Malaysia’s AirAsia has recently boosted its cargo operations with the introduction of freighter aircraft to the fleet, according to the media. It has purchased its first freighter, 737-800F and two newly converted A320s with the passenger seats removed. The conversion increases the aircraft’s cargo capacity by 30 percent. AirAsia now owns a fleet of eight passenger aircraft dedicated to all-cargo flights and is operated by its logistics unit of Teleport.
The 737 freighter aircraft is planned to be based at the Bangkok hub of Teleport and is scheduled to fly routes between China, India and Southeast Asia. The A30s will be operating from Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur to Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Jakarta and Yangon. Malaysia AirAsia focuses on the general cargo, particularly perishables and pharmaceuticals which is also the company’s key contributor of export tonnage.
Adrian Loretz, chief operating officer of Teleport, told the media, “It was evident at the end of last year that the demand for cargo capacity was not going to be served with passenger belly capacity alone, in the long run.”
He further added that the company’s type of plane is convenient to meet the surge in demand for e-commerce and other cargo. In addition, the newly minted freighter operators can expect demand due to the recent sea freight delays.
The e-commerce growth was said to be centred in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region because of the high cargo input that came in from China, Japan and Korea. As the firm expands across the region rapidly, it is supporting AirAsia in its e-commerce applications.