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25/08/2021 14:38


The weekly newspaper for air cargo professionals No. 1,153

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18 OCTOBER 2021

Make mine a double ...

SILK WAY AIRLINES MARKS 20TH ANNIVERSARY

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INSIDE

LUFTHANSA EXTENDS CONTRACT

LUFTHANSA has extended its cargo handling contract with Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) in Ireland. The airline was one of WFS’ ... PAGE 2

VOLGA-DNEPR VACCINE TRANSPORT

AN Ilyushin IL 76TD-90VD cargo plane operated by Volga-Dnepr took off from Leipzig/ Halle Airport (LEJ) heading for Ashgabat in ... PAGE 2 HONGYUAN GROUP NEW WAREHOUSE

SILK Way Airlines, a member of the Silk Way Group and a leading cargo carrier serving a network of charter destinations worldwide, celebrates its 20th anniversary. From the beginning, the company contributed to the economic independence and regional leadership of Azerbaijan. During these years, Silk Way Airlines’ route network has covered over 130 countries across the globe, while its aircraft have flown 70 million nautical miles (ca. 129,640,000 km), transporting 600,000 tonnes of freight. Founded in 2001, the company staff currently consists of over 440 professionals with a high level of

expertise backed by internationally recognised qualifications. The air cargo airline initially was established on the basis of a passenger aviation flight detachment. Before the company’s foundation, three crews that had successfully undergone simulator training at the Ukrainian Uzin airfield in 1996 were retrained at the Zhuliany training and technical centre near Kiev. Subsequently, they formed the first Silk Way Airlines flight crew. Silk Way Airlines currently operates five Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft. In many cases, the crew carry out delivery of special and critical freight to regions completely cut off from the

road network, to airfields with poor or virtually non-existent infrastructure, without ground support or equipment for loading and unloading operations.

Cargo compartment Thanks to their cargo compartment equipment, Ilyushin cargo planes are the optimal solution for transportation of bulky, high-value or dangerous goods, as well as oil and gas equipment, self-propelled equipment and outsize cargo. The first international Silk Way Airlines cargo flight was operated by an Ilyushin IL-76 (registration

number 4K-AZ19) on the Baku-Le Bourget-Bagram route in October 2001. This was the first civilian flight to Afghanistan since the start of Operation Enduring Freedom. “Our most important achievements over the last two decades have been the extensive experience we have gained, as well as overcoming a range of challenges along the way. Thanks to this, today, Silk Way Airlines provides its services not only in the Caspian region but also far beyond. There has undoubtedly always been a strong team of professionals behind this twenty-year success story,” said Silk Way Airlines director Rahim Islamov.

HONGYUAN Group has inaugurated its new logistics warehouse in Brucargo, Brussels Airport’s logistics zone. Hongyuan Group ... PAGE 3

VANGARD: IN THE NAVY

VANGARD Logistics reported it has successfully handled an air charter of defence cargo for the Indian Navy. They were chosen for the entire shipment ... PAGE 3

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FedEx Express increases capacity from Asia Pacific

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edEx Express has further increased capacity with the launch of two new flights connecting Asia Pacific (APAC) businesses to Europe and North America respectively. At the same time, it has added wide-body 767 freighters, making the FedEx fleet in Asia 100% wide-body. The launch of these two new flights is the latest in the FedEx network expansion, as economies across APAC continue to rebound. Combined with the four new intercontinental flights launched in July, FedEx has added 62 flights in and out of APAC per week with additional capacity to carry almost 2,700 tonnes. These added flights contribute to a total of over 225 weekly flights in and out of APAC to the US and Europe. Businesses are benefitting from improved connectivity and enhanced service reliability when importing and exporting with Europe, the US and intra-Asia.

Greater connectivity One of the two new FedEx flights provides additional connectivity and reliable service to and from Europe, and service enhancements to importers in Japan. Europe is Japan’s third largest trading partner and, this year, Japan saw a year-on-year (YoY) increase of 28% in its global imports. This new FedEx Asia-Europe flight connects FedEx Charles de Gaulle (CDG) Hub in Paris, France to FedEx APAC hub in Guangzhou, China, four days per week via Kansai International Airport in Osaka, Japan, and one day a week via Singapore Changi Airport, providing 10 extra connections each week for APAC customers to and from Europe.

