By Ahmad Lala
CEO Mohamed Ebrahim Al Qassimi is upbeat one year on from grounding fleet due to low demand
One year after temporarily grounding its A300 fleet amid low demand, and undergoing restructuring, UAE-based cargo carrier Maximus Air is on the rise again, its new CEO said.
In a statement, Mohamed Ebrahim Al Qassimi said that the largest all-freight airline in the emirates was planning an expansion in 2015.
“We are delighted about recent progress,” said Al Qassimi. “Our aircraft are receiving more bookings right across the fleet and we are firming up plans for expansion in 2015. Our core business remains the same but we are looking at exciting new growth opportunities.
“These opportunities include catering to increasing demand for VIP air cargo, and we are currently applying the finishing touches to a new freight forwarding business that will capitalise on the strong logistics industry in UAE. On top of this, we have received interest from key growth markets in Europe and Africa, and are looking at ways to expand our business in these regions,” he added.
In June last year, Maximus Air grounded its entire fleet of A300 planes citing, at the time, the lack of cargo demand due to the number of passenger aircraft offering belly capacity space. The airline chose to restructure its services, undergo a cost-cutting exercise, and focus on the more profitable parts of its business such as its charter operations.
However, as the Middle East air cargo demands continue to grow and outpace global markets, Al Qassimi, who was a former advisor to GE Aviation, and helped setup Air Arabia, was confident that the carrier had a bright future ahead.
"Our fleet is unique in that we have a range of aircraft that are able to accommodate every kind of shipment, and we can operate without conventional airport services if we have to. Having historically deployed our aircraft on humanitarian missions for organisations including the United Nations and the UAE Red Crescent, the fact that our aircraft are able to land at both major airports and less established landing strips will continue to be a vital part of our disaster relief activation plans,” he said.