MASkargo eyes venturing into niche service

GEORGE TOWN: MASkargo Sdn Bhd is looking to venture into the niche service like ‘cool chain’ for food and pharmaceutical products full scale to offset economic challenges.

Its chief executive officer, Mohd Yunus Idris, said MASkargo started the service on July 1 and was now looking to venture into the segment full scale as both industries were recession-proof.

“There are many movements (food and pharmaceutical products) from Europe to third world and developing countries.

“MASkargo handled three tonnes of both food and pharmaceutical goods from Europe into Australia in the first week since it started the service on July 1,” he told reporters after breaking fast with media representatives yesterday.

He said Malaysia imported pharmaceutical products as well as chilled food such as cheese, milk and chocolate from Australia and Europe.

Mohd Yunus said MASkargo also planned to move freighters into Hyderabad to capture the biggest pharmaceutical centre in the world.

“We are in talks with importers and agents in Hyderabad. They requested us to mount the flights but we need to look at the viability,” he said.

MASkargo hoped to start the service by fourth quarter this year with routes from Kuala Lumpur-Hyderabad-Commonwealth of Independent States countries-Europe, he said.

On the freighter industry, he said, it was likely to face challenging times as the cargo demand has contracted by four per cent in the first and second quarter of this year.

“There is over-capacity, depressing yield and shipping lines were the main competitors. This will contribute to the overall well-being of air freight industry,” he said.

Therefore, Mohd Yunus said, the second half of this year would be a tough year for MASkargo as there was no sign of fast recovery in lingering debt crisis in the eurozone.

He said MASkargo expected a revenue of RM2.45 billion this year against RM2.4 billion last year.

On MASkargo’s latest promotion, “Flying Cars and Motorcycles”, Mohd Yunus said the cargo airline had moved 17 cars from Kuching to Kuala Lumpur last week and the response was encouraging.

The promotion offers discounted air freight rates for cars and motorcycles from Peninsular Malaysia to Sabah and Sarawak, and vice versa covering destinations namely Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Johor Bahru, Kuching, Labuan and Kota Kinabalu.– Bernama