Monday, July 24, 2006

AirAsia sets eye on cargo


AIR ASIA'S exclusive courier and express cargo marketer, ATR Express Sdn Bhd will expand its horizons regionally, aside from enhancing its services in Sabah and Sarawak.

Its managing director Tan Eng Chan said effective August, ATR has been appointed to service Indonesia Air Asia (IAA) and Air Asia's network in Philippines.

For Indonesia, it comprises Kuala Lumpur-Surabaya, Kuala Lumpur-Jakarta and Penang-Medan daily frequencies, to and fro while for Philippines, it would be from Kota Kinabalu to Clark base.

“This provides us more room for expansion, based on our high-quality service levels rendered,'' he said.

For a start, ATR would invest RM2mil to upgrade to bigger warehouse space and increase cargo handling equipment and facilities at eight stations in Sabah and Sarawak.

The eight are namely Kuching, Kota Kinabalu, Labuan, Sibu, Miri, Bintulu, Tawau and Sandakan.

“This is an opportunity for us to expand following the recent Malaysia Airlines rationalisation programme and the frequencies to be operated by Air Asia.

“With the rationalisation, we require bigger space. Although it would be done in stages, 154 flights per day would cover eight stations in Sabah and Sarawak by November,'' he said.

Presently handling courier and express cargo except for perishables and dangerous goods, ATR projects a growth of 30% for the company this year.

Tan said he was optimistic of the projected growth, adding that ATR's affiliation with Air Asia started close to five years ago.

Established as an airfreight company in 2000, ATR tendered for the job and started to effectively market and sell space for Air Asia in 2002.

A pioneer and as the budget carrier's cargo marketing representative, ATR will cover inter and intra Sabah-Sarawak region.

Presently, the company's main sector is ex Kuala Lumpur to major destinations in Sabah-Sarawak.

“We are focussed on customer satisfaction, we stress on the security and safety of the goods delivered.

“ATR believes that commitment, personal touch and strongly addressing customer needs are vital to survive in this demanding industry,'' he said, adding that these were mainly ATR's selling points.

Tan added that the company had also maintained compliance with Air Asia's turnaround time of 25 minutes, judging by the items transported.

Last year, the company achieved a 35% growth.

Source: The Star

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