Malaysia Airlines Cargo Sdn Bhd (MASkargo) is initiating intensive efforts to drive the company performance to achieve bigger targets for the year 2010.
For the most part, 2009 was very dismal for the air cargo industry as a consequence of the global financial crisis. Since around November of 2008, there was an unprecedented collapse of the airfreight industry with the biggest impact being felt in the Asia Pacific region. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), freight demand is 20% better than the low point in December 2008, but still 10% below the peak levels seen in early 2008. The industry began to show signs of improvement during the third quarter of 2009. Demand continued to show significant improvement in the forth quarter of last year, driven by the emerging economies in Asia Pacific region.
MASkargo Managing Director, Shahari Sulaiman said, “There was a dramatic turnaround in the forth quarter of 2009, lead by the Asia pacific region mainly by demand out of China. MASkargo managed to benefit from the upturn and put in a sterling performance for this period with increase in revenue, load factor and yields compared to the previous three quarter’. He went on to say, ‘Although business environment still remains challenging, we in the industry are expecting 2010 to be less volatile with moderate growth forecasted. MASkargo is looking at growing our capacity by more than 10 percent this year.”
In line with Malaysia Airlines’ Business Transformation Plan 2 (BTP2) which among others, looks at generating revenue, growing network and building capacity.
“We are introducing initiatives to increase our capacity and efficiency as an airline and ground handler in KLIA to bring more value to our customers and grow our business. Some of the plans in the pipeline are growing our freighter network, upgrading our Advanced Cargo Centre at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and developing our partnership with HNA Air Group in China.’
A strategic partnership framework was signed at group level with the HNA Air Group in October last year. MASkargo will pioneer this project with a collaboration targeted to commence in May 2010. This project will involve networks alignments which may involve freighter operations and allow MASkargo greater access to the lucrative Chinese airfreight market.
To cater to bigger cargo volumes, MASkargo will commence to upgrade the present warehouse (Advanced Cargo Center - ACC) facilities to counter obsolesce and parts scarcity. The project involves upgrading the Material Handling Cargo System used in the warehouse complex, at an estimated cost of RM100 million over the next four years. The new system implemented will ensure smoother handling cargo and increase the capacity from 650 thousand tons to 1 million tons per annum.
MASkargo is also a strong supporter of the National Agenda with additional cargo space of 660 tons allocated to the export of fruits, vegetables and flowers to Europe, Orient and Middle East. This is in line with the National Budget 2010 objectives. The cargo carrier also transported more than 1.3 million kilograms of livestock in supporting the country’s Halal Hub initiative.
A collaboration between Senai Airport Terminal Services (SATS) and MASkargo materialized in Sept 2009 with the objectives of enhancing Johor Airport as a viable airfreight and multi modal hub serving the southern region of Peninsular Malaysia including Batam and Sumatera, Indonesia and Singapore. The collaboration is in the form of one weekly flight from Kuala Lumpur to Narita via Senai and back will continue in 2010.
Security aspect of the business is very much a major concern within the industry. ‘With a high emphasis on the security of cargo in the entire supply chain the need to