We all need positive signs of growth in these precarious times, and that, for Turkey, comes in the form of it’s Air Cargo division of Turkish Airlines, which in the first half of 2020 grew by 67%, and increased its market share by 1.5%.
Onur Okutur, the Turkey Director of Kearney, the global management consultancy who carried out the research of global air carrier businesses mentioned that ‘with the increased average usage time of wide-body cargo aircraft to 11 hours per day in June, even passenger planes had to be used for cargo, as other planes reached full capacity.’
What worked in their favour, certainly over the last 6 months, was that Turkish Cargo were one of the first to respond to the pandemic, and they recognised the urgency at which they needed to be open to provide the pharmaceutical, medical equipment & masks that their own country & the world needed, plus given that they service more than 300 destinations in 127 countries, and have over 300 aircraft, it was vital that they put the necessary plans in place, to be ready for when the world called.
Turhan Ozen who is the Deputy General Manager and Chief Cargo Officer for THY, noted that ‘We responded very fast to the changes bought about by the pandemic right from when the cases first started emerging, plus, in this difficult period when the global transportation network has come to a standstill, we were still highly motivated to provide what was needed to our humanitarian community’.
Kearney’s report also goes on to mention that the cargo industry was always going to benefit slightly more during the pandemic given the sharp increases in shipping costs, due to restraints placed on capacity, for example ships from Asia to America now charging up to $20 per kg, rather than a pre-pandemic cost of between $3-4.
It wasn’t just Turkish Airlines of course that took part in the global effort, and who also increased capacity during this time, with both Lufthansa and Air Canada gaining a special mention.