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The weekly newspaper for air cargo professionals Volume: 20

Issue: 24

19 June 2017

UK freight association calls for Brexit plans rethink

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he UK is shrouded in political uncertainty after a general election that resulted in a hung parliament and its freight association is calling for government to rethink Brexit plans. The Conservative Party led by Theresa May was seeking a sizeable majority to push through its strategy to leave the European Single Market and EU Customs Union, but gained only 318 seats, short of the 326 seats needed. Many political commentators say this lack of a mandate will lead to a so-called ‘soft Brexit’ and a cross-party consensus on leaving the European Union (EU) with an emphasis on the economy and jobs, rather than immigration. To reach the golden 326 number, the Conservatives are seeking a deal to go into power with the DUP Party, which gained 10 seats, but is opposed to leaving the Customs Union. The Freight Transport Association (FTA) is calling for the new government to review its decision to leave the EU Customs Union ahead of Brexit talks, which are set to start on 19 June. Deputy chief executive officer, James Hookham says UK exports and importers are questioning what does the election result mean for Brexit, and the potential impact

on their supply chains. “It is now imperative that the new government focuses its efforts on supporting the logistics sector to ensure that business can continue to trade efficiently with our EU customers and suppliers. “Exiting the Customs Union threatens the imposition of tariffs, border checks, customs declarations and huge amounts of bureaucracy for the significant number of UK businesses that trade in the EU, and the logistics organisations that deliver it for them,” Hookham says. He says the importance of frictionless arrangements for UK trade with the EU, particularly with Ireland, means leaving the Customs Union should be reviewed as a “matter of

ACS has strong Q1 despite pound slump

Revenue at Air Charter Service (ACS) has grown 24 per cent in the first three months of 2017, with the Far East proving particularly strong, especially for cargo. The company’s financial year starts on 1 February, and group chief executive officer Justin Bowman (pictured above) says the Far East offices were the star performers. He says: “The company’s accounts are published in sterling, so like most charter companies with an international presence,

our financial results have been affected by the post-Brexit exchange rates. “Our volume of bookings increased by a very healthy 11 per cent compared to 2016, and we feel that this figure is more indicative of how well the year has begun for us, in terms of market share.” Bowman adds that turnover and profit were both up more than 20 per cent across the 20 offices. He says: “Our real star performers were our Far East offices, which have enjoyed a 72 per cent increase in charter numbers since 1 February, spread well across all three divisions, but they have been particularly busy on the cargo side. “The ‘recovery’ region has been our CIS offices in Moscow, St Petersburg and Almaty, which seem to be putting recent economic troubles behind them with a 53 per cent increase in volume over the period.”

urgency”, and other ways of achieving a positive outcome for Brexit should now be considered. Hookman calls for a rethink of that decision, and for other options to be considered so Brexit can be delivered whilst reducing the impact on British exporters and importers and international logistics businesses. “Logistics is key to the successful delivery of the nation’s ongoing economic success and must be front and centre as the talks get under way,” he adds. Around 44 per cent of the UK’s exports in goods and services were transported to the EU in 2016, valued at £240 billion out of £550 billion of the UK’s total exports. British International Freight Association (BIFA) director general, Robert Keen has urged the government not to let Brexit uncertainties delay key logistics infrastructure decisions. Keen says: “The huge issues concerning international trade surrounding the Brexit negotiations have not changed, but we still feel that it is still too soon to be making speculative statements with so many unknowns. “What we can state with certainty is that in their manifesto, the Conservatives pledged to invest £40 billion in transport infrastructure improvements, and expand Heathrow.”

e-AWB tops 50%

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) says the electronic air waybill (e-AWB) penetration rate was 50.7 per cent in April. This is still well below the 62 per cent target by December this year, but up 1.3 per cent on the previous month. IATA says the volume of e-AWBs was 730,762 in April, which represented 50.7 per cent of where the e-AWB is legally feasible. The top airlines by e-AWB penetration rate were Kenya Airways and flydubai who both achieved 100 per cent. Top freight forwarders by e-AWB penetration rate were Expeditors at 69.4 per cent, followed by Hellmann Worldwide Logistics at 67.9 per cent. The top airports by e-AWB volume were Hong Kong International Airport at 68.5 per cent, followed by Shanghai Pudong International Airport at 52.1 per cent, and Changi Airport at 71.5 per cent.

