Friday, December 2, 2011

Riyadh Discharges Freight From Its First Giant Boeing Cargo Carrier

Saudi Arabia Stakes Its Claim In Airfreight Market
Shipping News Feature

SAUDI ARABIA – LUXEMBOURG – Freight only air carrier Cargolux is the launch customer for the brand new Boeing 747-8 Freighter and on Wednesday the first touchdown was made at King Khaled International Airport (KKIA) in Riyadh where the aircraft was given the traditional welcome shower by KKIA fire trucks upon arrival in Riyadh. After unloading its cargo at KKIA’s cargo terminal it then continued onwards to Hong Kong in China. Commenting on the arrival of the first Boeing 747-8F in Riyadh, Engr. Abdullah Al-Tassan, KKIA Director General, said:

“Cargolux has become one of our most important cargo airline clients at KKIA. We are delighted to have the honour of receiving the new Boeing 747-8F aircraft here in the capital of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Cargolux upgrade of its Riyadh service today confirms our important role in the air cargo industry. It is in line with our strategic plan to attract cargo airlines from all over the world and to increase the number of cargo flights on routes with high demand.”

Competition between the Arab states is decidedly warm as each vies for the prime position as leading airport and air carrier in the region. KKIA laims to be the business gateway to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and today already connects the Kingdom with 85 different passenger and cargo destinations in 35 countries. Cargolux expanded its services to Saudi Arabia earlier last summer by adding Riyadh to its destination network. The successful weekly freight service has since then been carrying mostly high amounts of consumer goods, machinery and pharmaceuticals to the Saudi capital. Commenting on the importance of Riyadh in the company’s global network, Frank Reimen, Cargolux President and Chief Executive Officer, said:

“We started our weekly service to Riyadh on 1 August 2010 with a Boeing 747-400 freighter. When we received our new flagship aircraft in October this year, we were keen to use the economics of the new-generation Boeing 747-8 freighter and deploy its enhanced payload capacity to King Khaled International Airport to bring high-value and temperature-sensitive goods to the Kingdom’s capital in a most efficient manner. I am very appreciative that the authorities went to great lengths to meet the ICAO Code F requirements to allow operations of the 747-8 freighter at KKIA.”