Etihad Cargo, the cargo and logistics arm of Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Aviation Group, has reclaimed 90 percent of its pre-COVID destinations and recorded a 20 percent increase in tonnage compared to the same period in 2019. The award-winning UAE carrier, which is looking to facilitate a global trade recovery and restore distribution confidence in international markets, currently services 72 network destinations across the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas. Its active fleet of 65 aircraft operate 430 weekly rotations, in addition to charter flights which service demand across non-network destinations.
“Etihad Cargo has maintained network operations throughout the pandemic and provided appropriate capacity to cater for demand on key routes, which has resulted in a significant increase in tonnage being carried across the global network,” said Martin Drew, senior vice president for sales and cargo, Etihad Aviation Group. “The commitment to expanding operations and provision of additional support to customers where there have been capacity shortages has seen Etihad Cargo carrying more on fewer routes than pre-pandemic. During the coming months, capacity growth is expected to continue, supported by the reintroduction of Etihad Airways passenger flights.”
In the past month, Etihad Airways introduced flights to Malaga, Mykonos, Santorini, Phuket and Vienna, providing additional belly-hold capacity between Europe and Asia. Charter operations and a cabin loading initiative – which saw the carrier modify five of its Boeing 777 aircraft by removing seats to provide additional capacity on key routes such as Dhaka and Ho Chi Minh City – have enabled the Abu Dhabi-based carrier to service increased Asian demand.
“Record loads have recently been achieved on a number of Asian flights, including more than 58,000 kg from Dhaka and 52,000 kg from Ho Chi Minh,” added Drew. “These loads, with increased capacity enabled by cabin loading, were bound for Middle Eastern and European destinations via Etihad Cargo’s Abu Dhabi hub – a clear demonstration of the carrier’s determination to continue facilitating a global trade recovery.”
Year-to-date, Etihad Cargo has operated over 200 charter flights to 30 destinations not serviced through its network, 20 percent of which were on behalf of the UAE government. Since January 2021, Etihad Cargo has operated charter services to countries including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Comoros, Equatorial Guinea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Senegal, and others across Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas.