Air Logistics has suffered a setbackin its Indian operation due to the cancellationof A330 passenger services toMumbai by British airline bmi.
The carrier suspended flights on theroute in early October when a serioustechnical problem was found on theA330-200 that it was using.
That suspension became permanentin late October. That was bad news forAir Logistics, the global GSA arm ofChapman Freeborn, which launchedoperations in India in 2004 on the backof the bmi business, opening offices inDelhi, Mumbai and Chennai.
Though the company also representsOcean Airlines of Italy on-line, plusRoyal Air Maroc and US Airways offlinein the country, Helmut Mair, AirLogistics’ group managing director,concedes that the operation now needsto find new clients. One possibilitycould be to route traffic from India viaDubai. Mair says opening an office inthe latter city is "definitely on the mapfor this year" and says feeding cargofrom the Subcontinent to carriers fortranshipment to Europe and the US ispart of the planning for this.
Air Logistics’ other major initiativein Asia Â¨C to develop business inChina Â¨C also seems to be making littleprogress. Last year, Mair was in talkswith a Hong Kong GSA about co-operation,but says this came to nothing."There is just nothing to report on theChina front," he says.
Back in Europe the picture is rosier.At the start of February, Air Logisticspurchased Scandinavian GSA WECO,giving it its first presence in Sweden,Denmark and Finland and filling thelast major gap on its European map.
Mair does not close the door tofurther expansion in Europe, however,and particularly says the company plans to upgrade its activities in theBenelux countries, either by furtheracquisitions or expansion of its existingoperations.
Meanwhile Air Logistics is benefitingfrom the growing interest of Asiancarriers in Spain, representing JadeCargo on its new B747F flights fromBarcelona.
Mair insists this operation has madea successful start, with good loadseastbound. "The cargo is there, buthas always been trucked to northernEuropean hubs. Now it can fly directand move faster," he says.
Both in Scandinavia and Spain, airlinescan also obtain higher eastboundrates than in Central European hubs,he notes. Air Logistics recently signeda deal with Brazilian carrier TAM tofeed cargo into its Paris flights fromGermany, Italy and the Benelux, butMair says Asian carriers are still reluctantto get involved in such multi-countrydeals.
"They have their own people in theairports they fly to, and they then lookfor help offline on a country by countrybasis," he says.
The same is true in the USA, whereAir Logistics is "by far the biggest GSA",according to Mair. It has seven officesthere, and for example, recently wasappointed by Singapore Airlines torepresent them in the south eastern USand Miami. "But Asian carriers still lookat outsourcing on a regional or stateby state basis, and mainly for offline traffic," Mair says.
Â¨C Peter Conway