Turkish Cargo has been developing its operations across the Indian subcontinent along with the region’s growth rates and the improving state of the air cargo market overall.
“In addition to three new Boeing 777Fs coming by the end of the year, Turkish Airlines has also been considering leased aircraft whenever needed,” said Burak Omeroglu, regional vice president of sales for the Middle East at Turkish Cargo, in an interview during the Air Cargo India conference and exhibition in Mumbai. “Currently, the company’s export capacity from the Indian subcontinent is at optimum levels and we look forward to expanding our services to meet the needs of our clients and partners within the ever-growing Indian market.”
Omeroglu, who was in charge of the Middle East market, became responsible for the South Asia region beginning in 2018.
“The Middle East, apart from Dubai, is basically an import-driven market,” he said. “On the other hand, this part of the world really produces and exports, so this is a new challenge for me but it’s also quite interesting because it gives us new opportunities.”
Except for India, Turkish is among the top 10 carriers for exports from the region. According to Omeroglu, the carrier is almost there in India and is on course to become the 10th this year, given that it is already operating the two new 777Fs to both Delhi and Mumbai.
“We have to grow in terms of revenues and tonnage, so my target is to achieve those goals,” he said. “I’m quite confident because we started the year very well. In the first two months, we’ve been ahead of our targets, so of course I want to maintain that.”
In the medium term, the carrier is looking to focus on special cargo, including pharmaceutical, e-commerce and express shipments. These verticals will be given much more prominence when Turkish moves over to Istanbul’s new airport towards the end of October 2018, featuring dedicated cold-chain facilities and a high-tech express distribution centre.
“The investments are already being planned from the start, which I see as a significant advantage,” Omeroglu said. “Turkish Airlines has been investing heavily in cargo infrastructure in recent years in terms of capacity expansion and special cargo carrying to meet the needs of its customers and the requirements of the air cargo industry.”
Omeroglu is particularly proud of the fact that the Middle East was Turkish Cargo’s leading region in terms of growth, having grown more than 35% in revenue.
“We still expect some significant growth this year,” he said. “Of course, one of the main drivers in the Middle East is Dubai. We’ve also been increasing capacity there and are looking to enhance our position, both inbound and outbound. Apart from that, Turkish Airlines has several other freighter stations in the Middle East, mainly but not only for imports.”
Turkish Cargo has set itself the target of being one of the top five air cargo carriers by 2023, a symbolic year which will mark the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of Turkey.
In any case, Omeroglu said that he is happy with his expanded area of responsibility. He is particularly optimistic about the South Asia market, which he sees as an opportunity for the company with its booming population, real production centres and a variety of exports, all of which bode well for the air cargo business.
Turkish Cargo offers its services to customers and partners across an expanding network in 121 countries and more than 300 destinations worldwide.
By Jeffrey Lee
Asia Cargo News | Mumbai