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An exodus of senior staff at Qatar Airways Cargo (QR) in North America has prompted speculation that the carrier may restructure its sales strategy in the region.
This week Ian Morgan, VP cargo for the Americas, left just a month after his deputy, Andy Roberts, quit to join Air Canada.
Mr Morgan is thought to be joining GSSA group ECS, where he would work alongside fellow ex-Cargoluxer Robert van de Weg.
ECS already has all Qatar Airways Cargo’s GSA contracts in Latin America (with the exception of Panama), sparking speculation that with Mr Morgan’s move, Qatar could turn to ECS in North America. Qatar only has one GSA listed in the US and Canada, in Calgary.
One US-based customer of Qatar Airways Cargo told The Loadstar: “There is a migration away from QR, people are leaving – with lots going to Emirates.
“We believe QR will move to all-GSA sales in the Americas, and ECS is a natural fit.”
But another source said the carrier would replace Mr Morgan – albeit not with a North American – and added that the carrier was also expected to announce a new head of global cargo operations in Doha.
“This might be part of a wider reorganisation. But giving all its Americas sales to ECS would be a risky move.”
QR and ECS are remaining tight-lipped for now, but in a recent announcement about a new weekly 777 freighter service between Bogota and Dallas, head of cargo Guillaume Halleux noted that “the Americas is highly important for us, and we have a strong regional presence”.
And earlier this year Adrien Thominet, executive chairman of ECS Group, said: “We know the cargo business inside out, we have the expertise to handle all its intricacies and specificities. We actually have an airline mindset. That’s why airlines trust us with their cargo. They know we can rise to the challenge as we excel both on the commercial and the operational front.”
That may be required. One former US customer said he welcomed a potential shake-up of QR’s Americas sales team.
“QR has annoyed everyone here, it got too big for its boots, and its team was arrogant and had a bad attitude. It left a bad taste in the mouth.”
Qatar Airways has some 5,300 tonnes of weekly capacity to and from the Americas across 14 freighter and 14 passenger flights.
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