IAG Cargo has announced that it has signed a long-term commercial agreement with Qatar Airways to purchase capacity on Qatar Airways-operated air cargo freighters, effective from 1 May 2014.
Qatar Airways will operate five B777F flights a week between Hong Kong and London on behalf of IAG Cargo, providing continuity of service for IAG Cargo customers.
Willie Walsh, CEO of IAG, commented: “We are delighted to reach this agreement with Qatar Airways. This new partnership is an important step forward for us and enhances our relationship with Qatar. It allows us to continue delivering significant capacity for our customers through the important gateway of Hong Kong. This agreement ensures our customers in Hong Kong will see a smooth transition from the current arrangements to the Qatar Airways flights.”
“With the ongoing arrival of our next generation aircraft, IAG Cargo’s customers will now benefit from increased belly-hold capacity as well as the deployment of freighter services on capacity constrained routes.”
The agreement marks a transition for IAG Cargo and follows the company’s decision to transfer freighter operations from its current provider, Global Supply Systems.
IAG Cargo connects 350 destinations worldwide, serving the world’s economic hubs with cargo-friendly wide-bodied planes. Through its Constant Climate network, it has one of the largest networks globally for handling temperature-sensitive air cargo.
Qatar Airways is already a partner with IAG through the oneworld global alliance which it joined in October 2013. The airline is taking delivery of a further three B777F aircraft during 2014.
Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways, commented: “Qatar Airways is pleased to be furthering our relationship with IAG Cargo. The growth in the cargo market has fuelled Qatar Airways’ massive expansion in this business and this exchange with IAG Cargo allows us both to deliver optimal level of service, convenience and flexibility to our worldwide cargo customers. Hong Kong is a key market on our route map, and so we have continually made investments in the capacity operating on the route.
“Qatar Airways Cargo is currently undergoing significant development and growth with the introduction of new aircraft and freighter routes. The opening of our brand new facility at Hamad International Airport will soon see 1.4 million tonnes of cargo being handled annually. Our expansion plans and innovation initiatives will definitely support IAG Cargo to deliver a high level of service to their customers.”