• ITVI.USA
    16,030.520
    117.340
    0.7%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.809
    0.016
    0.6%
  • OTRI.USA
    22.220
    -0.080
    -0.4%
  • OTVI.USA
    16,016.550
    115.560
    0.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.950
    -0.570
    -16.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.610
    0.650
    22%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.370
    -0.240
    -14.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.550
    0.210
    6.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.320
    0.220
    10.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.110
    0.250
    6.5%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    0.000
    0%
  • ITVI.USA
    16,030.520
    117.340
    0.7%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.809
    0.016
    0.6%
  • OTRI.USA
    22.220
    -0.080
    -0.4%
  • OTVI.USA
    16,016.550
    115.560
    0.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.950
    -0.570
    -16.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.610
    0.650
    22%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.370
    -0.240
    -14.9%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.550
    0.210
    6.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.320
    0.220
    10.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.110
    0.250
    6.5%
  • WAIT.USA
    126.000
    0.000
    0%
American Shipper

IAG integrates BA, Iberia cargo units

   IAG Group, the holding company formed in January 2011 with the merger of British Airways and Spanish airline Iberia, is folding together the cargo operations of the two airlines to create a single business unit that can offer better service, David Shepherd, director of IAG Cargo, recently said.
   The company has started to integrate the sales forces of the two airlines, unify product offerings and offer more destinations, Shepherd said on a webcast last week organized by the Airforwarders Association about air cargo security. IAG sponsored the event.
   IAG is a major carrier group, with 348 planes flying to 200 overseas destinations and carrying more than 50 million people per year. The company is registered in Spain, with shares traded on both the London and Spanish stock exchanges. Its corporate headquarters is in London. 
   Officials have laid out a strategy of growth through acquisition. In December, IAG agreed to buy troubled British Midland International from Lufthansa. British Midlands cost the German carrier 285 million euros in loses and disposal costs in 2011, the company announced Wednesday. The transaction, which should receive European Union regulatory approval later this month, is not expected to add much cargo business because bmi is a short-haul European passenger airline.
   As more airlines are added to the portfolio, the company’s vision for the cargo business is to offer customers a uniform selling platform, standardized products and a streamlined network. “So it won’t matter to you what the tail fin of the plane is that your cargo is flying – you can expect the same level of service,” Shepherd said in a follow-up interview from London.
   Fully integrating the British Airways and Iberia cargo operations will take two to three years, he told the Airforwarders’ audience. 
   In North America, IAG Cargo is bringing Iberia sales under the much larger British Airways operation so that customers will have a single point of contact and not have to work through a general sales agent to book Iberia cargo in Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, New York or Miami. IAG Cargo rolled out a new Website this month to allow online booking and is working to create a number of additional services, with functionality growing in the coming weeks and months. 
   IAG Cargo is realizing savings by eliminating the need for outsourced selling through the general sales agents, Shepherd said.
   The company also will be able to provide much more capacity from North America into Europe, especially southern Europe.
   “We’re linking up our vast British Airways network with the fairly regional, trade-lane specific Iberia network between Europe and Latin America, and that’s creating some new routings that neither airline has been able to offer to the customer base before,” Shepherd said.
   IAG is the seventh largest cargo carrier as measured in cargo ton kilometers. The carriers above it all have large freighter fleets.
   British Airways operates three Boeing 747-8 freighters. 
   British Airways has strong network reach into North America, the Middle East, Africa and the Far East, while Iberia is a major carrier on the Latin America-to-Europe route. 
   Shepherd told American Shipper that IAG Cargo now has the ability to link the London and Madrid hubs with widebody aircraft, which gives customers much more flexibility to arrange cargo moves around the world. IAG Cargo flies unitized loads to more of the top 120 freight airports in the world than any other carrier, he said.
   IAG Cargo is also standardizing ground handling operations as quickly as possible, he added. 
   Last year, IAG had operating profit of 485 million euros ($628 million) on a 10.4 percent rise in revenue to 16.3 billion euros. Cargo revenue increased 8.6 percent to 1.2 billion euros ($1.5 billion), with volume up 4.2 percent to 6.2 million cargo ton kilometers and yield up the same amount as measured against weight and distance transported. 
   In February, Iberia pilots went on strike for five days, but the airline was able to operate about 64 percent of its flights.
   Group cargo volume declined 3.1 percent last month, year-over-year, to 473 million cargo ton kilometers. For January and February, volume declined 1.8 percent to 939 million cargo ton kilometers from the same period a year ago, with a 70 percent load factor.
   In its fourth quarter earnings report, IAG said Iberia faces risk from the financial uncertainty in the eurozone and increasing competition from low-cost airlines, high-speed rail and other longhaul airlines. — Eric Kulisch

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