IAG rides high on surging Malaysia volumes

IAG Cargo has seen sharply increased volumes both in and out on its just-opened Kuala Lumpur service, as the new destination looks set to add not just more capacity but strength and depth to IAG’s presence in Southeast Asia. “It does plug a gap. Certainly in Southeast Asia it plugs a big gap,” John Cheetham, regional commercial manager for Asia Pacific and India told Payload Asia in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur (KL). By Michael Mackey.

“We feel that KL is a very, very strong destination for air cargo,” Cheetham said. Another part of the attraction is that of a strategic hub for the Southeast Asia region. “We look forward to be using KL in that respect,” added Cheetham.

The background to this is not totally unexpected. Malaysia is one of the booming vibrant economies of the world. Per capita GDP at US$23,900 per annum, with a growing and confident middle class (which might explain the cherries and blueberries), is forecast to grow by six per cent this year.

Malaysia’s exports last year were US$234.14 billion, compared to imports of US$208.86 billion. Some 14.2 per cent of this was with just-across-the-causeway Singapore, but swathes of it was with more distant places like China, Japan and the US who respectively account for 12, 10.8 and 8.4 per cent respectively, of exports, Md Silmi Abd Rahman, director of Matrade’s Transport, Logistics and Machinery section said. Matrade is the government agency tasked with promoting Malaysia’s overseas trade.

Of exports a third are electrical and electronic products with petroleum and LNG products the next two largest categories at 9.2 and 8.4 per cent respectively. This broad range from oil and gas goods to perishables and the volumes involved, allows air cargo to operate, said Cheetham.