Air Cargo

AirBridge Cargo, the only Russian carrier in the Hong Kong market, will be the main beneficiary of fifth freedom traffic rights out of the city that were granted to Russian air freight carriers following a new round of bilateral talks that concluded last month.

Global air cargo traffic soared by 11.7 percent in February, driven largely by the timing of the Chinese lunar New Year and the congestion at U.S. West Coast ports, the International Air Transport Association reported.

Thai Airways exited the freighter business this week, unable to benefit from the robust volumes on U.S. routes being generated by its Asian peers and without the scale of capacity required to drive a profitable air cargo network.

Air freight carried by Asian carriers grew by a solid 12.8 percent in the first two months of the year compared to the same period in 2014, according to data from the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA).

Qatar Airways Cargo
Qatar Airways Cargo is launching a freighter service between its Doha hub and Los Angeles International Airport, its fourth all-cargo service to the U.S.

Martinair, Air France-KLM’s all-cargo unit, announced it is laying off 330 employees, including 110 pilots, as it downsizes its freighter fleet in a bid to return to profitability.

Cathay Pacific reported a 20 percent increase in net profit for 2014 as a strong second half recovery in the cargo market helped drive up earnings to $403 million.

The government of Hong Kong has approved the building of a third runway at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA), announcing that it would fund the $18.2 billion expansion through internal funds, external borrowings and higher user fees.

Cathay Pacific and sister carrier Dragonair carried almost 30 percent more cargo in February than during the same month last year as the Hong Kong-based airlines added capacity to cope with the lunar new year surge in demand.