ASIA - NWA Cargo well positioned for Asia Cargo opportunities, especially China

By: | at 08:00 PM | Channel(s): Air Cargo News  

By Karen E. Thuermer, AJOTNWA Cargo, the cargo subsidiary of Northwest Airlines, takes China seriously—and well it should. With exports from China overflowing and US West Coast seaports experiencing capacity constraints due to bottlenecks created by this excess, demand is ever increasing for air cargo. As a result, the Asia-Pacific accounted for 77% of NWA Cargo’s revenues in 2004, or $830 million, up 10.4 percent from the year earlier.
To take advantage of this surge and to meet demand for recently announced new service to China, NWA Cargo recently increased its all-cargo freighter fleet from 12 aircraft to 14.
“Those 14 Boeing 747-200 freighters will operate on our trans-Pacific routes from four cities in the Lower 48 to nine destinations in Asia through our cargo hubs in Anchorage and Tokyo-Narita,” comments Jim Friedel, NWA Cargo president. “This year we increased freighter service to Shanghai from three flights per week to the United States to eight flights.”
Along with other awards to airlines for service into Chine, in February the US Department of Transportation (DOT) awarded three incremental weekly frequencies to NWA for all-cargo service, effective in April 2006.
“At that time we will have 11 all-cargo frequencies to China, which we plan to use for Shanghai and Guangzhou service,‰ states Friedel. “This is in addition to current daily freighter service to Hong Kong as well as daily passenger service to and from cities we serve in Asia.”
Those cities are Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Seoul, Busan, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Taipei, Manila, Singapore, Bangkok, Guam and Saipan. The carrier sees service into these cities as important to its product offerings, especially for freight forwarders.
“Growth in Asia, particularly China, is driven by demand from these customers,” Friedel explains.
Asia is by no means a new market for Northwest, however. The carrier has been servicing Asia’s cargo market as early as 1947.
“What’s new for us is expanded service to mainland China thanks to route rights granted by the DOT,” says Friedel. “We increased freighter service to Shanghai and in October inaugurated passenger/cargo service to Guangzhou from our hub at Tokyo.”
Code share agreement with Korean Air
To further penetrate the Asian market, on February 24 NWA Cargo announced a cargo code-sharing agreement with Korean Air that enables both airlines to trans-load cargo on each other’s scheduled freighter flights between Asia and the United States via Northwest’s cargo hub in Anchorage, Alaska. The agreement provides customers new destinations, faster service and more frequencies. It is the first such agreement under the Alaska Air Cargo Flexibility provision, part of the federal Vision 100 - Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act.
The provision was authored by US Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska). It allows for allied US and foreign carriers serving Alaska to transfer International cargo, thereby increasing cargo traffic in Anchorage and further securing Alaska‚s leading role as a global air-cargo hub.
“Our customers will enjoy faster service between the key markets of Asia and the United States, which is critical for their express freight,” says Friedel. “At the same time, the code-sharing agreement made possible by Senator Stevens‚ provision makes our Anchorage hub a stronger platform for growth as we prepare for additional flights into China, and it keeps Northwest a leading player across the Pacific.”
Korean Air is marketing its „KE‰ airline code on Northwest-operated freighters from Anchorage to Chicago and Cincinnati as well as between Seoul and Anchorage. Northwest, in turn, is placing its “NW” code on cargo flights operated by Korean Air from Seoul to Anchorage, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas/Ft.Worth and San Francisco, complementing Northwest’s current Boeing 747 freighter service from nine Asia-Pacific destinations to Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and Cincinnati through its cargo hub at Anchorage.
Three times a week, some Korean Ai

Karen Thuermer's avatar

American Journal of Transportation