POSITIVE NEWS FOR QATAR AS PROFITS UP 21.7% VOLGA CONTINUES GROWING CARGO SUPERMARKET BRU HOPES IT IS IN THE FINAL SPRINT OVER NOISE ISSUES STRONG START TO 2017 AT BRUSSELS AIRLINES CARGO

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Cargolux takes stake in new Chinese carrier CARGOLUX, HNCA, the Henan Airport Group and the Xinggang Investment Group Company have signed a joint venture equity contract to establish a freighter carrier in China operating under a Chinese AOC. The name of the airline will be Henan Cargo Airlines with the first flight planned for sometime in the fourth quarter of 2018. 75 per cent of the shares will be held by HNCA, the Henan Airport Group and the Xinggang Investment Group Company, which represents the Zhengzhou Airport Economic Zone while Cargolux will hold the remaining 25 per cent. Cargolux says the joint venture is a major landmark and step forward in the launching of a resident cargo airline operating out of Zhengzhou. Cargolux itself established a hub in Zhengzhou last year and the carrier was orginally referred to as Cargloux China. In February 2016 it said it would make an investment of $77 million and would have a 35 per cent stake, rather than 25 per cent it has taken. The signing ceremony was attended by Luxembourg’s PM Xavier Bettel and The People’s Republic of China’s State Council Premier Li Keqiang in the Great Hall of the People at Tiananmen Square in Beijing.

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NEWS WEEK UK gateways get boost and Manston consultation opens

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raffic at Gatwick Airport (pictured right) has continued its double-digit growth in May with volumes increasing 18.9 per cent to 7,585 tonnes. The figures were driven by increasing long-haul services with belly capacity pushing the total up from 6,378 tonnes in the same month in 2016. On a moving annual total, Gatwick handled 83,873 tonnes between June 2016 and May 2017, a 20.5 per cent rise on the previous 12 months when it handled 69,616 tonnes. Meanwhile, all of Manchester Airports Group’s gateways registered double-digit cargo growth helped by new long haul links. In May, Manchester Airport saw the highest growth, up 12.9 per cent to 10,541 tonnes, followed by London Stansted Airport by 10.9 per cent to 22,700 tonnes, and East Midlands Airport grew 10.6 per cent to 29,777 tonnes. East Midlands benefitted from express growth from the likes of DHL, TNT and UPS, Stansted was helped by Cargolux launching two new weekly freighters to China and strong performances from other operators. Manchester’s growth mainly came from the expanding long-haul services providing more belly capacity. In other UK news, RiverOak Strategic Partners has opened its

Maastricht services to be upped by Silk Way

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ilk Way West Airlines is to increase services to Maastricht Aachen Airport (MST) - the Netherlands’ second largest cargo gateway. Silk Way West Airlines recently started a one weekly flight, but will gradually increase this to four by the end of October. Silk Way West Airlines is the parent company of Sky Gates Airlines, which already operates four flights per week between Maastricht Aachen Airport and Moscow.

With the planned increases, the total number of flights from Silk Way and its group related carriers will become eight. This will make Maastricht Aachen Airport the largest European gateway for the Azerbaijan airline. Azerbaijan Airlines president, Jahangir Askerov explains: “MST is one of the few European airports where full freighters can continue to grow and is an important niche market for us.”

consultation on proposals to revive Manston Airport as an cargo hub with associated business aviation and passenger services. Manston closed in May 2014 and has since been sold with plans to redevelop the site, but there has been a strong campaign to reopen it. US-based RiverOak Investment Corp offered to act as an indemnity partner to the local authority, Thanet District Council to fund a Compulsory Purchase Order but this was rejected. RiverOak Strategic Partners was established as a UK-registered joint venture company acquiring all rights and interested to pursue a Development Consent Order to acquire Manston, and is not affiliated with RiverOak Investment Corp. The consultation opened on 12 June and continues until 23 June.

