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It used to take three hours to book air cargo. Now, it takes us five minutes.

Air Export/Import Coordinator MC Trinter
Customer Interview Logistics Technology

Customer accessibility is crucial for air cargo: Silk Way West Airlines’ CCO Johhny Rubio discusses digitization

Every month, WebCargo interviews someone from the industry to hear a wide range of perspectives. In February 2022, we asked Johnny Rubio, Chief Commercial Officer at Silk Way West Airlines, about the process in taking Silk Way online.

Q: What were some of the challenges Silk Way West Airlines had to overcome in moving the booking process online?  

A: The biggest challenges were how to introduce eBooking without a massive investment of resources and capital, and without fundamentally shifting away from our proven cargo system or disrupting service to our customers. By partnering with proven technology service providers like WebCargo instead of developing these capabilities in-house, there was no need to reinvent the wheel, and the rollout involved minimal process change training internally and externally, which reduced the risk of disruption.

Q: What advantages does digital booking introduce for you and your customers?

A: Given our full fleet of freighter-only aircraft, many may view us as solely a large lot out-of-gauge operator. However, our services actually range from aid relief and temperature-controlled transport, to engines, oil & gas equipment, and even e-commerce. So digital sales not only makes our full range of products more visible, it also makes it available to a wider customer base. 

Q: As a midsize airline, how does Silk Way West Airlines effectively leverage technology?

A:In addition to large-scale investment in state-of-the-art aircraft, we are creating an updated corporate image featuring a customer-friendly online presence. Digitalization has made much more data available, so we’ve launched a new business intelligence tool to help our teams make informed, real-time decisions. As participants in the IATA Environmental Assessment, we are also using technology to address sustainability.  

Q: Has innovation and digitalization helped you weather the storm during the pandemic?

A: One of the key lessons we learned during Covid is that customers want accessibility.   Through eBooking – with just a click – they can check our updated schedules and rates, 24/7.   We pride ourselves on our customer-centric approach, and eBooking offers the service and flexibility our customers want, improving the customer experience even further.