Posted on December 22, 2015

The launch of the new commercial service between Doha and Durban on 17 December gives Qatar Airways Cargo, which currently transports over 16,000 tonnes of cargo into and out of South Africa a year, an additional 40 tonnes of belly-hold capacity a week. The new cargo capacity to Durban will complement Qatar Airways Cargo’s existing three-times-weekly freighter service to Johannesburg, which commenced in 2012. Qatar Airways Cargo, the world’s third largest cargo carrier, has been an active player in the development of the South African export business by connecting it with worldwide markets via Doha.

“We are delighted to announce that we are strengthening our presence in South Africa by providing our clients with an additional 40 tonnes of belly-hold capacity per week to Durban on board our new four-times-weekly passenger flights to this strategically important city,” said Mr. Ulrich Ogiermann, Qatar Airways Chief Officer Cargo. “South Africa is currently one of the busiest routes on our network and we welcome the opportunity to increase our capacity to this growing market.”

Qatar Airways Cargo currently exports a high percentage of automotive components such as engines, converters and leather seats out of South Africa. Other predominant exports include fresh fish to Spain as well as fresh fruit and flowers into the Middle East and Europe. Import commodities transported by Qatar Airways Cargo into South Africa include IT equipment, automotive spares, chemicals, foodstuffs, machinery, pharmaceuticals and telecommunication parts.

There has also been a growing demand for Qatar Airways Cargo’s Charter product particularly from the construction, oil and gas, and livestock industries in South Africa. To cater to this increasing demand, Qatar Airways Cargo has almost doubled its charter flights year on year as the freighter fleet size has increased to a total of 15 aircraft. Qatar and South Africa have a very strong relationship, with trade between the two countries currently standing at US$500,000,000 per year.

This is further strengthened by Durban’s significant economic growth, which has been bolstered by a number of multinational companies recently building their presence in the city. Qatar is also South Africa’s fifth largest trading partner in terms of imports. Qatar Airways’ new route will help to meet a growing demand for air freight services to South Africa and will better serve cargo customers from South Africa who are seeking greater connections to the Middle East, Europe, United States, Asia Pacific and South Asia.