New Heights for Turkish Cargo

Turkish Cargo capitalised on supply chain demands to capture greater market share.

Hong Kong is Asia’s best known transport hub for the logistics business. The strong geographical connections and high market activity keep demand alive.

Tarik Parlak
Far East Vice-President, Turkish Cargo
New Heights for Turkish Cargo

Established in 2011, the Hong Kong office of Turkish Cargo is the carrier’s regional headquarters. Tarik Parlak, Turkish Cargo’s Far East Vice-President, feels that the city is an ideal place to set up a business. “The city is strategically located at the centre of Asia — all of the region’s key markets are within a five-hour flight,” Parlak stated. “Advanced port and air cargo facilities have ensured Hong Kong’s place as one of the largest trading entities in the world whilst also servicing a large portion of cargo in and out of Mainland China.”

There is no question that the pandemic has affected the aviation industry. Nevertheless, Turkish Cargo saw COVID-19 challenges as opportunities. After air travel demand plummeted, it converted passenger aircrafts into cargo carriers. The company modernised its fleet with Boeing 777s and began offering flexible operations with different aircrafts for different distances and routes. It also launched SMARTIST, a mega cargo facility at Istanbul Airport that provides two million tons (1.81 million tonnes) of cargo handling capacity annually. Providing services to more than 130 countries, Turkish Cargo is now one of the fastest-growing air cargo companies around the world.

Parlak sees Hong Kong playing a key role as Turkish Cargo expands in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA). The company recently added Macao to Turkish Cargo’s service network due to its importance as a tourism centre and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) hub for market leaders in technology and eCommerce. “As an international logistics and trade centre, Hong Kong plays a key role in global supply chain management solutions in the GBA, Mainland China and the Asia-Pacific region,” Parlak said. “Hong Kong is one of the most competitive cities in the world with progress in its innovation and technology environment. This advancement helps to improve the resilience of supply chains. Businesses can manage complexities more easily, which should ultimately go a long way towards boosting customer satisfaction and sales. We will continue our vision to expand flights within the Hong Kong and Guangdong region.”

Asia’s Premier Logistics Hub

According to Airports Council International, Hong Kong International Airport ranked as the world’s busiest cargo airport in 2021, handling five million tonnes of cargo. “Hong Kong is Asia’s best known transport hub for the logistics business. The strong geographical connections and high market activity keep demand alive. eCommerce is thriving and playing a key role in this activity,” Parlak commented. “Hong Kong is full of high-quality talent — both highly skilled and well-educated”, adding that as the pandemic subsides, he sees a promising future for air cargo. “Passenger capacity is swiftly restoring itself,” he said.

“At Turkish Cargo, we have the experience and ability gained over the years to match market need with the proper products. We aim to be the main carrier, leveraging Hong Kong’s strengths to bridge between Asia and other regions,” he concluded.


Fast Facts

  • Established in 1933, Istanbul-based Turkish Cargo is Turkish Airlines’ air cargo transportation service flying to more than 340 destinations across 132 countries
  • The Hong Kong office of Turkish Cargo is the carrier’s regional headquarters, with an increased headcount of nearly 70 percent in 2022

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