Airbus forecasts massive need for aircraft THE latest Airbus’ Global Market Forecast 2017-2036 has found 34,170 passenger and 730 freighter aircraft worth a combined total of $5.3 trillion will be needed in the next 20 years. The aircraft manufacturer also says the doubling in the commercial fleet over the next 20 years sees a need for 530,000 new pilots and 550,000 new maintenance engineers. Airbus explains over the next 20 years Asia

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Pacific is set to take 41 per cent of new deliveries, followed by Europe with 20 per cent and North America at 16 per cent. In the twin aisle segment, such as the A330 Family, A350 XWB Family and the A380, Airbus forecasts a need for 10,100 aircraft valued at $2.9 trillion. In the single aisle segment, Airbus forecasts asuch as the A320neo Family, Airbus forecasts a requirement for 24,810 aircraft valued at $2.4 trillion.

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NEWSWEEK

China the target of Budapest

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udapest Airport and Hungary hope to play a leading role in expanding economic cooperation between China and Central Eastern Europe, the Sino-Hungarian Logistics Forum heard last week. The forum in Shanghai was held under the sponsorship of the Consulate General of Hungary in Shanghai, with the participation of a series of key players ranging from the postal services of the two countries, logistics and e-commerce operators to cargo airlines. The operator of Budapest’s Ferenc Liszt International Airport has been actively seeking contacts with important players in the Shanghai region for the past three years, and Budapest has established contacts and stepped into a written cooperation agreement with Ningbo International Airport to enhance trade commerce between the two regions. Budapest Airport property director, Rene Droese says: “We initiated this logistics forum to introduce the opportunities in Hungary and

especially at Budapest Airport to large, market leading Chinese logistics companies, like Alibaba. They export lots of cargo to Central and Eastern Europe and we would like to partner them in the regional distribution.” Budapest says it has ample room for developing cargo operations, both in runway capacity and airport land available for logistics development. Two major logistics bases will be handed over to TNT and DHL Express near Terminal 1 this summer, while preparations have started for building a Cargo City near Terminal 2 for dedicated cargo carrier operations.

JV signed by Kerry Logistics KERRY Logistics continues to enhance its services and network under the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative by entering into a joint venture through participating in the equity of Globalink Logistics. The freight forwarding group is headquartered in Dubai and has operations across The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Kerry Logistics says the move will significantly expand coverage in Central Asia and the CIS, opening the door to potential markets with strong growth prospects. The partnership will see Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Ukraine added to its network. Leveraging the booming trade between China and Europe, Kazakhstan, in particular, is expected to benefit most from the increasing transit cargo flow along the trade lanes. Kerry Logistics group managing direc-

tor, William Ma says: “We are very excited about this joint venture, which is part of our development strategy to tap into the immense opportunities from the Belt and Road initiative. “The new partnership will allow the two groups to leverage each other’s competitive strengths and provide new options and cost-efficient multimodal solutions to our customers with greater flexibility and access to the strongest network in Asia.” The move came at the heels of Kerry Logistics’ launch of its rail freight operations between China and Europe.

