Abu Dhabi: Etihad Cargo, the freighter division of Etihad Airways, will partner with Avianca Cargo, the cargo division of the Latin American carrier Avianca, which is based in Colombia, through a commercial agreement to deploy a freighter flight from Milan’s Malpensa Airport, Italy, to Bogota, Colombia and from Bogota to Amsterdam.
The new service will operate twice a week, beginning on November 12, 2014, and thus providing an important cargo connection between Europe and South America.
The flights will also facilitate seamless transportation of goods to other markets around the world by linking the extensive global networks of both Etihad Airways and Avianca Cargo.
In addition to passenger flights by Etihad Airways, Etihad Cargo currently operates four freighter flights per week between Abu Dhabi and Milan’s Malpensa. It will also feed traffic from markets across Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
Due to its strategic location in southern Europe, Milan will function as a logistic hub by road to other cities in Italy, including Rome, and other countries such as France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, and the Czech Republic.
Avianca Cargo will provide cargo services through its Bogota hub, at El Dorado International Airport with its passengers and cargo flights to and from most countries in Latin America, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Uruguay and Paraguay.
The new route will commence with a Boeing 747-400 Freighter offering a maximum capacity of 105 tonnes, with strong demand expected for the transportation of raw materials, perishables, machinery parts, equipment, industrial consumables and fashion goods.
Kevin Knight, chief strategy and planning officer at Etihad Airways, said: “Italy is the third-largest cargo market in Europe and has been a key focus area for Etihad Cargo since 2007, when we inaugurated our first service to the country. Demand has been strong and our operations have since expanded to include freighter and passenger flights to Milan, and a daily passenger service between Rome and Abu Dhabi, launched in July this year.” Victor Mejia, cargo vice-president at Avianca, said: “This is a valuable opportunity to expand Avianca Cargo’s network, especially in moving perishable goods from the Americas that are highly demanded in Europe. At the same time, we would be strengthening our Cargo Hub operations in Bogota in order to provide quality cargo transportation to Europe throughout the region, with an extensive network that unites with our three hubs — Bogota, Colombia; Lima, Peru; and San Salvador, El Salvador — allowing efficient load transfer through reliable, agile and synchronised operations.”