LONDON – Southeast Asian air cargo charter operator, the Asia Cargo Network (ACN) group, will commence operations in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The Asian cargo carrier will operate in partnership with MENA Aerospace, a Bahraini aviation services provider.
As part of its growth plan, ACN placed an investment worth 135 million USD to become the biggest shareholder in MAE Aircraft Management.
This is the aircraft and management division of MENA Aerospace, and ACN will hold a 49% stake in the division.
The partnership operations will be carried out under the MENA Cargo brand, the freight cargo subsidiary of MAE.
This will be fully managed by ACN moving forward as it holds an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) in Bahrain, which allows for the expansion of routes to the MENA region.
Boeing 737-300F & 767-300F freighters
The ACN-MEA strategic partnership deployed two units of Boeing 737-300F aircraft – currently in operations across the MENA continents connecting the GCC and Africa.
The Bahraini operator says that plans are on track to end the year with five additional freighter aircraft made up of few units of B737-800F and widebody B767-300F aircraft.
The increased fleet will provide necessary connectivity between the Middle East, Africa, all of Asia and European markets.
The long-range widebody B767-300F aircraft will increase Bahrain airport’s cargo activities with shipments from all over the world before regional distribution is performed with the operator’s own narrow body freighters.
The partnership is planning to become the main cargo operator and develop extensive network cargo flights within the region to support the growing demands and enhance Bahrain airport’s presence as a regional hub.
Speaking on the occasion of the Asia Cargo Network announcement, Iman Marco, MAE Aircraft Management Managing Director commented: “We are excited to start our MENA operations in Bahrain”
“The Kingdom’s advanced infrastructure and its strategic location at the crossroads between Asia, Africa, and Europe will play a vital role in ACN’s growth plans to expand and serve our customers in the MENA region and beyond.”
Bahrain Economic Recovery Plan
Ahmed Sultan, Executive Director for Business Development of Manufacturing, Transport and Logistics at Bahrain Economic Development Board said: “We are pleased to see key transport and logistics players call Bahrain home to benefit from the Kingdom’s competitive advantages,”
“Such as our free trade agreements with 22 countries, best-value operating costs for a logistics business in the region, superb infrastructure, and strong connectivity by air, land and sea.”
The logistics sector is a priority sector under the Kingdom’s Economic Recovery Plan, which aims to position Bahrain as one of the top 20 global destinations for logistic services and increase the sector’s GDP contribution in 2030 to 10 percent from 4.7% percent.