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IAG ends long-running cargo connection

ATW Daily News by Alan Dron 22 Jan.14

International Airlines Group (IAG) Cargo will end its arrangement with Global Supply Systems (GSS), which operated three Boeing 747-8 freighters on its behalf.

The move comes after British Airways, which formed IAG Cargo with Iberia’s freight division, decided to pull out of the dedicated freighter aircraft market.

London Stansted-based GSS, a 49%-owned subsidiary of US-based Atlas Air Worldwide, took the three 747-8Fs on lease from Atlas and operated them for British Airways’ and IAG Cargo.

The aircraft will be handed back to Atlas after the contract terminates at the end of April. GSS will receive a termination fee for the early ending of the contract.

IAG Cargo will retain a dedicated cargo service, a 5X-weekly London-Hong Kong route, which will be operated by Qatar Airways’ Boeing 777Fs. Both British Airways and Qatar are members of oneworld alliance.

“This new partnership is an important step forward for us and enhances our relationship with Qatar,” IAG CEO Willie Walsh said. “It allows us to continue delivering significant capacity for our customers through the important gateway of Hong Kong. With the ongoing arrival of our next generation aircraft, IAG Cargo’s customers will now benefit from increased belly-hold capacity as well as the deployment of freighter services on capacity constrained routes.”