Sunday, February 24, 2013

KLM Cargo to deliver freighter to Etihad

Adding to Etihad Airways’ growing success, the Abu Dhabi based airline has formed a cooperation initiative between its cargo division and KLM cargo which adds one of KLMs Boeing 747 freighter aircraft to Etihad Cargo’s fleet.

Photo caption: (from left to right): KLM Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer Pieter Elbers, KLM Managing Director and EVP Air France-KLM Cargo Camiel Eurlings, Etihad Airways Chief Strategy and Planning Officer Kevin Knight, Etihad Airways Vice President Cargo David Kerr.
The additional aircraft will link Abu Dhabi and Amsterdam, as well as increasing capacity to Frankfurt, Hong Kong and Dhaka, using the jumbo jet with a payload capacity of 124 tons. The Boeing 747-400 ERF delivery in late March will increase Etihad Cargo’s fleet to seven aircraft allowing Etihad to grow its successful cargo division.

Camiel Eurlings, Managing Director at KLM, said: “This agreement forms and excellent basis for a fruitful and far-reaching partnership between Air France-KLM and Etihad Airways into cargo. More initiatives are to be developed to enhance cargo cooperation aiming to offer our customers a wide-ranging and high quality service.”

The news comes in the wake of the Air France-KLM group announcing its 2012 financial results who blamed increasing fuel charges and trouble with its cargo divisions. With a restructuring of the company imminent, the move, offering the KLM freighter aircraft as part of the agreement between the two airlines, seems to be a good option.

Three further freighters are schedule to be delivered direct from the manufacturers during 2013 and 2014, one Boeing 777F and Airbus A330-200F.

In January, the world’s fastest growing airline, announced it would offer daily flights between Abu Dhabi and Amsterdam from May onwards, connecting the Dutch capital to popular destinations such as Thailand, Australia and Pakistan.