Turkish Airlines Cargo hopes for a better 2016
After a difficult 2015, the air cargo industry is looking forward to a better 2016. But the industry is facing testing times due to a weak global economic environment, falling tonnages in the market and many other such issues. We spoke to Halit Anlatan, Cargo VP Sales & Marketing, Turkish Airlines Cargo on a number of issues. Excerpts from the interview:
In a recession-hit global economy, what are the key challenges that the air cargo industry is facing?
Last year has been a difficult year for air freight industry because of the weak global economic environment. Keen competition within the air freight industry along with falling tonnages in the market, leading to lower yields and low margin were the major issues troubling the industry. In addition to the mentioned economic issues, global air cargo market is challenged with over protective laws, new regulations, and customs and security problems.
How is Turkish Cargo taking on these challenges?
Turkish Cargo always views challenges as opportunities. In this tough environment, we were able to achieve double digit growth in Asia Pacific Region. Thanks to our extensive flight network, we differentiated ourselves with our unique products. In 2015, we opened up Hanoi as new freighter destination and started passenger flights from Taipei and Manila. Our network now reaches to 284 destinations (including 55 freighter destinations) which is the biggest international network in the world.
Who are your main competitors in the region? What’s your share in the South Pacific market?
As a global player flying to more international destinations than any other airlines, we consider that the entire globe is our area of activity.
What has been your year-on-year growth over the past five years, and what’s your projection for the next five?
Turkish Cargo extended its footprint to Asia Pacific Region at 2011 and set its regional office in Hong Kong. Since 2011 we have achieved yearly around 20% growth in the region. At that time, we were only responsible for around 10 stations in the region. At the moment, we manage a total of 44 stations in 26 countries. In the next five years, our target is to increase our reach to more destinations in Asia Pacific. We expect to double our tonnage in the region by that time.
What’s your current fleet size? Any plans for expansion?
Turkish Cargo is providing direct uplift to 284 destinations worldwide. Our freighters fly to 55 destinations. Including our 10 freighter aircrafts, we do have more than 300 aircrafts in the fleet. We are planning to close this year with 339 aircrafts.
From the business perspective, which South Asian regions are more lucrative?
So far, South Asia Regions’ performance in 2015 was better than the previous year. We do expect India and Bangladesh perform better than 2015. We will have additional capacities in both countries.
How important is the Indian market for you?
There have been major improvements in India on the infrastructure front. But we believe that there still is room for more improvement. On the other hand, the domestic cargo movement within India is increasing rapidly in the recent years. There are opportunities in domestic markets whilst it also can be transferred to global market. India provides a lot of potentialities for Turkish Cargo. We are now offering both passenger and freighter services to New Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad.
What are your views on the ‘Made in India’ campaign?
We are optimistic on this campaign and we believe the air cargo industry will benefit from this initiative.
How will e-commerce change the face of the airfreight industry?
We can see sign of huge opportunity on ecommerce and it is going to be bigger in the coming years. It is now the fastest growing segment worldwide and due to the nature of e-commerce where customers prefer to receive their online purchases in the shortest possible time, it presents huge opportunities to the air cargo sector.