El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. (TASE: ELAL) is strengthening its cargo operations. The carrier, which currently has only one cargo plane, has signed an agreement with US air cargo company Atlas Air.
As part of the cooperation between the two airlines, Atlas Air will make a Boeing 747 cargo plane, together with its crew, available to El Al's cargo division. This will expand El Al's cargo capacity for import deliveries and exports of agricultural produce on the route between Tel Aviv and Liege, Belgium, where a logistics center for worldwide distribution of air freight is located.
4,380 cargo planes landed in Ben Gurion Airport in 2019, 2% more than in 2018. Despite the constant reports of an increase in online shopping by Israeli consumers, mostly from international websites (68 million imported packages via Israel Postal Company in 2019), the figures show no direct increase in cargo flights landing in Israel, among other things because relatively small packages are sent by air, while large deliveries are made by sea.
Air cargo traffic is on a downtrend, which the International Air Transport Association (IATA) says is a direct effect of the trade war between the US and China. A report published today by IATA for November 2019 states that the number of cargo flights was 1.1% lower than in November 2018 (in ton-kilometer terms), the thirteenth straight month in which air cargos declined. The decrease in November, however, was more moderate than in the preceding months, due to the Black Friday and Chinese singles Internet shopping bargain days, which boosted global shopping, with a corresponding rise in deliveries.
In a breakdown by continents, Asia accounted for 35.4% of air cargo, Europe 23.3%, and North America 23.8%. The Middle East accounted for 13.2% of global cargo, with other markets amounting to a few percent.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 8, 2020
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