QATAR AIRWAYS, some reckon to be the world's third largest international cargo carriers, increased its tonnage 37.5 per cent year on year in 2015 to 1,520,000 tonnes, reports the Gulf Times.
The airline also revealed that import cargo into Doha increased by 29 per cent, exports out of Doha increased by 10 per cent and transit cargo at the hub increased by 39 per cent in 2015.
"At a time when international air cargo traffic grew only 2.5 per cent in 2015, it makes us very proud that our year-on-year figures from 2014 to 2015 show that we have grown our tonnage by 37.5 per cent," said Qatar Airways cargo chief Ulrich Ogiermann.
"We have achieved this phenomenal growth through a combination of fleet and network expansion, creative interline agreements and by deploying capacity on expanding or untapped markets," he said.
Further tonnage growth is expected for 2016 as more aircraft join the expanding fleet and more destinations are added to the route network.
An A330F and a new Boeing 747F nose-loader were received by the airline in December, and an eighth A330F recently joined the fleet.
Three more Boeing 777 freighters are scheduled to arrive by the end of 2016. The airline splits its cargo capacity across its freighters and passenger aircraft with 51 per cent of shipments carried on freighters compared to 49 per cent in the belly-hold.
Qatar Airways Cargo's network expansion for 2016 began in January with the launch of a new freighter destination to Dallas/Fort Worth, taking the airline's number of freight destinations in the US to 13.
In addition, a fourth-weekly freighter began serving Los Angeles on January 19, complementing the new passenger service to the city, which commenced on January 1.
In March, Qatar Airways Cargo will launch three new freighter routes to Budapest, Prague and Ho Chi Minh. This will increase the airline's freighter destinations in Europe to 14 and in Asia/Pacific to six.
Qatar Airways Cargo will also provide bellyhold cargo capacity on the passenger flights that will commence to the new destinations of Boston, Birmingham, Adelaide and Atlanta on its network in the coming months.
Source : HKSG.