Monday, November 12, 2012

► NIGERIA: Etihad Cargo launches 15 new West African destinations via its reactivated Lagos hub.

Etihad CargoEtihad Cargo, a division of Etihad Airways (EY), will re-introduce a weekly freighter service from Abu Dhabi to the Nigerian city of Lagos, effective November 15. The service will be complemented by the addition of 16 new interline destinations across West Africa.

Etihad Airways Cargo 747-400F
Artist's Rendering of an Etihad Airways Cargo 747-400F(AM)
These additional interline connections will link Lagos with the cities of Libreville (Gabon), Pointe-Noire (Congo-Brazzaville), Malabo (Equatorial Guinea), Douala (Cameroon), Accra (Ghana), Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire), Nouakchott (Mauritania), Conakry (Guinea), Bamako (Mali), Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), Cotonou (Benin), Monrovia (Liberia), Freetown (Sierra Leone), Port Harcourt (Nigeria) and Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo).

The Abu Dhabi-Lagos freighter service will operate every Thursday using a Boeing 747-400F freighter, with a capacity of 124 tonnes. Etihad Airways already operates six weekly Airbus A330 passenger services between the two cities, providing additional belly cargo space.

West Africa has recently become a major focal point for Middle Eastern carriers, with Saudia Cargo (SV) having already launched a similar initiative to Etihad's, in September.

Kevin Knight, Etihad Airways’ Chief Strategy and Planning Officer, said:
“West Africa is a hugely important market for us, and we are delighted to offer freighter services to and beyond one of its gateway cities – Lagos.

“The 16 new interline destinations, with connections over Lagos, will ensure Etihad Cargo has leading logistics solutions for cargo customers into and out of the region.

“Via Lagos, these new destinations will also help cement the ever expanding trade ties between West Africa and the UAE.”

Etihad Cargo’s existing African freighter destinations include: Johannesburg, Nairobi, Khartoum, Benghazi, Tripoli, Cairo, Casablanca, Addis Ababa and Eldoret.

Etihad Cargo flies to a total of 86 destinations internationally, operating a fleet of six freighters, consisting of one Airbus A300-600F, two Airbus A330-200F, one McDonnell Douglas MD-11F, one Boeing B777F and one Boeing B747-400F leased from Atlas Air.