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|The cargo business isnt all about trying to afford new freighters and increasing rates. As Dick Murianki Hassan Whiteside Jersey , new chief of Kenya Airways Cargo, it is just as important to spark the flames of passion in your workers.
For the next 12 months I dont have any radical goals, in terms of routes or the like, Murianki said.Instead, the absolute first thing we have to do is to infuse confidence in our people. Want them to own the business. I want intimacy between them and the business so that when the loader handles the cargo, he loves and cares for it. That way, when customers give us their cargo, they trust us to look after it. They need to know when they give us a shipment that its as good as being in their own hands.
Inspiring passion in staff is notoriously difficult .For cargo, the non-sexy cousin to passenger services, it is even more difficult .Murianki is confident, however Goran Dragic Jersey ,and said there are two foundations he needs to lay to start building such a culture.
The first is with the operations team, which is often overlooked but is the only team that actually comes into any direct contact with the cargo.I want to have a debate with them-with the loader, with the equipment operator, because it is they who are the experts, not me-about how we can give the customer the best service, said Murianki.
My main message to them is this: do the best you can in serving the customer because, in a way, its not the bosses who pay your salary: you pay your own salary. When you sign an employment contract with us you give us your hands. But we also need your heart and mind-your passion. Only when we have that commitment, only then can I launch a growth strategy.
Muriankis message for the second foundation -with the sales team-focuses less on engagement, and more on truth.Unfortunately, theres been a lot of dishonest in the industry Glen Rice Jersey , a lot of misinformation. I want people to trust our word. That will mean sometimes giving them the bitter truth; that if we cant deliver something we will tell them. But I say we have to be honest with our customers, because businesses want to be able to plan with certainty and that only comes with honesty.
Nonetheless, there are still technical and strategic considerations that must be addressed. Notably, the arrival of KQ Cargos new freighters. The outfit plans on owning a fleet of 12 freighters by 2022. It already has one 747-the safari connection-wet leased from KLM -Martin air, which operates between Africa and China. That now flies the Amsterdam-Guangzhou-Nairobi-Lagos-Nairobi-Amsterdam circuit, with occasional stopovers in Sharjah on its way from Guangzhou to Nairobi.
Capable of carrying 120 tones, Murianki admits that a good load is 90 tones out of Guangzhou ,but s nonetheless happy with the freighters performance thus far.
In April 2013, the carrier also took delivery of the first of four KQ 737-300 passenger jets identified for conversion to freighters. These freighters are marked for regional routes, such as to Kigali (Rwanda).
So far, while certain legs of the two current freighters are seeing healthy load factors Gerald Green Jersey , there are some that are not performing as hoped, such as the Nairobi to Lagos leg, although Murianki said it is at least breaking even.
Luke Arrum, cargo commercial manager, agrees that while it has been good to get into the freighter business, it has been a tough start.Yes ,it has been a bit of a challenge in the beginning ,but it is starting to stabilize and there is a lot of interest from Kigali and other places in the region, he said.The way we are seeing demand growing will hopefully allow us to activate some stations and routes we havent been able to yet.
However, Arrum is realistic and admits the need to be cautious.The freighter business can be very challenging and globally its stagnating, so we have to take careful steps with the conversions. We have converted two Dwyane Wade Jersey , but the other two identified are dependent on demand.
We do need wide-body freighters though, he insisted.They will feed into the hub [from out of Africa] so we can use the narrow-bodies for distribution around the region and continent, he added.
In our 10-year plan weve made provision for a 777 to come on board, if all goes well, sometime in 2014.We may opt for something smaller though, such as a 767, which would be cheaper and more readily available.
Part of what may swing the decision either way on freighter numbers and types is the global slump in demand for cargo that has led to massive overcapacity on the market. In response, many airlines, particularly those from Europe and North America, have grounded their freighters and so balanced out capacity supply and demand. But emerging and growing markets continue to see healthy interest in cargo, even though destinations and routes remain patchy and uneven.
There is a renaissance of trade and business in Africa Chris Bosh Jersey , said Murianki.Theres a lot of fresh produce-food and flowers-moving from Kenya to Europe. Mining equipment, gem stones, too. Kenya are positioning itself to take advantage of Nairobis strategic position to east and central Africa. I want Kenya Airways cargo to be among those that take advantage of that.
Part of the carriers proactive attempts to encourage intra-African trade is by facilitating trade missions.
We are partnering with the Kenyan Export Council to help them spread their goods as far as possible throughout Africa. said Arrum.Intra-African trade is growing but it can still involve flying to Europe first, and we hope to change that as we have one of the best networks in Africa.
We are also helping traders to reduce their turnaround times and so do more business, which means they will come back again and again. And with wide-body freighters we can fly to Asia and the Middle East .Hopefully, this will all make them want us to be their main transportation agent.
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