Supporting growing exports Benefitting from strong export demand from major trading partners, the US and mainland China, and key Asian economies are also starting to see rebound. For instance, Taiwan’s economy is forecasted to grow at its fastest pace in more than a decade in 2021, with global demand for its technology products driven by the work-and-study-from-home boom resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. This new FedEx trans-Pacific flight connecting Taipei and Hong Kong to Anchorage and Indianapolis, and returning via Anchorage to Taipei, five days per week, provides customers with improved capacity between Greater China and North America, further accelerating trade between Asia’s leading logistics hub and the US.

VOLGA-DNEPR TRANSPORTS VACCINES TO TURKMENISTAN

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n Ilyushin IL 76TD-90VD cargo plane operated by Volga-Dnepr took off from Leipzig/Halle Airport (LEJ) heading for Ashgabat in Turkmenistan. It was carrying 35 tonnes of vaccines, which are being transported on behalf of a UN organisation. “As Europe’s fourth-largest air freight hub, Leipzig/Halle Airport is playing an increasingly important role in transshipping medical relief aid and temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals. We want to further enhance this function and therefore agreed a co-operation arrangement with our partner, the

Volga-Dnepr Group, this year too,” says Mario Patyk, head of business development cargo/logistics. The carrier reports that thanks to the fact that the airport’s subsidiary PortGround has CEIV Pharma certification, Leipzig/Halle Airport is able to handle time-critical and temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical shipments round the clock. The subsidiary of Mitteldeutsche Flughafen, which specialises in handling aircraft and freight, was also responsible for handling and loading the vaccines. The Volga-Dnepr Group and the airport signed a memorandum of under-

standing to strengthen the humanitarian hub at Leipzig Halle at the beginning of 2021. Two relief aid flights took off from Leipzig/Halle heading for Windhoek in Namibia in August. The Antonov 124 aircraft were carrying urgently needed medical relief aid, including masks and ventilators, for the country that has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, the aid consignment funded by the German government consisted of more than 600 pallets, which were flown to southern Africa by the Russian airline, Volga-Dnepr.

Groupe ADP and AFKLMP test autonomous airside cargo solutions updated app

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ince August 2021, Groupe ADP and Air France KLM Martinair Cargo have been testing an airside cargo transport solution, with an autonomous electric vehicle from French startup OROK at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport. The goal of this experiment is to optimise, secure and decarbonise ground operations, on airside and service lanes around the aircraft, for the benefit of all players in the airport value chain. Winner of the 2020 “Play your Airport” innovation challenge dedicated to the cargo activities – organised by Groupe ADP – OROK has developed an innovative solution with autonomous electric vehicles for transportation of goods and air freight. Equipped with a state-of-the-art GPS system and numerous sensors enabling it to access loading and unloading areas close to the aircraft, these autonomous vehicles are supervised by a server with artificial intelligence. Able to convey between 30 and 40 suitcases, luggage container or pallets loaded with goods, these new vehicles are intended to replace tractors and trailers usually used between cargo warehouses or baggage sorting centres and aircraft parking stands.

This solution is being carried out in surrounding Air France Cargo’s G1XL cargo warehouse. The tests consist, initially, in transporting empty aircraft containers between two areas inside the warehouse using a first ‘demokart’ prototype vehicle. The tests will then gradually evolve using a new generation of more efficient vehicles. These autonomous electric vehicles offer several benefits: decrease of accidents on the runway, faster delivery for goods or luggage, reduction of surface requirements for manoeuvring and more.

Autonomous technology Edward Arkwright, deputy CEO of Groupe ADP, commented: “Thanks to this experiment with OROK’s autonomous vehicle, we are testing innovative tools alongside Air France to improve the performance and safety of air freight activities, for which Paris Charles de Gaulle is one of the leading airports. This autonomous technology is promising to help us transform our processes, while contributing to the environmental transition of our ground operations.”

Lufthansa extends contract with WFS in Ireland

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ufthansa has extended its cargo handling contract with Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) in Ireland. The airline was one of WFS’ launch customers in Ireland in 2005 and its operations are supported by WFS’ stations in Dublin, Cork and Shannon. The airline currently operates four flights a day connecting Dublin and Frankfurt, as well as twice-daily Dublin-Munich services. WFS also provides handling services for Lufthansa’s trucking operations ex Ireland to Frankfurt, Manchester and London. “We are proud to have retained this prestigious handling contract for so long. Lufthansa is highly respected for the quality of its cargo operations in Ireland, and we support the airline and its customers through our dedicated team’s clear understanding of its service requirements. “WFS has shown its ability to adapt to Lufthansa’s prod-

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ucts and growth goals and we are delighted to see our efforts rewarded. “We look forward to continuing this long and successful partnership,” said Simon Coomber, general manager of WFS in Ireland.

