Qatar Cargo wraps up bumper Chilean cherry season airlift

This latest growing season in Chile has come up all cherries for Qatar Airways Cargo. Between Nov. 13 and Dec. 19, 2017, the Doha-based carrier has transported 1,400 tonnes of cherries from South America to markets in Asia, where demand for the fruit is especially high.

Qatar Airways Cargo said that the lift required fourteen 777F charter flights from the capital, Santiago, to Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong, via its Doha hub, at Hamad International Airport (HIA). This is the second year the carrier has collaborated with its major customers to transport Chilean cherries on dedicated charter flights.

Qatar Cargo’s QR Fresh solution allowed the carrier to transport the time- and temperature-sensitive fruit across the globe, including throughput at the notoriously hot Doha airport. “We provide a seamless cool chain for all temperature-sensitive shipments, from their origin airport through to their final destination, thus preserving their quality and extending their shelf life,” said Guillaume Halleux, the carrier’s acting chief officer for cargo.

Making sure the shipments arrive in top form is an involved process.

A dedicated team monitors every shipment from beginning to end, the airline said. In Doha, the cherries were stored in dedicated cold rooms, each with various temperature zones for the storage of perishables transiting the hub. Qatar Cargo also accredited their ramp handling activities, where special reefer units control against extreme temperatures on the ramp, and are loaded from trucks directly to the aircraft.

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