At that time, Hong Kong was served 8-10 times a week, and the cargo was distributed from there throughout Asia. As of 1979, CargoluxÃ¢â‚¬™s B747-200F were introduced when frequencies out of Hong Kong were reduced, based on non-scheduled rights. This led to the application of additional traffic rights and other Asian gateways were added, including Taipei, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok, and as of 1985 Fukuoka, replaced later by Komatsu. Since 1993, all services have been operated by the companyÃ¢â‚¬™s B747-400 freighters.
Looking at the traffic right situation in Asia during the early years, we were only able to operate f ights out of Hong Kong if the scheduled carriers had full flights and applications had to be submitted to the Hong Kong aviation authorities for every flight. During the difficult years, 1982/1983, the authorities wanted to restrict the Ã¢â‚¬Ëœcharter operatorsÃ¢â‚¬™, mainly Cargolux and Martinair, but with the support of the HKG ShippersÃ¢â‚¬™ Council we managed to negotiate tonnage restrictions (per flight) in order to maintain presence in Hong Kong. In June 1998 Hong Kong SAR and Luxembourg signed the air services agreement, and Cargolux finally became a scheduled carrier, leading to strong growth in the HKG freight market, from twice a week in 1997 to twice daily at its peak times in 2007.
Taiwan was the most liberal in terms of traffic rights and was the biggest hub during the 80Ã¢â‚¬™s with considerable tonnage flown in as interline cargo from mainly Japan, Korea and the Philippines. Singapore and Bangkok flights were more on ad-hoc basis with restrictions and Malaysia was opening up more and more. We finally negotiated traffic rights with Japan, resulting in scheduled services (with restrictions on tonnage and transit points) from Fukuoka in late 1985.
Australian flights were operated as full charters with restrictions to load live animals and perishables, on the return legs, at government controlled rates. China was added much later, in February 1998, following the return of Hong Kong to China. The governments of Luxembourg and the PRC signed the route annex to the air services agreement between the two countries, and Cargolux was granted permanent traffic and landing rights to Shanghai. The first PVG flight was operated in 1999, with an additional frequency every year. By 2005, Cargolux had been operating daily services between Luxembourg and Shanghai. As of January 2006, twiceweekly services between Beijing, Xiamen and Luxembourg were added.
Back in early 1990, when China reopened their door slowly to the outside world, there was not much change to AsiaÃ¢â‚¬™s air cargo market, while the strongest exports were still from Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the Singapore area. China did not pick up until Hong Kong returned back to China in 1997. Since then, with the huge China market and with Hong Kong being one of the most efficient airports, as well as its fully comprehensive air cargo facilities, the Chinese freight market took off especially when the new HKG Chek Lap Kok Airport came into picture inthe year 1998.
The Pearl River Delta region since then has become one of the important manufacturing areas within Asia and created a perfect honeymoon period between 1997-2000, continuing after 2001 up to 2008. It is not until the end of 2008/early 2009, that the present economic crisis happened, having a negative impact on the entire cargo industry, still suffering today.
During the past ten years, Cargolux had many initiatives to expand its Asian network, such as direct services from HKG to Budapest, from HKG to Barcelona and from HKG to Vienna. Furthermore, stations in Melbourne and Auckland were opened, with the start of the round-the-world flight Luxembourg- Singapore-Melbourne-Auckland-Los Angeles-Luxembourg. Seoul became Ã¢â‚¬ËœonlineÃ¢â‚¬™, and most recently, Cargolux set foot in Vietnam and started the twiceweekly Ho Chi Minh City-Luxembourg service.
The arrival of Payload Asia magazine in 1984 was extremely important for the air cargo industry in Asia and worldwide, based on Nolvan FenemaÃ¢â‚¬™s excellent knowledge of air cargo, networking skills among airlines, cargo agents, manufacturers and airports and a huge talent for journalism! Nol proves professional integrity earns the confidence of senior executives of the global air cargo industry. Alongside his publication came the conferences, a benchmark standard for the global air cargo industry.
Cargolux has always kept a great relationship with Payload Asia over all these years, meeting with Nol van Fenema at the various air cargo conferences and exhibitions, as well as via editorial coverage and with his team for advertisements. Same has also been extended via Don Urquhart, who, together with Nol van Fenema brings highest standards of journalism to the aviation industry. Our sincere congratulations to Payload AsiaÃ¢â‚¬™s 25th Anniversary and continued worldwidesuccess!