Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways could soon enlarge its air freight division, CrystalCargo, by integrating charter carrier Maximus Air Cargo.
This hot but unofficial topic was heavily discussed between many participants of the latest meeting of the Arab Air Carriers Organization – AACO in Abu Dhabi.
There, the AACO held its 44th Annual General Meeting on November 29th, chaired by Etihad’s CEO, James Hogan, and attended by more than 300 delegates.
If both carriers should merge as indicated, it would be the first major consolidation in the cargo sector throughout the Gulf region.
In 2005 the Emirate of Abu Dhabi established Maximus as the state-owned charter carrier. Maximus’ main mission was and still is supplementing line-haul carrier Etihad’s air freight activities and attracting additional business.
In reality, however, Maximus relied heavily on government transports, including flying military equipment or a large number of goods on behalf of the relief organization, Red Half Moon. Furthermore, Etihad also utilized Maximus’ fleet of six freighters regularly for its own charter assignments.
Meanwhile, there are strong indications that Abu Dhabi’s rulers seem to have changed their aviation strategy, giving up the long-favored split operations of charter and scheduled services, to instead knit together Maximus and Etihad for mutual benefit.
“The joining of the two capacity providers could produce additional synergies and lower the costs,” commented an AACO delegate.
Heiner Siegmund Flying Typers
Gravity always wins!