12 January 2021
MAB Kargo Sdn Bhd (MASkargo) recently transported about 20 tonnes of Covid-19 test kits from Seoul, South Korea, to Jakarta, Indonesia, in its first charter flight for the year.
MASkargo CEO Ibrahim Mohamed Salleh said the ad hoc deployment of the charter service was due to the urgent need to ensure timely delivery of the items.
The charter flight involved Airbus A330-200 freighter, flight MH6431 departing from Incheon International Airport on Jan 4 at 5.20pm (local time) and arrived at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport on Jan 5, after a two-hour transit at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
“MASkargo is happy to operate this particular service, marking the first charter operation between the two countries by the airline for the year,” Ibrahim said in a statement yesterday.
He said the teams worked through numerous challenges during the year-end holidays to get the much-needed goods safely according to the requirements, including the appropriate temperature and travelling time.
He further said coordination of the flight was made seamless with Zagreb-based charterers, recipients in Indonesia and MASkargo teams in Kuala Lumpur and Seoul.
“With adequate infrastructure to ensure safe handling, transportation and distribution of the temperature-sensitive goods, MASkargo also maintained the aircraft temperature at between 15°C and 25°C throughout the 11-hour flight.
“This mission has proven, beyond doubt, MASkargo’s capability and solid track record of carrying time- and temperature-sensitive products within its network and beyond,” Ibrahim added.
Besides its freighter flights, MASkargo also operates passenger-to-cargo flights with increased frequency to meet demand, compensating passenger capacity reduction.
The company has three freighters and also utilises Malaysia Airlines Bhd’s passenger aircraft — the A330-300s, A350-900s and A380-800 — to deliver goods.
Air cargo companies are gearing up as industry players are projected to see a demand spike in transporting the Covid-19 vaccine once it is widely available.
AirAsia Group Bhd’s logistics arm, Teleport Commerce Malaysia Sdn Bhd, is already taking measures to serve new destinations that were not part of its network before.
“There is a constant albeit a slowdown in medical supply such as personal protective equipment, face masks and Covid-19 test kits from China.
“Nevertheless, we foresee that there will be a spike in demand when the Covid-19 vaccines are ready,” Teleport COO Adrian Loretz told The Malaysian Reserve previously.
He said there is a strong demand for time-sensitive goods such as pharmaceuticals, perishables and frozen products in Teleport’s cargo flights.