(MENAFN- The Peninsula)
Qatar Airways Cargo has witnessed a 4.6 percent rise in freight tonnes handled in 2020-21.
It handled 2,727,986 tonnes over the previous fiscal year, shows Qatar Airways Annual Report 2021.“This exceptional increase in freight handled also saw cargo revenues more than double,” the report added.
According to report, from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021, the carrier helped transport over 500,000 tonnes of medical equipment, PPE and aid.
As global air freight capacity dropped significantly at the start of the pandemic, Qatar Airways Cargo continued operating its full fleet of freighters, along with belly-hold flights and passenger freighters to maintain global supply chains. In addition, the cargo carrier converted six Boeing 777-300ER passenger aircraft into mini freighters to further support the international air freight market, the report said.
The report further reveals that during the peak of the pandemic, the airline operated a record 183 flights a day in the month of May 2020.“In total, Qatar Airways Cargo operated more than 1,100 charters during 2020/21.”
“This agility, resiliency, determination and innovative thinking saw the airline continue to be the world's largest air cargo carrier, accounting for 9 per cent of the market share in March 2021, according to IATA data.”
Digitalisation is one of the key pillars of the airline's strategy and it is modernising all processes to ensure efficiency, data accuracy and an enhanced customer experience.
The freight carrier introduced several initiatives including online rate distribution, ad hoc rate automation, track and trace and availability via API. In February 2021, Qatar Airways Cargo took a major digital leap, providing forwarders with real-time pricing, capacity, and eBookings via WebCargo, marking a milestone in air cargo digitalisation, the report says.
On fleet expansion, the report reveals that January 2021 saw the airline's cargo fleet expand with the addition of three Boeing 777 freighters, which arrived in convoy on the first day of the year.
“These new aircraft significantly enhance Qatar Airways Cargo's operational capability, injecting much needed capacity in the market to support global supply chains at a critical time during the pandemic.”
Qatar Airways Cargo introduced its sustainability project WeQare in June 2020. Built around the carrier's core sustainability pillars of environment, society, economy and culture, WeQare launched with Chapter 1 providing free transport of one million kilogrammes of humanitarian aid and medical equipment to charitable organisations. This was followed by Chapter 2: Rewild the Planet in February 2021, which provides free transportation for wild animals back to their natural habitats. The airline transported its very first shipment of seven rescued lions safely to their new home in South Africa as part of this programme.
According to annual report 2021, Qatar Airways Cargo also signed a five year agreement with Unicef to support the organisation's Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative to prioritise the transport of vaccines, medicines, medical devices and critical supplies.“This was in addition to a two-year pact signed in May 2020 to support UNHCR to transport crucial aid supplies to those most in need during these difficult times.”
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