Friday, May 17, 2013

► SOUTH AFRICA: SAA Cargo's future hinges on domestic, regional markets as Emirates et al make their presence felt.

SAA logoSouth African Airways Cargo, and air cargo in general in South Africa, is suffering at the hands of a buoyant East African economy, a weak South African Rand and an influx of foreign carriers to countries that were, in the past, reliant on a Johannesburg hub for their international exports.

A former SAA Cargo 747
A former SAA Cargo 747-200F
Speaking at the Cool Logistics conference held in Cape Town last month, SAA's national sales manager said South Africa's international and regional export business "is dying" with the only remaining buoyant sector being the local domestic one.
We are getting more money moving perishables between Johannesburg and Cape Town that we do to London these days,” she said. “Intra-South Africa is definitely a growing market. But the real trend is that the perishables market is really getting smaller. South Africa used to export quite significantly to European markets.
Source [The Loadstar]

SAA’s biggest perishables air freight volumes are now domestic, Kenyan, Angolan and Nigerian exports, with Kenyan and Ethiopian horticultural exports in particular dominating a now receding South African horticultural market.

Other market pros have blamed the recent influx of Emirates (EK), KLM (KL), Turkish Airlines (TK) and others into the sub region, which has diminished Johannesburg's importance as a regional hub, particularly regarding Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Ms Roussow concluded that SAA Cargo's future prospects lay in the pharmaceuticals field with India and China possible long term options, though it is uncertain how this owuld work given SAA Cargo's fleet of mainly B737-300(F)s and B737-200Adv(F)s.