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Cathay Pacific Cargo targets South American, African markets

HONG Kong's Cathay Pacific's wants to expand its reach to South America and Africa, says the airline's new director of cargo Tom Owens

19 October 2020 - 19:00

HONG Kong's Cathay Pacific's wants to expand its reach to South America and Africa, says the airline's new director of cargo Tom Owens.

The airlines' new director cargo - a role reinstated in August - told customers the carrier was identifying 'areas of our work that need to be accelerated'.



'This will largely be based around digitisation and automation, using data to get to know you and your business requirements better, as well as improving our performance and service delivery.'



But he added, the carrier's ambition to become 'the world's most customer-centric air freight provide'' remained.



Digitisation projects include next-generation multi-dimensional track and trace and a blockchain-enabled initiative to manage ULDs.



The carrier has converted four passenger 777s to seatless 'preighters', with Mr Owens noting that it had relaunched airmail services to Australia and the UK, and launched a temporary service between Ho Chi Minh and Pittsburgh 'to keep vital tradelanes open', pledging to 'remain ready and willing to help in this peak season'.



But Mr Owens said the cargo business needed continuous improvement, reports The Loadstar of UK.



Cathay is currently operating 20 freighters in an endorsement of its decision to invest in them when other carriers got out of the market. It said it would look at expansion opportunities in its network which it could quickly 'snap up', pointing out that the pandemic had created 'short-term opportunities because of the imbalance between capacity and demand'.



The airline has said it would like to be stronger in Africa and South America, and that it would consider investing in regional freighters to serve the intra-Asian market.



Mr Owens concluded that 'it is not going to be a straightforward ride' and that international trade would be unlikely to grow as fast, in the short-term, as before.



'But it is a volatile world, and in cargo, things change pretty fast.'


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