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Etihad responds to rising US cargo demand with extra capacity

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Etihad Cargo is looking to meet rising demand to the US and Canada through the addition of extra capacity to key North American destinations.

The Abu Dhabi-headquartered carrier said it will offer incremental space beyond its existing bellyhold capacity in cooperation with partner airlines.

The move will see the carrier offer an extra 250 tonnes per week to New York, Chicago, Washington, Boston and Toronto through European gateways Lisbon, Barcelona, Madrid and Rome.

This comes on top of its existing  550 tonnes of widebody capacity to North America.

The carrier currently provides 445 tonnes ex US via 30 flights per week through four gateways: New York, Chicago, Washington and Boston and a further 105 tonnes ex Canada via daily flights to Toronto.

“The flights will operate in adherence to Etihad Cargo’s dedicated Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), ensuring seamless connectivity for partners and customers,” the carrier said.

Etihad Airlines vice president of cargo Stanislas Brun said: “Adding depth to the carrier’s US network and introducing incremental capacity for the North American market demonstrates the importance of this market and Etihad Cargo’s commitment to meeting customers’ needs and supporting global trade.

“Etihad Cargo recognises the vital role that air freight plays in connecting economies and is dedicated to providing seamless and reliable services to remain the air cargo partner of choice.”

The expansion of belly capacity comes as the US has seen demand rise rapidly as a result of soaring e-commerce shipments.

This trend has been compounded by ocean shipping capacity shortages as companies look to move peak season goods early in response to disruption last year and concerns about a potential US container port strike later in the year.

The rising demand for air cargo on the transpacific is reflected in airfreight rate figures from the Baltic Exchange Airfreight Index powered by TAC data.

Its figures show that rates out of Hong Kong to North America are currently 14.5% up year on year to around $5.75 per kg, while prices from Shanghai are up around 30% to more than $5.60 per kg.

However, the cost of box shipping has risen at a much faster rate and the ocean prices globally are currently around six times less than airfreight. This compares with a historic average of around 12-15 times less.

Etihad’s decision to find extra capacity to North America follows swiftly on from the announcement of an expanded partnership with SF Airlines that will result in more cargo from China coming into its Abu Dhabi hub.

The two will launch a new freighter service between Shenzhen and Abu Dhabi to boost cargo capacity between China and the UAE. They are also adding three extra freighter flights between Ezhou and Abu Dhabi.

From Abu Dhabi, the carrier also recently expanded its capacity to Madrid – one of the transhipment points mentioned for its US capacity increase – through the addition of a twice-weekly 777 freighter flight from Abu Dhabi.

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The post Etihad responds to rising US cargo demand with extra capacity appeared first on Air Cargo News.

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