Qatar Airways Cargo undertook a massive airlift of food and other essential items when the illegal blockade on the country was first initiated in June last year, according to Group Chief Executive Akbar al-Baker.

This undertaking, arranged entirely by Qatar Airways Cargo, lasted several weeks and used our own fleet, as well as other leased aircraft.

“Thanks to our excellent team, world-class facilities and modern fleet, Qatar Airways helped to ensure residents did not go without essential supplies.

“With no road access and reduced air freight, Qatar Airways Cargo played a crucial role in maintaining critical medical, food and manufacturing supplies to the country,” al-Baker said at a panel session during the International Products Exhibition and Conference on Monday.

Qatar Airways Cargo is the world’s second largest cargo carrier flying a young and modern fleet of 23 freighters to more than 60 dedicated cargo destinations.

According to Qatar Airways annual report, additionally, the airline’s cargo division provides belly-hold services on Qatar Airways’ fleet of more than 180 passenger aircraft to a global network of more than 150 destinations.

The cargo fleet now includes two Boeing 747-8, 13 Boeing 777 and eight Airbus A330 freighters.

During 2017/18, the cargo division launched four new freighter destinations to London Heathrow in the United Kingdom, Phnom Penh in Cambodia, Pittsburgh in the US, and Yangon in Myanmar; increased belly-hold cargo services to Qatar Airways’ 11 new passenger destinations; as well as increasing frequency and capacity to the airline’s main cargo hubs of Hong Kong and Luxembourg.

The cargo carrier’s fleet grew during 2017/18 with the arrival of one Boeing 777 and two Boeing 747-8 freighters. The scheduled delivery of two new Boeing 777F’s during 2018, will increase the fleet to 25 freighters by the end of the year.

The completed rollout of Freighter Centralised Load Control and fully digital ramp handling to the entire freighter network has enabled optimised load planning, resulting in a 30% increase in on-time performance compared to 2016/17, the report noted.

Qatar Airways Cargo consistently performs above the industry average on total Notification for Delivery (NFD), ensuring customers’ freight availability at the destination is on schedule. A focus on reducing static weight has also resulted in fuel savings and operating cost reduction.