Qatar Airways boosts European cargo capacity


Qatar Airways Cargo has become among the latest to increase its European freighter and belly-hold air cargo capacity, highlighting new services to and from Scandinavia and between Vietnam and France, with the carrier now operating around 175 flights per day worldwide.

The Doha-based carrier has introduced additional freighter and belly-hold capacity to and from Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm, offering freight capacity for local exports amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Five additional Airbus A350 freight only passenger aircraft have been introduced each week to the carrier’s existing thrice-weekly belly-hold passenger flights in Copenhagen, Denmark, bringing the total weekly cargo capacity to more than 500 tonnes each way.

With approximately 140 cubic metres volumetric weight on every A350 flight, the cargo carrier said it “is helping exporters in Denmark to ship their cargo to Kuala Lumpur, Sydney, Seoul, Johannesburg and other destinations on its global network. Temperature sensitive cargo such as insulin and perishables as well as mail and general cargo are the main exports on these flights.”

In Oslo, Norway, the airline has introduced two additional frequencies of Boeing 777 and Airbus A330 freighters to its existing six weekly freighter flights and three freight only passenger flights. Recently, the carrier announced it will operate its Boeing 747-8F every Thursday in May, supporting the demand for imports and exports.

The airline also operated one Boeing 777 freighter from Stockholm, Sweden last week, with 103 tonnes of freight consisting of automotive cargo, general cargo and pharmaceuticals destined to China, Australia, Japan and other countries within the Qatar Airways network.

On a regular basis, Qatar Airways Cargo will add more freighters to and from Sweden, that will help support Scandinavia’s businesses to cater to the high export demand from other countries. The airline is also bringing in imports like COVID-19 medical goods, foodstuff, flowers, garments and machinery parts on flights into Copenhagen, Denmark and Norway.

Guillaume Halleux, Chief Officer Cargo said, “Solidarity and support are paramount during such times and we are proud to support the Scandinavian countries with additional cargo capacity to meet the high demand for exports. The entire team at Qatar Airways Cargo is working hard in ensuring continuity of global trade. Although this global crisis may seem insurmountable, we must never forget we are all in this together and we will emerge stronger.”

Qatar Airways Cargo continues to operate a significant cargo schedule with approximately 175 flights per day. During the past few months, the cargo operator said it “has worked closely with governments and NGOs to transport over 100,000 tonnes of medical and aid supplies to impacted regions around the world on both scheduled and charter services, the equivalent of roughly 1,000 fully loaded Boeing 777 freighters”.

Qatar Airways Cargo said it was currently utilising its full freighter fleet as per schedule and operating belly-hold cargo flights to destinations “where possible”.

The airline also highlighted that it has now introduced an air bridge between Vietnam and France. Through this arrangement, eleven Boeing 777 freighters will operate from Hanoi in in May and four weekly freight-only Boeing 777 passenger aircraft will operate from Ho Chi Minh City until June for its customer, Bollore Logistics.

The flights will transport more than 2,000 tonnes of essential medical items, face masks and personal protective equipment to support the French Government and French Ministry of Health in the fight against the pandemic.

These flights are in addition to the airline’s scheduled ten weekly freighters from Vietnam.

Halleux said: “We are glad to support France in their fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Our entire team is working hard to ensure critical medical supplies are reaching places where they are needed the most.

“We couldn’t have done this without the help of our commercial customers who have supported us to prioritise aid and relief shipments over their existing commercial arrangements. These are difficult times, but I am confident that we will all emerge stronger after the crisis is over.”

Since March 2020, the cargo carrier has operated a number of Boeing 777F charters and scheduled flights, bringing in over 5,000 tonnes of medical supplies and relief goods into France. The carrier also operated numerous charters with humanitarian aid and relief goods to multiple destinations in Europe.

To ensure the safety of its crew and cargo, the carrier has implemented special procedures for ground handling including adherence to social distancing guidelines to ensure there is minimum contact between staff. All of its freighters and passenger aircraft are equipped with face masks, gloves and hand sanitisers for crew and all the crew and staff are screened regularly.