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Abu Dhabi Airport,
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Etihad Cargo, part of UAE flag carrier Etihad Airways, has posted record monthly uplift figures for July of 45,000 tonnes, a 37 per cent increase on the same month in 2012 (32,876 tonnes).
Etihad Airways’ Chief Strategy and Planning Officer, Kevin Knight, said: “Over the past 12 months we’ve strengthened our global cargo business, expanded operations across new and existing trade lanes, seen demand continue to grow, and in response, we’ve been able to add greater capacity via our growing passenger and freighter fleet.”
The impressive tonnage figures for July were driven largely by increases in key export markets such as India, Hong Kong and China and demand into the Middle East for foodstuffs ahead of the Holy Month of Ramadan, predominately from The Netherlands.
The carrier’s Abu Dhabi hub also posted record tonnage for July with 70,500 tonnes handled into, out of and through the cargo facilities, which are now part of Etihad’s subsidiary organisation, Etihad Airport Services – Cargo.
Mr Knight added: “Announced in May this year, the acquisition of the Abu Dhabi Cargo Company, is an investment turning point in terms of how we plan to grow cargo handling at our hub, and drive better synergies and efficiencies for the benefit of our local and international customer base.
“To meet the future demand for cargo at our Abu Dhabi hub, planning is also underway to develop the East Midfield site for a new state-of-the-art integrated Cargo Terminal.”
Mr Knight said the recent arrival of Etihad Cargo partner carriers into Abu Dhabi, where Etihad provides and receives complementary network feeds, also cements the importance of Abu Dhabi as key point of integration and partnership in global cargo networks.
Etihad Cargo’s freighters include three Boeing B777F, one Boeing 747-8F, one Boeing 747-400ERF, one Boeing 747-400F, three Airbus A330-200F, and a remaining freighter delivery – an Airbus A330-200F will arrive in spring 2014.
The average age of Etihad Cargo’s fleet is now just 3.3 years, and 1.3 years for Etihad Cargo’s six owned freighters. The airline’s three Boeing 747 freighters are leased from Atlas Air (2) and KLM (1) respectively.