Carogoitalia’s vice president for Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, Livio Arizzi, says he is satisfi ed with the fi rst month of operation of the privately-owned Italian cargo airline in Vietnam. "So far so good, we have been able to fulfi ll our allotment of 40 tonnes each fl ight and the prospects are good even though we still have to promote ourselves more in this market," he says. Before joining Cargoitalia, which was established in 2005, Arizzi worked for twenty yearsfor Lufthansa and Condor.
Cargoitalia made its very fi rst scheduled fl ight to Ho Chi minh City on May 14, just two weeks after it received the green light from the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV). Far East Aviation is Cargoitalia’s general sales agent for the Vietnam market.
Ho Chi Minh City is Cargoitalia’s sixth Asian destination, following the start of twice-weekly fl ights from Milan to Shanghai via Mumbai and Madras in February. It also fl ies to Dhaka in Bangladesh and Osaka, Japan.
Arriving at Tan Son Nhat International Airport at 2 am every Thursday and Friday, the MD11F, emblazoned with the Prada-designed white pelican, has all the cargo handling facilities for itself. "Everything runs smoothly here at this very early hour and we have on average a four-hour turnaround and then the freighter is on its way back to Dhaka and Dubai before touching down at Milan’s Malpensa International Airport," Arizzi says.
From Milan the cargo is transported by trucks or plane to other destinations in Europe. On in-bound fl ights, the 90- tonne capacity freighter carries mostly hi-tech machinery and equipment for companies operating in the oil and wood-making industries of Vietnam, while on the out-bound fl ight, it carries mainly shoes, garments and different types of consumer goods.
"It’s true that European companies have not invested in Vietnam as much as Taiwanese, Japanese, Korean and Singaporean or American companies, but they do buy lots of things produced here," Arizzi comments. He expects competitors could be arriving in one year’s time,but "we will welcome them, especially the friendly competitors" since Vietnamis fast becoming a low-cost country formanufacturing export products.
For years, most of the cargo exported by air to the European markets have been carried in the bellies of Vietnam Airlines, Air France and Lufthansa passenger aircraft. "As a full freighter operator we have the capacity for quick, convenient, safe, and reliable transport even for 100cubic meter shipments," he says.
"If the Vietnamese economy continues to grow and export capacity demands increase, we could be looking at having daily fl ights here," he says. Eventually, the current twice-weekly MD11 fl ights will be operated with two Boeing 777Fs, which Cargoitalia ordered in May. – Peter Nguyen