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UAE cargo market growing above global target for Turkish Airlines

Abu Dhabi: Turkish Airlines’ cargo divisions operations in the UAE grew by around 23 per cent in the first quarter this year, said a Dubai-based executive from the airline.

Turkish Cargo is targeting 20 per cent global growth in 2014, a bullish target considering the global cargo market has been flat overall in recent years.

The cargo division operates one weekly flight out of Dubai World Central, however, Middle East Marketing Manager, Halit Tuncer, said that belly cargo in its passenger flights to Dubai and Abu Dhabi is performing well.

Tuncer was speaking on the sidelines of the Middle East Cargo Conference and Exhibition in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

He said that first-quarter performance recorded roughly 23 per cent growth and he expects the UAE market to grow by at least 25 per cent in 2014.

Turkish Airlines is rapidly expanding its passenger operations and has emerged has a strong competitor to the European carriers.

Iran is also showing strong signs of growth and outgrew all other markets in the region in the first quarter.

However, despite 30 per cent growth in the first quarter, Tuncer said that total tonnage remains small. He said the airline sees huge potential in a market that is slowly opening up starting from temporary sanctions relief, which began in January.