MASkargo looks to expand in 2010
The head of Malaysian Airlines' cargo subsidiary, MASkargo, said a strong fourth quarter has breathed optimism into the industry and the airline hopes to expand its freighter network and upgrade its Kuala Lumpur hub in 2010.
“There was a dramatic turnaround in the forth quarter of 2009, led by the Asia pacific region mainly by demand out of China,' said Shahari Sulaiman, MASkargo managing director, in a statement. 'MASkargo managed to benefit from the upturn and put in a sterling performance for this period with increases in revenue, load factor and yields compared to the previous three quarters.
'Although the business environment still remains challenging, we in the industry are expecting 2010 to be less volatile with moderate growth forecasted. MASkargo is looking at growing our capacity by more than 10 percent this year.'
Sulaiman said he expects MASkargo to benefit from a strategic partnership Malaysian Airlines signed with Hainan Airlines, with the partnership to come into effect in May.
'The project will involve networks alignments which may involve freighter operations and allow MASkargo greater access to the lucrative Chinese air freight market,' the airline said.
Other upgrades include a four-year $120 million upgrade of its Advance Cargo Center in Malaysian's hub in Kuala Lumpur International Airport. The upgrade will increase capacity by nearly 50 percent, to 1 million tons of cargo.
Malaysian has also expanded the use of the airport in Senai, in southern Malaysia, with one weekly flight from Kuala Lumpur to Tokyo being routed through Senai.