According to CargoForwarder Global, Air Belgium is thinking about the possibility to add dedicated freighters to the fleet in order to make cargo a substantial part of the business. No final decision on when and how is taken.
CargoForwarder had an interview with Air Belgium CEO Niky Terzakis, Cargo Chief John Cooper and Cargo Manager Europe Pascale Demieter on the airfreight strategy of the startup airline.
In addition to some well-known issues (decision to create the airline, choice of Charleroi Airport, etc.), the Air Belgium managers also talked about a seldom-discussed topic: the importance of freight for the profitability of the airline.
Pascale Demieter disclosed that “it is our intention that besides our lower deck capacity, we also introduce main deck capacity to grow our cargo business. So that air freight will become an own and sustainable part of our overall business.”
She would not elaborate further, but it is clear from the interview that a planning process for operating all-cargo aircraft is in a preliminary phase, with no decision yet taken. The Far-East would be the preferred destination area. Contacts have already been established with local General Sales Agents.
The aim would be to support Belgian exports, and in return import Asian manufactured goods.
Cargo would not be a way to make the airline profitable, but would just be a “cherry on the cake”, according to John Cooper.