The end of the year turned up cherries for Qatar Airways Cargo as the carrier successfully chartered over 1,400 tonnes of Chilean cherries on 14 B777F charter flights between 13 November and 19 December 2017.
Qatar Cargo said the successful charters were a result of “integrated planning and excellent coordination between all stakeholders involved”, saw the 14 charter flights operate from Santiago, Chile to Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong via the cargo carrier’s Doha hub, at Hamad International Airport (HIA).
This is the second year Qatar Airways Cargo has collaborated with its major customers to transport Chilean cherries on dedicated charter flights.
Guillaume Halleux, acting chief officer cargo said: “We are very proud to support and partner with our customers to move these perishables across the globe. Air freight and logistics plays a fundamental role in ensuring the cherry exporters in Chile meet their clients’ needs.
“Through our solution QR Fresh, we provide a seamless cool chain for all temperature-sensitive shipments, from their origin airport through to their final destination, thus preserving their quality and extending their shelf life. Our product offering for these shipments complemented by innovative services such as the airside cool chain centre at Hamad International Airport, will definitely boost our business while enhancing the cool chain for temperature- sensitive products transiting through our world-class hub in Doha.”
Chilean cherries are renowned and in high demand in China and other Asian countries and the cherry harvest conveniently pre-empts the Asian Lunar New Year. Qatar Cargo said that through QR Fresh, its product for perishables and fresh produce, the cargo carrier offers its customers a reliable and seamless cool chain solution for their products. The cargo carrier’s facility at Hamad International Airport is fully compliant with IATA Chapter 17 standards.
A dedicated Climate Control team proactively monitors every shipment from beginning to end to ensure a seamless transfer. There are dedicated cold rooms at the airline’s state-of-the-art fully-automated warehouse in Doha, each with various temperature zones for the storage of perishables transiting the hub. Industry-leading, world-class ramp handling, utilising reefer vehicles direct to the aircraft, ensure perfect temperature control at the hub in Doha.
Earlier this year, the carrier inaugurated its dedicated Climate Control Centre situated airside at HIA, equipped with segregated temperature-controlled sections for storing perishables transiting the hub. It has two zones operating for 2° to 8°C or 15° to 25°C, with a capacity to hold a total of 156 unit loading devices (ULDs) at a time, in addition to the 64 temperature controlled cells at the cargo terminal’s cold room.
The world’s third largest cargo carrier recently took delivery of its second B747-8 freighter, taking the total count of freighters in operation to 23. The cargo carrier also offers distinctive products, namely QR Pharma, QR Live, QR Charter and QR Express offering efficiency and compliance in the handling of temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical cargo, transportation of live animals as well as time-critical shipments.