Friday, November 10, 2006

Liwa Air set to become major challenger Middle East's cargo airlines

Newly-founded Liwa Air is set to become a major challenger to the established cargo airlines in the Middle East, as Air Cargo News can exclusively reveal. The Dubai-based newcomer, named after the Liwa Oasis in Abu Dhabi currently has one freighter but development, as is the way in the Emirates, will be rapid and ambitious, with a fleet of regional freighters in service by the end of 2007.
The airline was registered by the local aviation authorities on 1 September and rapidly commenced business by purchasing an An-74 freighter. This has been put to work serving routes between the UAE and Afghanistan.
The funding for the venture comes from a consortium of unnamed private local investors.
This financing has already been put to use with Liwa signing an ACMI contract for three Tupolev Tu-204C freighters.
Robert Strodel, the former head of Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways, will take over as chief executive officer. “The Tupolevs can fly routes of up to 4.5 hours with a full payload. We intend to deploy them on regional routes within the Middle East, to the Indian sub-continent, Northern Africa and Afghanistan,” he said.
09/11/06 Air Cargo News.net, UK