Strong May for tonnage at PACTL Wilson gets top role at Delta Cargo

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he Shanghai Pudong International Airport Cargo Terminal Co (PACTL) handled 154,319 tonnes in May, up 13 per cent on the same month last year. This was PACTL’s second best month of 2017 and in May it handled 88,847 tonnes of outbound freight (+9.6 per cent) and 65,471 tonnes of inbound traffic (+18.1 per cent). International cargo made up 145,766 tonnes of the total and domestic cargo 8,553 tonnes. In the first five months of 2017, PACTL has handled 718,448 tonnes, of which 407,858 was outbound cargo (+ 8.9 per cent) and 310,590 inbound (+18.1 per cent) and the five-month total was up by 11.7 per cent. Meanwhile, Air Cargo China has started a weekly service from Shanghai to Liege Airport. The Boeing 777-200F flights will initially be weekly but Liege says it hopes this will increase, and will open up opportunities for the booming

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e-commerce sector. Liege Airport vice president for commercial, Steven Verhasselt says: “We will support them in order to achieve the joint goal of expanding the operation and increasing regular flights.” He says with Flexpress serving e-commerce providers, and a growing number of connections with China, Liege is creating opportunities for exporters and importers to take advantage of the boom in e-commerce. The ground and cargo handling will be provided by LACHS.

DELTA Air Lines Cargo has appointed industry veteran Eric Wilson (pictured right) as managing director of cargo global sales - a role previously held by Rob LeBel. Effective last week, he will lead Delta Cargo’s global sales team and sales partners around the world. Based in Atlanta, he joins the leadership team at a time when Delta says it is realising the benefits of its multi-year transformation with double-digit operational performance improvement and unit revenue growth far surpassing industry averages. Delta president of cargo and senior vice president of airport customer service, Gareth Joyce says: “Eric brings a strong international background to the position, as well as being renowned throughout the air cargo industry for his customer focus and deep knowledge of the business. “His extensive cargo and global experience will really serve us well as we continue

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to implement differentiated products and services across our entire network.” Wilson joined Delta Cargo in 2008 as general manager for strategic partner programs and national accounts, bringing over 18 years of cargo experience to his role. In 2014 he relocated to Tokyo as director of APAC cargo sales.


NEWS WEEK

Positive news for Qatar Airways as net profits rise 21.7%

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atar Airways net profits have increased 21.7 per cent in the 2017 fiscal year, and it posted strong growth in the cargo division. Net profits rose from 1.6 billion Qatari Rials ($436 million) in 2016 to 1.9 billion Rials in the 2017 fiscal year, while revenue increased 10.4 per cent to 38.9 billion Rials. Freight arm, Qatar Airways Cargo also had a strong year, with cargo revenue rising from 5.6 billion Rials to 6.4 billion, and volumes up from 954,191 tonnes to 1.1 million tonnes. This is welcome news for the Qatari carrier as it continues to reorganise due to the ongoing diplomatic row in the Gulf, which has seen it have to ground 50 flights a day to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE. Qatar Airways Group chief executive, His Excellency Akbar Al Baker (pictured) says: “Our annual results once again reflect the success of our expansion and growth strategy that has seen

the Qatar Airways Group grow from a small regional airline into an aviation powerhouse over the last two decades.” “As we celebrate our 20th anniversary in the industry, I am proud to share our annual results with the world so that they can see how far we have come as an airline group and how our dedicated team of more than 43,000 employees have worked together

ACL Airshop makes key appointments

UNIT load device (ULD) company ACL Airshop has named Steve Townes as chairman and Gary Langford as chief financial officer (CFO). President and chief executive officer, Tony Morgan says: “Having exceptional leaders like this on our team is further strengthening our strategy for global expansion.” Langford has held senior finance positions with a number of diverse manufacturing companies, both public and private, and has