Airline clients WFS has continued to develop its cargo handling operations in Dublin, Cork and Shannon, where its 4,500 sq mt of warehouse space incorporates the largest temperature-controlled facilities in Ireland. WFS now handles over 40,000 tonnes of cargo per annum for airline clients in Ireland, including Swiss International Air Lines, which has also renewed its handling contract with WFS in the past 12 months.

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angard Logistics reported it has successfully handled an air charter of defence cargo for the Indian Navy. They were chosen for the entire shipment operation from the US to various Indian naval bases because of their emphasis on the safe handling of highly sensitive defence cargo. The project required a ‘white glove treatment’ and an experienced team to perform the operations. The task was to clear the shipment the same day and move the cargo to various southern Indian naval bases.

Midnight arrival

Vangard handles cargo for Indian Navy

The chartered freight arrived at midnight and Vangard arranged the landing permissions, customs clearance, equipment, forklifts, escorting vehicles, special trucks, unloading, loading and transporting the cargo for delivery early in the morning. The entire operation was completed within nine hours. Adding to the complexity, the shipment arrived on a national holiday (Gandhi Jayanti) but with the support of the experienced team at Vangard Logistics, the shipment was efficiently handled with careful and meticulous planning of the operations and in co-ordination with all agencies including airport authority, customs and local traffic departments.

Hongyuan Group inaugurates new Brucargo warehouse HONGYUAN Group has inaugurated its new logistics warehouse in Brucargo, Brussels Airport’s logistics zone. Hongyuan Group is a Chinese cross-border trade integrated service provider and has chosen Brussels Airport as the strategic location for their new European Headquarters. Hongyuan Group, based in Beijing, has been operating at Brussels Airport since October 2020, chartering flights with multiple airlines. Hongyuan and Brussels Airport have now signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) as strategic partners to further develop Brussels Airport as Hongyuan’s main gateway for general cargo and to develop e-Commerce flows between China and Europe on the one hand and between Europe, Americas and Africa on the other hand. Hongyuan has seen a rapid growth in its air cargo operations in Europe, and with the successful development of the so-called Air Silk Road between China and Belgium, it became necessary to expand their infrastructure and find a new strategic location, which it found at Brussels Airport.

European logistical footprint Hongyuan is the first Chinese logistic player deploying a European logistical footprint at Brussels Airport to take their logistical services to a higher level. Hongyuan and Brussels Airport have concluded a long-term lease agreement for a warehouse that will serve as their European headquarters and will enable them to expand their operations in Europe. “After the successful start-up of their operations at Brussels Airport in the past year, we are pleased to welcome Hongyuan Group in their new warehouse at our airport and to anchor our partnership with this Memorandum of Understanding. “Being part of the Hongyuan network strengthens/from our role as the gateway to Europe for their Chinese and European clients. We are looking forward to a fruitful and long-term collaboration,” says Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport. “We chose Brussels Airport as our new European headquarters as it is truly the strategic gateway to Europe. Now we can increase our operations, together with our partners at Brussels Airport. “We have the ambition to become a key partner in the world of logistics around Brussels Airport. In the future, we want to gradually open additional international freight routes such as Europe, America and Southeast Asia and increase export business to China,” said Cling Guo, director of Hongyuan Group Europe. The 8,000 sq m warehouse, owned by Brussels Airport, has first-line access and is fully renewed to accommodate general cargo flows offering high end services for Hongyuan’s customers in China and Europe. There is an integrated IT-platform to enable on the spot traceability.

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MOBILE SOLUTIONS FOR AIR CARGO O SINCE the launch of their first IATA innovation award-winning Cargoclaims solution in 2015, CargoHub, a Schiphol-based IT provider, has dedicated its efforts to developing digital products designed to make life better for airlines, handlers, forwarders and truckers. As the world struggles back to normality after the disastrous pandemic, air cargo operators are searching for solutions and technologies to make them more efficient and cost effective in a highly competitive global marketplace. The CargoHub group has developed a community platform over the past three years, offering a portfolio of integrated and useful digital products for just this very purpose. Raoul Paul founder of CargoHub explains: “All our energy and research are directed at

giving our customers the best tools for the job. Our easy to use Cloud-based digital products have been tried and tested here at Schiphol by leading handlers and carriers.

