Coyne Airways rediscovering its roots as charter broker during coronavirus crisis
Coyne Airways, the niche air cargo provider specialising in providing reliable and secure air cargo services to some of the world’s most difficult to reach destinations, is rediscovering its roots as a charter broker during the coronavirus crisis. Since its establishment in 1994, Coyne Airways pioneered routes to the Caucasus, Central Asia, Iraq, and Afghanistan, all destinations it still serves today. In 2012, we spread its wings to Africa, working in conjunction with regional partners. We always offered charter and part-charter services to destinations where it can add value for customers, but these tended to be centred around existing (niche) network points. However, the coronavirus crisis and the urgent search for cargo capacity to distribute medical equipment around the world has pushed Coyne into more mainstream routings, like China to Europe. Operating to Central Asia and the Caspian region since the beginning, we are uniquely positioned to assist with Covid-19 charters, many of which stop at airports in Kazakhstan, a country we have served for a quarter of a century. Coyne has a broad network of relationships with a variety of freighter and passenger aircraft operators; many of Coyne’s existing clientele have long been involved in humanitarian assistance; and, Coyne is used to navigating tricky operational issues and holding the customer’s hand to guide them through every step of the process. Some customers are shocked to find charter costs from China for large freighters like 747s and 777s exceeding $1m per flight. Quite a few customers do not require the full capacity of those large aircrafts, and while there are many medium-sized and smaller freighters and “passenger freighters” entering the market, it can be confusing as to what is the best choice for each charter requirement. The answer is complicated by the fact that, particularly for the passenger freighters, the same aircraft type registered in different countries may have different restrictions on the type of cargo that can be carried, the dimensions of that cargo and the use of the passenger cabin. In addition, different aircraft types with similar payload capacity can have very different volume capacities: for example, both the IL76 and A300 can carry around 40 tons of cargo, but the A300 is better able to cope with volume. High fuel consumption ruled the IL76 out of contention for many years but with fuel just above $300 per ton, it’s suddenly viable again. For clients looking to move items such as facemasks and personal protective equipment which are very volumetric, the capacity of the aircraft may bulk out before anywhere near the maximum payload is reached. Coyne can advise customers on the options available and help them get a better understanding of the best value solution for their requirement.
For operators, Coyne can connect them with clients and revenue streams they might not otherwise have had access to. We can also help bridge the gap in understanding between each side, ensuring better coordination and successful flights. There have been reports of several flights returning empty from major airports in China because the cargo has not been ready and available for loading. Many operators are now consumed with constant flying to keep their heads above water; they may not have the resources to ensure that all the I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed, or have any experience with operating from China. Having a dedicated broker in place to keep an eye on all the details can help anticipate and circumnavigate any issues that can arise and can assist with any necessary arrangements for smooth operations. This can include, as it did for one client recently, changing the airport of departure in China a few days before the flight, updating permits and arranging ground handling to ensure that all the client’s cargo would connect with a charter.
Happy customer, happy operator, happy Coyne!