to make Qatar Airways the huge success it is today.” The belly network expanded in the 2017 fiscal year, with flights to Adelaide, Australia; Atlanta, USA; Auckland, New Zealand; Krabi, Thailand; Marrakech, Morocco; Pisa, Italy; Mahe, Seychelles; Windhoek, Namibia; and Yerevan, Armenia. Qatar Airways is continuing to expand its network, including Airbus A350 flights to Dublin, Republic of Ireland starting on 12 June, offering 80 tonnes of bellyhold capacity a week. Other new belly destinations are planned for 2017 and 2018 including to Abidjan; Ivory Coast; Accra, Ghana; Canberra, Australia; Chiang Mai, Thailand; Chittagong, Bangladesh; Mombasa, Kenya; and Utapao, Thailand. The cargo arm Qatar Airways Cargo has launched new freighter routes including to Heathrow Airport from 3 June and new freighter services to the Americas and Asia with Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Quito, Miami and Phnom Penh flights, and increased frequencies to Brussels, Basel and Hong Kong. The Qatar Airways Cargo freighter fleet includes eight Airbus A330 freighters, 12 Boeing 777 freighters and one Boeing 747 freighter.

owned several entrepreneurial endeavors. He was former CFO of Prospect Brands, a wearable technology company, and of Revolution Lighting, an LED lighting firm. Langford says: “I appreciate, and am honoured by this opportunity. The CFO position allows me to work closely with an incredible group of people across the globe in a dynamic company environment. I’m confident in our ability to work together and grow as the leader in custom ULD Solutions for our customers.” ACL Airshop is a one-stop-shop for leasing, sales, repair and fleet control of ULDs and cargo net/strap manufacturer. It operates in six continents and at many top air cargo airports.

Busiest May for six years in Frankfurt

FRANKFURT Airport has had its busiest May for six years handling 186,547 tonnes of freight. Throughput was up 5.1 per cent yearon-year helped by favourable economic conditions having a positive impact on the eurozone’s industrial sector, resulting in higher exports. Volumes were also up 4.8 per cent for the first five months of 2017 to 907,651 tonnes. Other Fraport operated airports general-

ly performed well, with Ljubljana Airport in Slovenia up 17.4 per cent in May to 1,010 tonnes and by 11.8 per cent on a year-todate (YTD) basis to 4,612 tonnes. Lima Airport in Peru grew 4.3 per cent to 21,339 tonnes in May and 0.4 per cent between January and May to 102,772 tonnes. In Bulgaria, Burgas Airport was up 30.7 per cent in May to 1,113 tonnes and two per cent YTD to 5,531 tonnes, while Varna Airport was down 69.3 per cent to 12 tonnes but up 64.9 per cent YTD to 137 tonnes. At other airports it has a stake, Hanover Airport was down 5.3 per cent in May to 1,247 tonnes and 4.8 per cent YTD to 7,743 tonnes, while Xi’an Airport was up 18.1 per cent in May to 22,592 tonnes and 9.2 per cent to 100,883 tonnes YTD.

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AIR CHARTER ACS increases staff numbers and training

Dreamlift transformation proves seamless for Antonov

ir Charter Service (ACS) is busy increasing staff numbers and training staff as it continues growing, having had a strong start to the year, group cargo director Dan Morgan-Evans (pictured) tells Air Cargo Week. Morgan-Evans says all offices are performing well, and are up on where they were last year, with Hong Kong significantly higher, particularly for future bookings, which is unusual for the cargo division. He says: “They are all doing pretty well, all looking pretty good at the moment, I’m not worried about one area. Africa is not as buoyant and we’ll have to see what happens in the Middle East, we’ll have to see how that pans out.” No one knows what impact the recent problems surrounding Qatar will have on operations, what opportunities or difficulties it could present, especially as ACS works with Qatar Airways. He says: “It is better if people aren’t arguing, it proves difficult knowing what we’re allowed to do, which operators can fly where and how long it will go on for. We don’t like partner airlines having problems, hopefully the situation will resolve itself.” The upcoming months are generally quieter but Morgan-Evans is happy with how things are looking: “I have no reason to be worried. These months coming up are always quieter but there is no reason to assume we won’t continue in a good way. We’ll hopefully have a good second half of the year.” ACS does not plan any new offices, but is increasing staff numbers to allow it to continue growing. Morgan-Evans comments: “We need more bums on seats, new sales people and new brokers.”