Single window eco system approach Paul continues: “We have built a cargo community platform to enable logistics stakeholders to share data amongst themselves, providing transparency and predictability on cargo shipments and truck movements. On top of this platform, we have built in community products which are focusing on: Cargo claim and loss prevention management; ULD care and control; quality assurance and airport collaborative decision making (CDM); which offers slot booking, digital acceptance/deliv-

ery and shipment status updates between truckers, airlines, handlers and forwarders. “Our approach is to offer a wide range of products and to display data in a single window with the possibility to share data with any external system. This offers a maximum flexibility on how data is used or disclosed. We collect data and offer operational process supporting tools to offer the ultimate digital process efficiency for individual stakeholders. Pushing digital transformation forward with innovative solutions,” adds Paul. In January this year, a new CCLP (Cargo Claims and Loss Prevention) programme was introduced to simplify and control the cargo damage reporting process between ground handlers and airlines. Paul explains: “Traditionally, once damage to a consignment is caused or discovered, a report would be drawn up in Word or Excel or generated by a WMS system. The CCLP programme offers handlers a simple-to-use mobile app to create, control, validate and semi-automatically send damage reports to the airline representatives involved in the process. In this way, the damage reporting requirements stipulated in the service level agreement with the airline are easily met. At the same time airlines are offered access to the CCLP platform to obtain the assigned reports, enabling the carrier to swiftly anticipate the customer service requirements and to monitor shipment quality performance within their network. “The fully customer-centric programme focusses on CCLP solutions,” continues Paul, “identifies risks, provides loss prevention management insights to both the handling company and airline. Last but not least, it provides a fully integrated quality assurance programme to investigate root causes and to classify corrective actions. This new solution has successfully been tested in Amsterdam by Menzies World Cargo and Airbridgecargo Airlines and will be made available to other handlers and carriers starting in January 2022”.

ULD care and control Paul elaborates: “Our platform’s built-in ULD care and control app, is yet another useful solution for combatting a further problem area for airlines, handlers and forwarders. Unreliable registration combined with human error means that time and money are seeping away with damaged and lost containers causing delays plus extra costs. “At any time, there are some 800,000 ULDs currently in service worldwide and every year the industry spends $300m in ULD repair costs not counting damage to aircraft caused by broken or bent containers. Our ULD solution

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saves much of these daily problems. By re-using existing ULD messages in our eco system platform, forwarders are enabled to monitor their ULDs on loan, in a digital environment. The CargoHub ULD app at the same time, offers a fully operational supporting solution to manage ULDs during the acceptance and

“The cargo community needs to work together as one and our single window CDM solutions are all built just for this purpose.” delivery process. This allows airlines, ground handlers, GSAs and forwarders to monitor in real time, the full ULD process. This new solution eliminates the administrative burden, unnecessary inquiries, which often require forwarders to prove that ULD are already returned to the handler to prevent demurrage costs. Paul states enthusiastically: “Logistics operators need easy to implement products for efficiency and quality. Our new CARGO SNAPSHOT platform add- on is a cloud based digital app for quality control covering acceptance,


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O OPERATORS storage and delivery. The condition of shipments can be captured, reported and the data is made available in the single window dashboard. Handlers for example, can easily share data on damaged shipments upon acceptance in the forwarder’s account and those forwarders collecting shipments at the handler can re-use captured snapshot data to inform the carrier about a potential damage. This then complies with claims proceedings. The loss prevention focus is also embedded in this solution to assure and contribute to the quality and service offered to shipper clients.”

Collaborative decision making CargoHub is also known for its Trucking CDM platform, streamlining handling and trucking co-ordination. Paul explains: “Our system allows trucking companies and forwarders to digitally pre-announce their arrival for pickups and deliveries to handle. “This enables handlers to manage their capacity and available time-slots, status

updates for cargo documentation. “Customs and security status are shared in the transaction between forwarder, handler and airline to provide full transparency and predictability. “This solution can reduce waiting hours, paperwork and traditional communication by phone and email to request shipment status updates. “Ground handler dnata in Amsterdam has successfully eliminated a significant flow of email communication as a result of the CDM with trucking companies Wallenborn and Jan de Rijk. Not only front yard control, loading times and driver validation can be improved, but also the re-use of data increases the speed and quality of truck order processing at the handlers side. “The advantages of digital transformation must be engineered throughout the whole process, in order to achieve maximum result, keeping end to end supply chain visibility and predictability for handler, trucker, airlines forwarders and shippers in mind.”

