Air Transport World

SAS on steady course. (Scandinavian Airlines System cargo operations)(Company Profile)

The Scandinavian carrier is streamlining its operations while building markets to Asia, the Baltic and the CIS

St. PETERSBURG -- While the fall of the U.S.S.R. and the rise of capatalism in the new CIS have not exactly been the financial boon the West was hoping for, some growing cargo markets are available, according to SAS Cargo, which is working to penetrate what markets there are.

SAS has been pushing its cargo operations hard into the former East Bloc countries, with success in some areas and only limited advances in others. And the demand that exists tends to be for cargo going in, not coming out.

There is a fairly strong demand for capacity into St. Petersburg and SAS would like to increase frequencies to that city, according to Einar Longva, VP/general manager. While the demand for goods is growing, one of the biggest impediments faced in the CIS is infrastructure.

Aeroflot does all of the ground handling for air cargo at St. Petersburg, and a recent tour of the facility at the city's Pulkovo Airport showed that a long road remains to meet modern standards.

The physical structures are deteriorating and outdated, pilferage is rampant, automation is non-existent, as are refrigeration units for perishables, and the computers are not linked to others outside the airport, prohibiting EDI communication. …

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