Gulf Air announced further increases in cargo uplift with the release of half-year results for 2001, which showed a 9.2 percent increase on the amount of cargo carried over the same six month period in 2000.
Between January and June of 2001, Gulf Air, the flagship carrier of Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar, carried 88,000 tones of freight. In the period of June alone, Gulf Air passenger planes carried 15,000 tonnes of cargo and 359 tonnes of mail, which represented a 5.9 and 14.9 percent increase respectively on June 2000 figures.
While a comparison of 2001`s first quarter (January to March), compared with its second quarter (April to June), shows a 14 percent increase, with 41,095 and 46,905 tonnes carried, respectively.
The increases were in line with company expectations, but were achieved in tough market conditions, where all carriers were feeling the effects of an economic slowdown, as Gulf Air Cargo Department spokesperson explained.
“Gulf Air operates in a highly competitive environment, which has felt the effects of the global economic downturn. However, the airline`s continued focus on key
markets such as Asia, Far East, Australia and Western Europe, and improved competitiveness and service, have proved effective”.
“Gulf Air is first and foremost a passenger carrier, but its performance in the cargo sector is significant, and represents a strengthening of the airline`s dominant position in many markets.
“It should also be noted that Gulf Air operates many intra gulf flights - nearly 800 a week between 15 destinations - which have historically carried very little cargo. However, new figures for Cargo Load Factors, plus ATK and FTK, illustrate overall gains,” added the spokesperson:
Between January and June of 2001, Available Tonne Kilometres or ATK (the capacity available to cargo multiplied by the schedule distance of flights) was 1,416,710,150, while the Freight Tonne Kilometres or FTK (actual amount and distance of Gulf Air cargo carried) was 865,747,542.
This provided a Cargo Load Factor of 61.1 percent, (100 percent being the absolute maximum distance and volume of cargo that can be carried), which was a 2.81 percent increase in performance over the same period last year.