AN Ilyushin IL 76TD-90VD cargo aircraft operated by Volga-Dnepr took off from Leipzig/Halle Airport (LEJ) heading for Ashgabat in Turkmenistan carrying 35 tonnes of vaccines, being transported on behalf of an UN organisation. “As Europe’s fourth-largest air freight hub, Leipzig/Halle Airport is playing an increas-

ingly important role in transhipping medical relief aid and temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals. We want to further enhance this function and therefore agreed a co-operation arrangement with our partner, the Volga-Dnepr Group, this year too,” says Mario Patyk, head of business development cargo/ logistics.

CEVA Logistics first to receive new IATA CEIV Lithium Battery certification

AT the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) annual World Cargo Symposium (WCS) in Dublin, CEVA Logistics became the world’s first company to receive IATA’s new CEIV Lithium Battery certification after teaming with IATA to support the development of the new certification program. CEVA’s Amsterdam and Hong Kong air freight stations are now CEIV certified in the handling of lithium batteries. The certification confirms each facility’s ability to properly handle and store lithium batteries, as well as validates the necessary

training and expertise of on-site employees. CEVA Logistics has plans to extend its certifications beyond Amsterdam and Hong Kong, with additional certified locations expected in Asia, Europe and the Americas.

Network The company is committed to providing its customers with peace of mind through a completely certified network delivering air cargo services under its CEVA Batteries Solutions.

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TASC AVIATION: READY TO TAKE ON THE TASK AS acclaimed business psychologist Peter Drucker said: “Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.” A courageous decision like that made by Jimmy Dube, managing director of newly established TASC Aviation Consultancy, who took the leap to start his business during a pandemic. Seeing great opportunity within the current climate, Dube, who holds a Masters degree in Business Administration and is also a corporate member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (UK), decided to set up TASC Aviation after seeing a gap in the market. “TASC was born from realising a need for a one-stop aviation solution for customers,” he tells ACW. “For example, if a customer approaches a scheduled airline with a cargo requirement that the airline is unable to accommodate in terms of capacity, routing, origin and destination, the operator is likely to turn down the request and very unlikely to refer the enquiry to a competing operator. TASC would provide a solution by contacting its own network of operators. “TASC Aviation is in the business of air cargo charter brokerage and consultancy services. The services include finding suitable cargo aircraft for customers’ cargo requirements, arranging for the related flight clearances and arranging for the cargo handling services at origin and destination, according to the customers’ specific requirements. We also provide specialised aircraft lease arrangements.” Dube notes that the significant difference between broker services and GSA services is that a charter broker looks for aircraft for specific cargo, whereas GSAs look for cargo for specific aircraft. “Establishing relationships with a wide network of aircraft operators gives TASC access to a wide range of aircraft types and sizes to choose from,” he explains. “This in turn helps us to provide the right size aircraft for each customer’s cargo requirements. These charter services also help our operators to increase the utilisation of their aircraft.”

Extensive experience Dube has had an extensive career in aviation and logistics and draws on these experiences to offer consultation services on air network design, start up and in assisting aircraft operators to meet regulatory requirements. Before establishing TASC, he was working at DHL Aviation South Africa as the network control manager but also held

other positions within the company over the years including roles within commercial management, flight operations, general management and quality and flight safety management. “I obtained good exposure, sound training and great work experience in one of the best organisations in the aviation and logistics industry,” Dube tells ACW. “Most experience comes from my previous employment. On the other hand, TASC as a going concern has been involved in air cargo charters for time and temperature sensitive pharmaceuticals, freight forwarders and aid agencies.”

Charters on the rise Cargo charters have proved vital as capacity constraints have pinched the industry. Dube believes they will continue to be important but warns the high cost of air charters may affect this. “Passenger flight schedules are largely designed for passenger movement patterns and not necessarily ideal for cargo movement patterns,” he explains. “Dedicated air cargo charters have not only filled up the capacity shortfall but have also provided direct cargo routings to destinations and reduced transit times by avoiding routing via operators’ hubs or bases. “Cargo capacity will increase whenever passenger flights will operate again. Air charters should improve operating efficiencies and reduce costs if they are to maintain popularity post-pandemic but the high cost of air charters could push the cargo market pendulum back to passenger aircraft belly space as soon as it will be readily available.” Dube, who holds commercial pilot and aircraft engineer’s licences himself, says that success in air charter brokering comes when the focus shifts from being operator centric to being customer centric. “The ability to provide customers with the right aircraft at the right price and at the right time is a key success factor.”

