Wednesday, August 1, 2012

► SAUDI ARABIA: Saudia Cargo revenues up 25% from 2011 on the back of strong African market performance.

Saudia CargoIn spite of a very difficult global economy, Saudia Cargo (SV), the Cargo subsidiary of Saudi Arabian national carrier Saudia Airlines, has posted very strong numbers for the first half of 2012, with 251'500 tons of cargo being moved - a rise of 26% on this time last year of cargo - with revenues correspondingly rising by 25%. 

Fahad Hammad, CEO of Saudia Cargo, commented: 
"We experienced all-time records in May and June 2012. The main contributors to our growth were exports from Europe, East Africa and the UAE as well as cargo from our network into Saudi Arabia and West Africa. We expect the growth spurt to continue in the second half of 2012."

Saudia Cargo Africa Network [Click to enlarge]
Saudia Cargo's Africa Network

According to Saudia Cargo, its East Africa market (Nairobi and Addis Ababa) grew by a whooping 65% whilst its Lagos, Nigeria and Ndjamena, Chad routes saw strong demand for added frequency and capacity; Lagos went daily (up from a 3x weekly 747F) whilst Ndjamena got a second 747F weekly flight, only 11 months after the route was started. Accra, Ghana was also added to the network in March, bringing to 7 the number of African destinations served by the Saudi cargo carrier, the others being: Addis Ababa, Johannesburg, Ndjamena, Khartoum, Lagos and Nairobi with plans to expand further afield in the near future.

At the opening of its Accra route in March, Peter Scholten, VP Commercial at Saudi Airlines Cargo noted:
"The commencement of the new Saudi operation coincides with the opening of a new Perishable Cargo Centre, maintaining the high quality of the fruit and vegetable supply chain. Together with the forthcoming construction of a major new Cargo Terminal and Hub operation, opening up 11 West/Central African destinations with scheduled cargo feeder services, we see exciting new opportunities for this new service to Accra".
Source [Saudia Cargo]

With a number of sub Saharan African countries experiencing strong economic growth in recent years, many cargo carriers, most notably Middle Eastern cargo airlines like Saudia and Emirates SkyCargo, have been  aggressively vying for a share of this growing, and very profitable market which until now, has been largely the domain of their European competitors.