China Airlines has launched a scheduled charter freighter service to the city of Columbus in Ohio, USA. The service currently consists of three flights a week flown by 747 freighters. Columbus is China Airlines' 11th freighter destination in the US and its addition will expand the freight network and offer greater flexibility through connecting flights to other cities such as Chicago, Seattle and Anchorage.
The Rickenbacker Airport of Columbus City in Ohio, USA, is a transit hub with strong potential in eastern USA that is beginning to achieve economies of scale. Statistics for Rickenbacker Airport show that freight volumes jumped by 70% in 2017 compared to 2016 and the total number of freighter flights also grew by around 20% for the year. Further growth is anticipated.
China Airlines is now one of the leaders in international air cargo. According to data collected by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), 1,462,000 tonnes of international air freight were carried by China Airlines in 2017. China Airlines therefore achieved a 10.3% growth over the previous year and was ranked 7th in the world. China Airlines was also one of the top 10 freight carriers in terms of total cargo volume at 5,741 million tonne-kilometers, an increase of 8.9% over the previous year. The carrier is continuing to develop potential markets in Southeast Asia. The flight frequency of the Taipei-Hanoi route was increased in May while the capacity of the Ho Chi Minh City route was also expanded. When combined with charter revenues from Asia and the Americas, total cargo revenues in the first seven months amounted to TWD 26.183 billion, an increase of 16% over the same period from 2017 and accounted for 27% of total group revenues.
Growth of 4.5% in the global air cargo market was forecast by the IATA for 2018. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted that the global economy will grow by 3.9% this year mainly due to anticipated growth from innovation-driven upgrades in mobile electronic devices, mechanical and semiconductor capital equipment, and e-commerce postage freight. China Airlines is working actively to take advantage of developments in freight and cargo sources. The belly cargo on 777 and A350 passenger aircraft together with the freighter fleet are being harnessed to further develop regional markets and optimize transportation services between Europe, Americas and Asia. Closer cooperation with partner airlines and major international cargo agents is also being pursued to provide a better-quality air cargo services.
The China Airlines fleet currently consists of 88 passenger and cargo aircraft including 18 Boeing 747-400F freighters. There are 93 freight destinations including 11 freight-only destinations including Luxembourg, Belgrade, Anchorage, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Seattle, Houston, Atlanta and Houston. Up to 93 freighter services are flown each week on an extensive world-wide network.
China Airlines joined SkyTeam Cargo in 2012, making it the only airline from Taiwan to join an international air cargo alliance. A joint air cargo platform is being developed for express shipments in line with the development strategy of the cargo alliance for greater trans-shipping efficiency and to expand sources for express shipments. The acclaimed cargo service of China Airlines was publicly recognized in 2017 at the Air Cargo Excellence Awards by Air Cargo World, an authoritative cargo industry publication. (2018/08/28)