlines have signed a Memorandum of Cooperation that will see both airlines leveraging on each other’s aircraft fleet and network in different regions of the world.
The strategic partnership between the two air cargo players entails a Block Space Agreement (BSA) on a twice weekly route to and from Kuala Lumpur and Amsterdam via Baku Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Azerbaijan. The weekly flights are scheduled to occur every Thursday and Sunday. The agreement builds on existing interline and block-space agreements that began nearly three years ago.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Ahmad Luqman Mohd Azmi, CEO of MASkargo said the partnership was in line with the cargo department’s new philosophy of having long-haul collaboration going forward while enhancing its own network within Asia Pacific. The carrier is targeting to handle up to 35,000 tonnes of cargo this year, from 28,000 tonnes in 2015.
“We have a solid network and will continue to serve key Asian and Australian market with our fleet of Airbus A330200F freighters,” Luqman said. “The partnership with Silk Way West will provide us the synergistic benefits by expanding our wings to new destinations such as Baku and Tehran and serve familiar markets such as Frankfurt, Malpensa, Vienna, Istanbul And New York.”
He added: “Our customers would be pleased to know that we will continue to serve Amsterdam Schiphol Airport which has been our long time hub in Europe via this cooperation.”
Kamran Gasimov, CEO of Silk Way West Airlines said in his welcoming speech: “Leveraging on existing interline and block-space agreements, the partnership will allow both airlines to have access to each others capacity across their respective global network. The first Azerbaijan Freighter arriving in Kuala Lumpur Airport today has started a new page in our airlines history. We will continue our network expansion in to South East region and meet the changing needs of the market”.
The inaugural Silk Way West flight, bearing flight number 7L434 touched down on Malaysian soil on 17 March with an approximate total of 105 tonnes of cargo from Amsterdam. MASkargo has received bookings for 95 tonnes of cargo for the returning flight from KLIA to Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport.
Luqman added that the partnership will not only benefit the two cargo carriers but both country’s economy and trade. “Malaysia is strategic in terms of location and Asian commodities are affordable for those from the Middle East, Europe and Americas. We are certain that the partnership between MAV cargo and silk way West and facilitate export and import of various commodities and meet the demand for fast and efficient air transport links.
Last year the carrier had indicated it planned to begin services to Singapore and Hanoi but so far no further details have emerged. Other destinations served by Silk Way West include: New York, London, Luxembourg, Milan, Budepest, Frankfurt-Hahn, Borispol, Tbilisi, Aktau, Istanbul, Tel Aviv, Baghdad, Dubai, Kandahar, Kabul, Bagram, Bishkek, Almaty and Urumqi.
Silk Way West operates a fleet of two B747-400F and three B747-8F and also cooperates closely with Silk Way Airlines and Azerbaijan Airlines, using cargo space on IL-76 and AN-12 aircraft belonging to Silk Way Airlines and bellies of passenger aircraft of Azerbaijan Airlines.