45-46/2015 A lesson or a fairy tale?
Not even Akbar Al Baker, who is rarely embarrassed about making huge statements, would have expected such a steep take-off: while we witnessed two-and-a-half years ago within the framework of the World Cargo Symposium held by Iata at the very same location how the head of Qatar Airways announced the target of leading his chicks, which had flown the nest, into the flock of the five biggest freight operators in the world within two years (see ITJ 13-14/2013, page 17), the official figures presented in October show that Qatar Airways Cargo is already the global number three. And the good news doesn’t end there: his excellence announced before the international specialist media rounded up in Doha on 27 October that the company would not only order further cargo aircraft, but also double by 2018 the capacity of the fully automatic terminal, which was only opened in 2014. Up to 4.4 million t of airfreight should then be handled there annually, as much as only seen in Hong Kong today.
In our next edition 47-48, we will take a closer look at these plans and are interested to see what the southern neighbours of the United Arab Emirates are doing. The Dubai Air Show, held this year from 8 to 12 November, can offer a quick opportunity to set the odd exclamation mark and to show some defiance. This was also likely sensed by Ulrich Ogiermann, the head of freight at Qatar Airways, when he replied to our question whether there is not a risk that the three highly, if not excessively, motivated Gulf brothers will end up undermining one another: «All have their chances. It’s not about the brand, but about the people behind it.»
Further to the north, too, another competitor is attempting to benefit from its potentially even more favourable geographical location and is aiming to write an aviation fairy tale. After the boost from the liberalisation of the national market about ten years ago, Turkish Airlines and the company’s freight division now have great expectations for the improvement of the domestic infrastructure, whose most visible expression is the new airport of Istanbul. The aim is even that it outshine Hong Kong, Dubai World Central and Doha when it is completed. A traditionally important subject for Turkey is shipping, and I therefore invite you to read up on the focal topic of this edition and what direction the country at the threshold between Europe and Asia is taking following the parliamentary elections of 1 November and what else is happening in the world of logistics around the Mediterranean, your