Onwards and upwards This is only the start for TASC Aviation. “I hope TASC will establish a solid and trustworthy footprint in the air cargo market by providing customer-centred and Tailor-made Aviation Solution and Consultancy services,” Dube concludes. “With the requisite confidence, we hope the market will continually entrust TASC Aviation with the task of providing the most appropriate aviation solutions possible.”

26AVIATION SET TO DOUBLE CARGO TEAM AS BUSINESS BOOMS IN 2021

FOR a London-based broker, actions thousands of kilometres away from his office are making his business life difficult. Founder and managing director of 26AVIATION, Sam Heather, says: “Whilst demand for chartered aircraft has remained strong for us all year, the recently implemented airport staff quarantine restrictions in China have reduced capacity significantly, which has subsequently amplified charter demand. “As China’s new quarantine measures coincided with September’s ‘iPhone effect’ price surges, this has resulted in us experiencing the strongest capacity crunch all year, not just out of Asia but on a global scale. For this reason, our customer’s focus has been on aircraft availability over anything else.” Heather adds that 26AVIATION focuses on offering creative charter solutions that can be considered as an alternative to customers’ regular charter lanes. He says: “As these regular lanes become more congested, backup solutions are needed and we have found these mostly through Zero-LOPA (cabin loading) passenger freighter charters, which have been a mainstay of our business activities this year. “Whilst we maintain strong relationships with all cargo operators within the market, we have been particularly close with the passenger freighter carriers, and they will contact us the

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second a slot becomes available. This is a huge advantage for our key customers, who will often book these aircraft immediately upon learning of the options.” 26AVIATION are expecting cargo charter demand to remain very strong, well into 2022 at the least. The colossal demand for COVID-19-related products that has driven global air freight demand so significantly over the past 20 months, will continue to add pressure to a market that is already struggling to meet the exponential growth requirements of emerging sectors such as e-Commerce and cold-chain logistics.

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Nevertheless, capacity will gradually increase. The negative impact that the pandemic has had on passenger airlines has resulted in the value of feedstock passenger aircraft dropping significantly. Subsequently, these units are being bought en masse and sent into the cargo conversion houses at record rates. However, this is not a quick process and until a large number of converted widebody freighters have entered the market, we envisage charters playing a key role in keeping global supply chains moving. He says: “[This year] has been a huge success for 26AVIATION that has exceeded all of our expectations for our first year, and there is still one quarter to go! We have been active in virtually every area of the cargo charter market, from small turboprops through to AN124 charters, covering almost every region worldwide. We expect the cargo charter market to remain strong for the foreseeable future and as such we are planning to double the size of our cargo team, whilst also investing in new systems that will automate some aspects of the charter booking process. “[Next year] will also see us invest in the first stages of a new passenger division that will serve the private jet sector, another area that is experiencing strong growth.”

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sustainable charters

THE issue of sustainability looms over the aviation industry but Air Partner has decided to address this head on. Demonstrating their commitment to negating the damaging environmental effects of aviation, the company recently announced the appointment of Greg Charman as environmental, social and governance (ESG) Manager. ACW spoke with him about how the charter specialist is pushing for sustainability.

ACW: With this in mind, how will Air Partner continue to grow as a business? Charman: Air Partner has several pillars as part of its long-term growth strategy that the business wants to achieve. These include continuing to put our customers first, growing the business organically and expansion into the Asia Pacific markets in countries such as Dubai, Singapore and Australia.

Additionally, we aim to continue diversifying our portfolio of aviation services and the integration of our portfolio of Safety and Security brands into the Air Partner group. This includes Baines Simmons, Redline Assured Security and recent acquisition, Kenyon International, a highly complementary business and leader in emergency and disaster recovery services.

