Malaysian cargo airline MASkargo has chosen the Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Baku as its main transit center, AzerTac state news agency reported.
A first cargo plane, Boeing 747-400F, of the Malaysian company, which has been carrying cargo between Europe and Asia using airports in the UAE, landed at the Heydar Aliyev International Airport on Sunday, December 2.
Participants in a welcome ceremony included Maharram Safarli, an assistant to the president of Azerbaijan Airlines (Azal), Ilgar Alakbarov, director of the Baku Cargo Terminal, and Sadig Abduyev, chairman of the Air Transport Central Customs Department.
Mohd Yunus Idris, MASkargo CEO, told journalists the company selected Azerbaijan as its new transit center considering "economic achievements, as well as the development of the cargo transportation sector in the country".
"We carried out a deep analysis of Azerbaijan`s resources in this sector. We have been satisfied with the quality of services as well as new equipment and technologies at the state-of-the-art Baku cargo terminal. And we decided that delivering our transit cargo to Europe, CIS and other destinations through your country is more advantageous."
"We consider developing our bilateral business relations with Azerbaijan at the next stage. We particularly consider cooperation with Azerbaijan Airlines," he said.
Yunus Idris said they recommended the Malaysian government to sign an agreement on regular air communication with Azerbaijan - given the country`s potential in air transportation - with the aim of expanding the economic and tourism relations between the two countries.
Director of the Baku Cargo Terminal Alakbarov praised the fact MASkargo chose Azerbaijan as its transit cargo center. He said Azerbaijan`s state-of-the-art air infrastructure complex contributed to expanding its economic relations with many countries in the Northern American, European, CIS, Middle East and Asian regions. Alakbarov said the Baku Cargo Terminal was built in 2005, hailing it as "the largest cargo complex in the region having the most advanced equipment".
"Offering a full range of services for cargo planes, the terminal made the Baku Airport a favorable transit point for the world`s leading cargo airlines, including Cargolux Airline International, ATLAS Air, Evegreen International Airlines, PolarAir, Luthansa Cargo, Volga-Dnepr Airlines and Kalitta Air."
He noted measures had been taken to attract more foreign cargo airlines to the country. Alakbarov said Baku had hosted several summits of the world`s cargo airlines in the last few years.
"These summits bring together cargo airlines from more than 30 countries, who praise Azerbaijan`s potential in cargo transportation, and want to get use of these opportunities. And the fact that MASkargo, a company of Malaysia, the most advanced country with the strongest economy on the Asian continent, will use Azerbaijan as transit is a brilliant result of this."
Founded in 1972, MASkargo is a cargo division of its parent company Malaysia Airlines. Headquartered in the Advanced Cargo Centre in Kuala-Lumpur, MASkargo provides freighter services to Asia, Australia, Europe and Far East.
The company will perform 10 landings per week at the Heydar Aliyev International Airport with two Boeing 747-400Fs and four Airbus 300-200Fs in the Frankfurt-Baku-Kuala-Lumpur, Amsterdam-Baku-Kuala-Lumpur and opposite directions at the preliminary stage.
Azerbaijan`s rich experience and professionalism in cargo transportation helped the country to have built an image of a reliable partner in local and international cargo transportation. Being one of the leading and state-of-the-art terminals in the world, the Baku Cargo Terminal, which is part of the Silk Road project, plays the role of a transit center for goods travelling from America and Europe to Asia.