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Expansions continue in Middle East

By Staff Reports on January 31, 2014

Emirates expects its new daily service to Kiev, which launched on Jan. 17, will become a key trade route between the United Arab Emirates and Ukraine.

During the first half of 2013, the value of trade between Ukraine and the UAE increased 27 percent to US$429 million (316.3 million euros). The additional capacity for the carriage of goods – a 15-tonne cargo hold on every flight – will boost that vital trade, transporting steel, aircraft components, heavy machinery and ships spares out of Ukraine.

With a booming agricultural sector, Ukraine is also the world’s largest exporter of sunflower oil and a major global producer of grain and sugar. Imports from the UAE into Ukraine consist of vehicles, textiles, dates, medicines, perfumes, tea and juices.

“We are very positive about our new service between Kiev and Dubai, and we believe this daily air link will further stimulate the growing business and tourism opportunities between both cities,“ says Thierry Antinori, Emirates’ executive vice president and chief commercial officer.

The new Emirates route comes on the heals of a big 2013 for Middle East carriers, which reported a 16.5 percent year-over-year growth in demand for November 2013 over the previous year, according to International Air Transport Association statistics. Carriers in the Middle East have benefited from improvements in advanced economies, including better demand in Europe, as well as solid economic and trade growth in the Gulf area.

The trend is likely to continue with indicators showing record high export orders in the UAE, which bodes well for continued growth in the region’s trade volumes.

Another January development came from Qatar Airways Cargo, which announced the launch of two new premium services that will optimize the transportation of time- and temperature-sensitive goods, including high-value pharmaceutical products and perishables. The new services, Q Pharma and Q Fresh, will add to the company’s range of cargo services and enhance its capacity and flexibility to effectively move sensitive commodities.

Q Pharma, which is an airfreight service for pharmaceutical and health care products, offers both active and passive options. The active option provides temperature-controlled containers, which are designed to maintain a constant temperature throughout the entire transportation chain. The passive option keeps the product within a defined temperature band at all stages of the journey.

“By investing in sophisticated technology and a team of highly qualified staff, Qatar Airways Cargo enables health care companies and their logistic partners to ship temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals all over the world while maintaining the integrity and quality of their products throughout the supply chain,” Ulrich Ogiermann, chief cargo officer at Qatar Airways, says.

The second new service, Q Fresh, is designed for the shipment of perishable products requiring temperature control during transit. Designated airside temperature-controlled areas keep a shipment at the correct temperature prior to aircraft departure, while a dedicated team actively ensures a seamless movement of perishables to and from the aircraft.

“The innovative Q Fresh solutions maintains all types of perishables at the optimal temperature from arrival at their origin airport through to their final destination, thus preserving their high quality and extending their shelf life,” Ogiermann adds.

In the Middle East, it is estimated that fresh produce imports made up 4.1 percent of total world imports in 2012, valued at US$4.2 billion (3 billion euros). The Gulf Cooperation Council countries alone shared 54 percent of total imports to the Middle East, worth US$2.2 billion (1.6 billion euros). Q Fresh will not only enable Qatar Airways to enhance the supply chain of perishables regionally but also to its more than 40 freighter destinations worldwide.

Qatar Airways Cargo offers the fastest airline transfer at Doha through its Quick Ramp Transfer service. It is the only carrier in the Middle East to offer refrigerated truck services for ramp transfers at its home hub. Sensitive commodities are collected from, and delivered directly to, the aircraft by specialized temperature-controlled vehicles, in an effort to ensure that the cool chain process is seamless, thereby eliminating risk to temperature exposure.

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