ACW: Why did Air Partner choose to support Raleigh International? Greg Charman: Raleigh International is a fantastic youth-led organisation with a great reputation for taking action to combat climate change, something that Air Partner is cultivating to positively impact the communities in which we operate. ACW: Is there a reason as to why Air Partner chose to support a youth organisation specifically? Charman: Young people are undoubtedly the key to building a more sustainable future for generations to come. We were excited to be able to support the ambitions of young volunteers globally with projects such as re-wilding and conservation and provide the opportunity for our employees to get involved and support great initiatives such as tree planting. ACW: What exactly will the partnership involve? Charman: Air Partner has appointed project leaders on Raleigh International’s Re:Green programme in Scotland, focussed on conservation projects. Our employees will also receive training from Raleigh International around environmental campaigning skills and oversee the development and health & safety of a group of young volunteers aged 18-24. We will also be working with Raleigh International in support of their ‘challenge’ activities which include tree planting, reducing plastic waste and food waste. How is Air Partner pushing for sustainability within its own operations? Charman: We have a clear environment strategy in place to reduce our internal resource consumption and the amount of carbon emissions we produce. We have introduced a carbon reduction programme for our offices, which includes actions such as working as a paperless office, reducing the use of marketing material other than online, increasing the number of e-learning courses and the use of renewable energy in offices. Additionally, we only partner primarily with catering companies which have an environmental or sustainability policy in place. ACW: The aviation industry is a huge source of environmental pollution. Do you believe the industry has a duty to try to offset this? Charman: In line with the UK government’s targets of net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050, the industry will need to invest in advanced technologies, the increased use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) and taking remedial actions such as carbon offsetting and reducing resource consumption. Additionally, our business is committed to tackling the social aspects, otherwise known as the ‘S’ of ESG, ensuring that we are contributing to positive changes in our local communities through charity partnerships and support of initiatives such as the Tree Planting Action Challenge through Raleigh International. Our partnership with ClimateCare allows our customers to offset carbon emissions of their private charter flights, based on the type of aircraft being chartered and the distance flown. We are actively promoting the scheme with our customers.

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MAKE MINE A DOUBLE How the BBC reported the Comet had inaugurated the jet age

The world’s first ever jet airliner has begun its maiden flight from London to Johannesburg. Crowds cheered as the BOAC Comet G-ALYP took off from London airport at 1512 local time carrying 36 passengers. The De Havilland Comet 1 is regarded as a feather in the cap for British design and innovation and promises to usher in a new era of faster, smoother air travel. The plane’s sleek design incorporates its four De Havilland Ghost 50 Mk1 engines inside the wing of the plane. The total journey of nearly 7,000 miles is expected to take 23 hours 40 minutes, allowing for five stops at Rome, Beirut, Khartoum, Entebbe and Livingstone. Sir Miles Thomas, the operator’s chairman, will join the flight at Livingstone, Northern Rhodesia.

ONE of the most famous names in aviation can now be served with ice and tonic. A new premium classic small batch London dry gin has been created by aviators. De Havilland honours the world’s first commercial jet flight on May 2 1952 when history was made with the De Havilland Comet travelling from London, England to Johannesburg, South Africa. The brand is inspired by the bravery, and pioneering spirit of those classic

aviators and celebrates the best of the British and South African botanicals. Each bottle of small batch distilled gin is labelled with its own unique flight number and signed off with the pilot’s signature. De Havilland gin has been created by aviator and pilot, Hiru Bathija who has been inspired by the magic of flight and his journeys across the globe, celebrating the people, the land, and the rich diverse cultures of the world.

Bathija says: “Having travelled all over the world I wanted to create gin that is connected to the earth of two continents. “We want to invoke that real sense of adventure and exploration into the unknown world that those early travellers would have felt. “We have used botanicals from the shores of England and the plains of the South African Highveld to distill a gin that is fresh, fragrant and elegant, invoking that same exciting feeling. “We mix flavours of classic British cucumber and elderflower with South African botanicals like Buchu, Lion’s Tail, and Devil’s Claw. We are delighted with the result.” With a RRP of £39.00, De Havilland has a smooth, velvety nose that is rich with juniper, aniseed and tantalising spice.

BOAC’s regular flights to Johannesburg on piston-engine Hermes airliners take 27 hours and 55 minutes to reach their destination on a route 1,000 miles shorter than the Comet’s. Because of the length of the journey, the crew will be replaced at Beirut and then at Khartoum. Each passenger on this historic flight will receive a special first flight certificate signed by the pilot of the first part of the flight, Captain AM Majendie. A single fare costs £175 and a return £315 - the same price as for BOAC’s piston-engine aircraft.”

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