Azerbaijan’s Silk Way West Airlines and Japan’s JAL CARGO have agreed to co-operate on four-times weekly freighter services between Japan and EuropeSilk Way’s Baku hub.
JAL Cargo ceased operating its own freighters in 2010, a move that ultimately cost it market share on the Europe-Asia trade. With this new agreement the Japanese carrier will be able to tap the substantial capacity of Silk Way West, which operates a fleet of ten B747-400 and B747-8 freighters with two more set for delivery soon.
The two carriers said in a statement that the use of Silk Way capacity on the scheduled service, “will create an interesting option for both carriers”.
Currently Silk Way West operates a three times a week service to Japan’s Komatsu (KMQ), with another unspecified Japanese frequency to be added as a result of this new JAL CARGO agreement, a spokesman said. At the same time Silk Way will boost its weekly operation between Baku and Europe in order to offer sequenced connections to and from Japan via Baku.
“We are delighted and honoured to enter a cooperation with JAL as this kind of cooperation does perfectly fit into our growth strategy we are pursuing in reference to our footprint in Japan,” said CEO/president of Silk Way West Airlines, Wolfgang Meier.
“Right from the start of our Japan services more than two years ago we were always eager to increase our exposure. The cooperation with JAL does represent a quantum leap in our development and I am happy that both carriers will benefit from this cooperation”, Meier added.
“Having this kind of positive communication is pleasing for JAL and we do welcome very much more capacities especially with the use of SWW’s Boeing 747-8F aircraft within our network”, Hiroo Iwakoshi executive officer, Cargo/Mail and Board member of JAL said.
Silkway West Airlines vice president for APAC, Nurid Aliyev added that this type of cooperation with JAL is not its first, as the carrier struck a similar agreement with MAB Kargo in early 2016.
“As our global Hub is perfectly located along the ancient Silk Route our geographical position is at the crossroad between The Orient and The Occident and thus very much favours such cooperation,” Aliyev said.
“Our chief representative Katsutoshi Tanaka will lead our activities in Japan to further develop this strategic partnership as we have high expectation to further enlarge this cooperation”, Meier added.