LONDON – AirAsia, Malaysia’s low-cost airline established Teleport, a cargo subsidiary, in a bid to venture into the freight industry. As of now, the bet has paid off.
As travel demand picks up due to the easing of border restrictions of respective South East Asian Governments, cargo transported using belly space has also increased, Teleport reports.
Pete Chareonwongsak, Chief Executive Officer of Teleport said, “The re-opening of international borders along with the return of passenger flights will allow us to demonstrate fully our operating model at scale.”
“This is already evident in the increase of revenue via belly capacity as well as our delivery volumes growing by 60% QOQ, which allowed us to reach profitability in cross-border delivery in March.”
“With the fast-shifting delivery expectations centred around speed and experience – we are determined to continuously push ourselves to be ahead of the curve with our competitive advantage in network and technology at the core.” “
The time is right for us to now double down on our mission to connect more of Southeast Asia, and to do it faster than anyone else,” he stated.
Last year alone, despite Air Asia performing very poorly on passenger capacity. The cargo department has every reason to celebrate.
The company grew its revenue of RM146 million by 58% year-on-year, due to increasing attention from investors and investments in e-commerce businesses and the freighting industry.
There has been increasing in tonnage by 31% from the 1st quarter of last year (2021). Deliveries have also increased by 451% year-on-year and 60% quarter-on-quarter to over 954,000 e-commerce orders in the 1st quarter of this year.
Key e-commerce orders are from Zalora and DHL. Impressively, transnational delivery reached profitability in March of this year.
Did risk pay off?
Air Asia, under Teleport, welcomed the first-ever dedicated Boeing 737-8F in November last year. The dedicated 737-8F is registered under the Thai AOC as HS-KME.
The sole 737 freighters will be based at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport, reaching destinations such as Hong Kong, Shanghai, Chennai, Mumbai and all the major destinations in Southeast Asia from Thailand.
Pete initially said in 2021: “The addition of the Freighter into our fleet will accelerate the company’s goal to shift from a pure air freight logistics provider to a complete multi-modal operator. We’ve always been on a fast track growth route to continuously propel Teleport’s air cargo business forward by spotlighting our commitment to moving anything across Southeast Asia. We look forward to what’s in the pipeline not just for Teleport but for everyone in the industry.”
The freighter was purchased through a multi-year agreement with K-Mile Asia, Thailand’s express freight airline. This further integrates Teleport into the discipline of air cargo.
As of today, HS-KME is spotted parking at Bangkok’s main airport, BKK, and hasn’t been spotted flying ever since its delivery. With Teleport reporting impressive figures, why doesn’t its sole freighter fly?