Air Cargo
14. June 2021

Interview with Mustafa YAZ

Mr. Mustafa YAZ is a Vice President, Cargo Sales (Northern & Eastern Europe). He started his career in Turkish Airlines in 2008. In 2011, he was assigned as Regional Cargo Director for Middle East & Africa and since 2016, he is continuing his duty as Vice President, Cargo Sales for Northern & Eastern Europe. He is based in Vienna and responsible of all cargo activities by means of sales, operation and marketing in 33 countries within his region. Mr. YAZ also holds a bachelor degree from Boğaziçi University.

1. Digitalisation of the aviation industry has experienced a significant boom. What efforts have been made by Turkish Cargo in order to innovate and modernise the air cargo transportation processes?
As the effects of technology have increased, the expectations of the customers in each industry have also evolved accordingly. The innovative technology embraces extensive and significant applications more than ever in terms of especially air cargo transportation, because the industry demands ever-increasing urgency. We have been investing in innovative technologies in the field of air cargo to meet the needs of our customers and sector partners in terms of service offering. We took good steps towards digitalization and one of them is of them is our WhatsApp Chatbot called Cargy which offers to its our customers the opportunity to learn AWB status and tariff inquiries based on O&D via WhatsApp. Thanks to this service, customers can get related info with 24/7 access easily with their phones especially during pandemic while the tariffs changed frequently and this process can increase customer satisfaction.
Turkish Cargo have been running a robotic process automation (RPA) for our internal business processes known as RPA since 2019. Currently, we have 5 different robots named Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Foxtrot which are responsible for a total of 10+ different processes in Turkish Cargo for now and adding more and more processes as we go along the way. Also, Turkish Cargo had a partnership with WebCargo in order to provide a brand-new channel for a smoother, easier and faster reservation for our customers. Our customers can book 24/7 and get fast quick responses.

2. Could you please tell us a little more about your view to the future, alongside the SmartIST?
For the purpose of accomplishing such target, we are planning to switch to the SmartIST, Turkish Cargo’s mega cargo facility that is being constructed at the Istanbul Airport, which is set to be fully operational as of 2021 and be a major air cargo center to enhance the brand’s activities for the years to come. Turkish Cargo’s SmartIST facility, which will provide a capacity opportunity of 2 Million tons on annual basis at the first phase, will have achieved a capacity of 4 Million tons on annual basis at an area of 340.000 square meters upon the completion of the second phase.
SmartIST facility will be equipped with Industry 4.0, Logistics R&D, Innovative studies and technological infrastructure. Turkish Cargo will use two different systems, namely PCHS (Pallet Control Handling System) and ASRS (Automatic Storage and Retrieval System), for automation of the processes. PCHS system will be used to store the ULDs, which are unloaded from the aircraft or ready to be loaded on board the aircraft, and to transfer the same to the intended location automatically. ASRS system will be used to store the smaller cargo packages, comprising the contents of the ULDs, and to transfer them to the intended location automatically, if and when so needed. These brand-new systems use their own artificial intelligence to optimize their movements, resulting in minimization of any intervention by employees and therefore enhancing quality of service.
The new facility will address the needs of the market and maximize customer satisfaction by ensuring that all special cargo processes, from acceptance to delivery, in private areas (perishable, pharmaceuticals, valuable cargo, live animal transportation, express, e-commerce cargo) are carried out with the highest possible standards of quality.

3. At Turkish Cargo, you are constantly working on building and expanding the global air bridge. How many direct cargo destinations are you operating to and have you added any new destinations recently?
Turkish Cargo has the world’s largest direct cargo flight network consisting of 96 destinations among air cargo brands, 25 direct cargos, excluding express carriers. It continues to carry out global business processes with the fleet of Turkish Airlines consist from 363 aircraft including 25 dedicated freighters. Achieving sustainable growth with our infrastructure, operational capabilities, fleet and expert teams in the field, Turkish Cargo aims to be one of the top 3 air cargo brands in the world. With its innovation mission, it continues to develop pioneering projects in the field of digitalization and innovation in a sustainable way to increase its service quality in changing world.

4. Without a doubt, Turkish Cargo has a strong commitment to maintain high standards when it comes to pharma a healthcare products handling. What solutions are you offering in order to provide a seamless service despite the current pandemic situation?
Turkish Cargo resumes to be a notable logistics solution partner by continuing operations uninterruptedly, along with a wide flight network encompassing the globe as well as its operational experience of 30 years in transporting special cargo.  Turkish Cargo has completed preliminary works with respect to the storage capacity of cold storage rooms available at the facilities at Ataturk and Istanbul airports, as well as the equipment related to the active and passive containers. Currently, Turkish Cargo is operating via 400 pharma-corridors all around the world. We, as Turkish Cargo, exercise maximum care and diligence for the special cargo shipments, and carry out our operations successfully along with our trained and specialized teams. 
The certificate of “Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV)”, which is the certificate of excellence issued by IATA for air cargo, constitutes the major and highest standards in respect of pharmaceutical shipments. Being the first brand that holds such certificate among the airlines, Turkish Cargo carries the vaccines, pharmaceuticals and all pharmaceutical products, which require cold chain, at the highest standards thanks to such indication of competence.  In addition to the IATA, the International Air Transport Association, of which we are a member; a joint project, called “Project Sunray,” has been launched by TIACA, the International Air Cargo Association, which gathers all stakeholders in the air cargo industry under a single roof for the purpose of distribution of such manufactured vaccines on the global scale, together with Pharma. Aero, which is focused on end-to-end pharma and vaccine air logistics solutions; and Turkish Cargo is one of the key participants in such project. We are trying to coordinate the logistics and supply chain arrangements, made for the Covid-19 by all vaccine manufacturers and distributors worldwide, on behalf of the air cargo industry. Such efforts include also airports, air cargo carries, handlers, forwarders and global logistics organizations. We are ready to use the air cargo bridges we built between continents for social benefit.
5. What is your opinion about positioning WOF EXPO in the Central and Eastern Europe region?
Central and Eastern Europe became a power house for key sectors like pharmaceuticals, automotive, electronics, manufacturing… etc. and I’m happy to see this B2B platform, of where we’ll experience the very first logistics exhibition in the region.

TURKISH CARGO is offering service to 127 countries while being the fastest-growing air cargo brand around the world. Turkish Cargo has been carrying out the air cargo transportation operations of Turkish Airlines, the “rising star” of Turkey, since 1933. Turkish Cargo also received the “Best Cargo Airline – Europe” award during the Air Cargo News Awards 2020, based on criteria such as quality, innovation, efficiency, speed and reliability.Turkish Cargo aims to be one of the top three global air cargo brands in line with the vision set for 2023, marking the centennial of foundation of the Republic of Turkey.