Qatar Airways Cargo has recently introduced a second weekly direct air freighter to Europe from Bangladesh to meet the increasing demand of apparel shipments.
More than 90 percent of the airline’s cargo is apparel products, said Suhed Ahmed Chowdhury, cargo manager for Bangladesh at the state-owned flag carrier of Qatar.
“Our cargoes will help Bangladeshi garment makers export their goods to their buyers in Europe in 11 hours.”
The airline now freights 200 tonnes of goods to Europe weekly with its two Boeing 777 freighters, it said in a statement.
“Through the introduction of the direct freighter service, RMG manufacturers in Bangladesh can export their products directly and quickly to Europe with Qatar Airways Cargo,” said Guillaume Halleux, chief officer for cargo at Qatar Airways.
By introducing a direct cargo service from Dhaka to Spain’s Zaragoza in October last year, the airline became the first to introduce Dhaka to Europe non-stop freight facility.
The second frequency introduced on December 16 is on Dhaka to Luxembourg route.
Apart from that, the airline operates another five 100-tonne cargo flights via Doha mainly to the US and European destination.
Besides, it carries 60 tonnes cargo per day through its three passenger flights.
Around 20 percent of Bangladesh’s overall apparel export is sent through air cargo.
However, cargo business has been dull for the last several months because of falling apparel exports, Chowdhury said.
Exports slumped 10.20 percent year-on-year to $3.05 billion in November last year while garment exports declined 7.74 percent to $13.08 billion between July and November, according to data from the Export Promotion Bureau.
If the trend persists during the remaining months of 2019-20, Bangladesh may also lose its second place in apparel exports to Vietnam.
“So, now we are trying to provide the exporters attractive service such direct flights so that apparel exporter can cope up with fast fashion,” Chowdhury said.
The amount of cargo being handled by Bangladesh’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport has been increasing by 15 percent annually for the past few years, according to Bangladesh Freight Forwarders Association.