Thursday, November 3, 2011

Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Adds Silk Way and S7 Airlines As Freight Operators

Continued expansion for Chinese hub
Shipping News Feature

HONG KONG, CHINA - Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (Hactl) has signed two more carriers to its freight cargo services as operators; Silkway Airlines and S7. Both airlines started services into Hong Kong on 2 November 2011.

Silk Way Airlines of Azerbaijan commenced twice-weekly freighter services with Boeing 747F aircraft on 2 November. The aircraft operates Hong Kong – Baku (its home base) – Istanbul – Milan Malpensa, returning by the same route.

The company's all-freighter fleet comprises 16 aircraft: 2 B747-400Fs, 8 IL76s, 2 Stage 4-compliant IL76 90SWs, and 4 Antonov AN12s. The airline is expected to receive an additional B767-300F by mid-2012, when new routings will be developed. Silk Way Airlines operates scheduled and charter flights to over 50 destinations, including points in Afghanistan, Iraq and West Kazakhstan.

Hactl is providing Silk Way Airlines with one-stop-shop air cargo handling services including physical cargo handling, air cargo documentation and ramp handling services.

Says Nidjat Babayev, Business Development Deputy Director of Silk Way Airlines: “We have great hopes for Hong Kong, as the latest addition to our growing international freighter network via Central Asia, and are pleased to be working with a handling agent with the enormous resources and strong track record of Hactl. This will enhance our product offering.”

On the same day, S7 Airlines of Siberia commenced once weekly A320 passenger services to Hong Kong from Vladivostok. Hactl is providing physical cargo handling and air cargo documentation services for the new flights.

S7 Airlines is Russia’s largest domestic air carrier, with main bases at Moscow, Novosibirsk and Irkutsk. It also operates international services to the CIS, Europe, Near East, South Asia and the Asia-Pacific region. The S7 fleet comprises 31 passenger aircraft including 19 A319s, 9 A320s, an A310 and 2 B767-300s.

S7's China and South-East Asia General Manager, Vadim Shevalye comments: “With initially limited capacity for cargo on this new service, we will focus on high-yield traffic and interlining. Hactl’s impressive express facilities, and the large number of carriers handled within their facility, create interesting opportunities for us.”

Adds Lilian Chan, Executive Director of Hactl: “We are very pleased to welcome both new carriers to Hong Kong and Hactl. Their addition to our portfolio of airlines adds to the interline opportunities under our one roof, for them and for our other carrier customers. They also further enhance the appeal of Hong Kong as the primary airfreight hub for Asia.

“These carriers’ very different operations illustrate Hactl’s flexibility in catering for aircraft of all sizes and types, ranging from narrow-body passenger aircraft to the largest freighters.”