Silk Way and JAL Cargo agree strategic cooperation on cargo services

Silk Way West Airlines and JAL Cargo have agreed to start a cooperation on cargo services which will see the carriers use each other’s capacity.

JAL Cargo stopped freighter operations in October 2010 citing difficult market conditions and moved to belly-only freight operations and the deal will give it needed freighter capacity. It once had seven Boeing 747-400Fs and three Boeing 767-300Fs in its fleet.

The agreement signed with Silk Way will give it freighter capacity on scheduled routes out of Europe via Baku into Japan and vice versa. Silk Way said it will create an “interesting option for both carriers”. Silk Way will have access to JAL’s belly capacity.

Silk Way said it is set to increase their weekly connections out of their global hub in Baku from three to four weekly operations, so the cooperation creates a “win-win situation for both partners”.

The Azerbaijan-based carrier will also boost its weekly operation between Baku and Europe in order to offer sequenced connections to and from Japan via Baku.

Silk Way president and chief executive officer, Wolfgang Meier said: “We are delighted and honoured to enter into this co-operation with JAL Cargo. It perfectly fits into our growth strategy we are pursuing in reference to our footprint in Japan.

“Right from the start of our Japan services more than two years ago, we have always been eager to increase our exposure. The co-operation with JAL Cargo does represent a quantum leap in our development and I am happy both carriers will benefit from this agreement.”

JAL Cargo board member and executive officer for cargo/mail, Hiroo Iwakoshi said: “Having these kind of positive communications is pleasing JAL Cargo and we welcome very much more capacities especially with the use of Silk Way West’s Boeing 747-8F aircraft within our network.”

Silk Way West Airlines’ vice president for APAC, Nurid Aliyev added: “This cooperation is not the first one we do pursue in this format as we have already successfully been working together with Malaysia Airlines Cargo after they had stopped their full freighter activities.

“As our global hub is perfectly located along the ancient Silk Road our geographical position is at the crossroads between orient and occident and Silk Way West Airlines, thus, very much favours this partnership.”

Meiersaid the carrier’s chief representative, Katsutoshi Tanaka, will lead activities in Japan to further develop the strategic partnership and it has “high expectations to further enlarge this cooperation”.