Etihad Crystal Cargo, the cargo division of Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has received its first recognition of the airline’s development.

240 German based air cargo agents voted for Etihad Crystal Cargo in an air cargo - performance study, conducted by the Bielefelder Marktforschungsinstitut TNS Emind, on behalf of Logistik Inside magazine.

Etihad Crystal Cargo was awarded first place, out of 55 airlines, in the Value category and ninth place in the overall performance - despite only being in operation for two years.

‘First place in one of the categories and ninth place in the overall ranking out of 55 established airlines ’ that is fantastic. It clearly demonstrates the success behind our outsourcing strategy to appoint the right General Sales and Services Agents (GSSA). A big thank you to our team in Germany, AIRCARGONET International,’ said Ingo Roessler, VP Etihad Crystal Cargo.

Since beginning cargo operations in the German market, Etihad Crystal Cargo has entrusted the sales of its product to AIRCARGONET International, a fast growing aviation service organization with offices in Munich and Frankfurt.

‘We would like to thank all our customers in Germany for their support and cooperation. One of the key elements why Etihad Crystal Cargo has been able to establish itself so quickly in the German market, is due to the effective coordination between sales and the dispatching of cargo and related communication,’ says Klaus Lederer, Managing Director, AIRCARGONET International.

Frankfurt was the first all-cargo destination for Etihad Crystal Cargo. The cargo services between Abu Dhabi and Frankfurt started in February 2005, with an Airbus A300-600RF.

Currently, Etihad Airways serves Germany 15 times a week with a daily Guest flight operated with an Airbus A340, offering 15 tonnes of cargo capacity at a full passenger load. In addition an Airbus A300-600RF, with up to 43 tonnes of cargo capacity, operates between Abu Dhabi and Frankfurt three times a week.

Munich is Etihad’s second destination in Germany, and from the end of March, Etihad Airways will fly there five times a week with an Airbus A330-300, offering 13 tonnes of belly-capacity at full passenger load.

‘The German market has always been important to Etihad, with our first regional freighter operating between Abu Dhabi and Frankfurt from February 2005. Etihad Airways is growing rapidly in terms of routes, network, frequency and capacity. We are looking forward to next year’s Aircargo Awards,’ concluded Roessler.

Etihad Airways carried 70,000 tons of freight in 2005 and achieved a turnover of US $98.5m, which when compared to 2004, shows a 400% increase in turnover and tonnage. The charter business counts considerably towards Etihad’s success with more than 100 charters operated since March 2005.