Etihad Cargo, the cargo and logistics arm of Etihad Aviation Group, exceeded its operational performance targets in 2022. The carrier achieved 80.5 per cent on-time-performance (OTP) for freighter departures and 84.1 per cent OTP for freighter arrivals, ahead of its 80 per cent target.
The carrier has also maintained a delivered-as-promised (DAP) rate of 86.6 per cent, a 2.6 per cent improvement compared to the previous year and over its target of 85 per cent.
Martin Drew, Senior Vice President – Global Sales & Cargo at Etihad Aviation Group, said, “Having achieved record revenue results in the first half of 2022, the focus for Etihad Cargo was building on this momentum to ensure the carrier continued to meet customers’ capacity demands with agility. Exceeding OTP and DAP targets, which measure the carrier’s ability to deliver cargo at the agreed time and the punctuality of its freighter fleet against schedule, demonstrates Etihad Cargo’s strong commitment to reliability, building trust and being the air cargo partner of choice.”
2022 saw Etihad Cargo retire the last of its aircraft reconfigured to carry cargo-in-cabin. While a surge in passenger demand impacted capacity, Etihad Cargo maintained a strong belly-to-freighter load factor, recording a 58 per cent belly and 42 per cent freighter load mix at the end of 2022. The carrier has also achieved a load factor of 91 per cent and a freighter utilisation rate of 14.3 hours.
Etihad Cargo has also achieved growth across a number of its eight-strong premium products. The carrier’s award-winning PharmaLife product, which is dedicated to the safe and reliable transportation of pharmaceuticals and life science products, has achieved continuous growth despite a decrease in the movement of COVID-19 vaccines. Etihad Cargo achieved IATA CEIV Pharma recertification in 2022, demonstrating the carrier’s full compliance with specific pharmaceutical regulations in terms of Good Distribution Practices (GDP), a quality system for warehouses and distribution centres dedicated to medicines. To further strengthen connections between Abu Dhabi and the rest of the world, Etihad Cargo has developed over 1,330 IATA CEIV Pharma and GDP-certified trade lanes, which ensure the integrity of products during transportation. The carrier’s global MOU linking Abu Dhabi and Belgium’s pharma ecosystem, dedicated pharma sales team and the establishment of Pharma Corridor 2.0 also contributed to an overall increase in pharmaceutical volumes.
The carrier also moved 6 per cent more horses via its SkyStables product in 2022 compared to the previous year. Contributing to this increase was a six-month peak season for east-to-west and then west-to-east travel to coincide with major equine events and the horse-racing season. In 2022, Etihad Cargo achieved IATA CEIV Live Animals certification, becoming the first airline in the Middle East and only the third globally to hold the trilogy of IATA’s CEIV Live Animals, CEIV Fresh and CEIV Pharma certifications.
The expansion of Etihad Cargo’s global network was a priority for the carrier in 2022. The airline offered additional cargo capacity with the introduction of new routes and increased frequencies.
“Etihad Cargo’s customers have benefited from increased belly capacity on widebody passenger flights to key destinations, including Bangkok, Brussels, Dublin, Guangzhou, Johannesburg, Kuala Lumpur, London, Madrid, New York, Singapore and Vienna,” said Drew. “The carrier also introduced additional freighter capacity, launching new services from Chennai and Shanghai. Through continuous review of its network, Etihad Cargo has responded to increased capacity demand with agility. The carrier will continue to work closely with its partners and customers so it can add capacity to meet evolving customer requirements and market conditions.”
Etihad Cargo has built depth into its network and operates services to 68 destinations around the world. Via its expansive road feeder services network, the carrier further connects 132 origin stations with 290 destination stations across the UAE, GCC, Europe, North America, Japan, India and Australia via a fleet of over 30,000 trucks.
In addition to expanding its global footprint, Etihad Cargo took strides in its digitalisation journey in 2022. The carrier further enhanced its online booking portal and launched a Mandarin version of its website and booking portal to better meet the needs of customers in China, a key market for Etihad Cargo. New updates, including enhanced shipment tracking, automated dashboards, customised news feeds and look-to-book features, have resulted in 39.3 per cent of online bookings being made through the online booking portal.94.1 per cent of all online bookings in China are completed via the portal.
The carrier also reinforced its commitment to customer service excellence in 2022, launching a new CRM system for its Customer Contact Centre to empower customer service agents with more customer-focused data. Transitioning to the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Pulse CRM system has provided Etihad Cargo’s customer service team with improved tools, including an updated case management system, and customer information, such as the customer’s history, purchase records, sales interactions and a 360-degree view of customer queries.