Cargoitalia created a division to handle growing charter and aircraft wet lease operations, which are compensating for reductions in the Italian cargo airline’s scheduled services.
The new unit, Cargoitalia Ondemand, now accounts for around 30 percent of the Milan-based carrier’s total flying time.
The company recently signed a long-term contract with Lufthansa Cargo to operate twice-weekly MD-11 freighter services between Frankfurt and New York and Chicago. It also renewed a contract with Africa West doubling the previous weekly flights from Liege, Belgium, to destinations across West Africa.
“The MD-11 freighter is proving an ideal aircraft for scheduled airlines needs short-term or periodic additional capacity. It is large enough to provide the extra general cargo space they require and can also cater for outsize cargo. But it does not require the same constant high levels of demand as newer and larger equipment like 777 or 747 freighters,” said Giacomo Sciuto, Cargoitalia’s manager for charter and ACMI [aircraft, crew, mainte4nance and insurance] contracts.
The MD-11 is also winning charter contracts for which the 747 is too large and too expensive and for contracts where the A-300s and 767s are too small, he said.
Ondemand has compensated for reduced frequencies and suspensions of some scheduled services due to falling demand, overcapacity and high fuel costs, said Cargoitalia managing director Giacomo Manzon. “Onedemand is absorbing our spare capacity, which means we are now able to maintain our scheduled services until the market conditions are right to restart our expansion program.”
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