ANTONOV Airlines has a very strong start following the end of Ruslan International, commercial executive Paul Bingley (pictured) tells Air Cargo Week. Ruslan International had been formed as a joint venture between Antonov Company and Volga-Dnepr Airlines in 2006 but ended on 31 December 2016. Dreamlifts, trading as Antonov Airlines took the lead in the global sales and operations of the unique Antonov AN-124-100 based at London Stansted Airport’s Diamond Hangar. Bingley says the start of 2017 has been “extremely good” with strong demand in the last three months, and though geo-political situations can affect demand but he expects business to keep growing. Describing the end of Ruslan and launch of Dreamlift, Bingley says: “The process of change was seamless, meaning our customers enjoyed an unbroken service. The market has reacted very positively to the change. We have certainly seen an upturn in demand and we’ve been working hard to keep up with the pace.” Antonov has been staying busy with interesting charters, including delivering a GE90 aircraft engine to an unserviceable Swiss International Airlines Boeing 777-300 stranded in the Canadian Arctic. It also flew emergency mining equipment from Chile to Argentina in a flight lasting just 39 minutes, to avoid a long trucking delay caused by adverse weather conditions in the Andes. Peacekeeping operations also remain important, Bing-

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Morgan-Evans does a lot of the training, and has been busy in the first half of the year with more to come from around the globe. He says: “We look at where the most successful offices are and we can push them more if we have more staff. Pretty much all offices have seen some expansion in the team personnel.” Retaining the quality of service remains essential as ACS continues to grow. Morgan-Evans says: “We have to make sure our service is second to none, customers have to have a reason to choose us. Globally there are a lot of brokers, everyone has to put in 100 per cent service levels and a challenge is making sure every charter goes as well as possible.”

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ley says: “We are proud to support the peacekeeping and humanitarian operations of the United Nations. Antonov Airlines performed almost 20 flights since the beginning of the year from different corners of the world for the UN missions in Africa, delivering vital cargo to maintain peace in the region.” He says being a division of the design authority of the AN124-100 puts them in a unique position to be able to offer special versions of the aircraft. Bingley explains: “We operate the world’s most advanced model – the An-124-100M-150 – which boasts a mix of western and Ukrainian avionics, a reinforced fuselage allowing up to 150,000kg payload, and a modified nose shape offering greater fuel efficiency.” Antonov Airlines also operates the world’s biggest turboprop aircraft, the AN-22 Antei, which has the same cargo cabin height as the AN-124. The flagship of the Antonov fleet remains the AN-225 Mriya with its 250 tonne payload, twice the AN-124. “The AN-225 is the only aircraft that can transport outsized cargo that exceeds the volume of cargo cabin and the maximum possible payload of the AN-124, offering solutions to the most complex of transport logistics tasks. Our slogan is “No other name carries more weight” for a reason.” As the future, Antonov is working on gaining a foothold in the Far East and Americas, with plans underway to open offices in both regions. Bingley says: “Thanks to the Open Skies agreement between the US and Ukraine, there are now excellent links between the two countries, which will certainly help us grow our presence.”


AIR CHARTER Volga-Dnepr continues development of cargo supermarket

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olga-Dnepr Airlines is continuing to develop its “Cargo Supermarket” combining scheduled and charter services, regional sales manager Georgy Sokolov (pictured) tells Air Cargo Week. The Cargo Supermarket combines scheduled and charter services and he says this has considerably increased the number of Boeing 737 and 747 charters, as well as using empty legs of the Antonov AN-124100 fleet to pick up additional cargo on scheduled lines when the 747s have limited availability. Volga-Dnepr is developing regional operational bases, Sokolov explains: “One of our initiatives is developing the concept of regional operational bases, whereby it is not just a global coverage with sales offices, but rather more equipped airline branches in each key region.” This year has started well for 2017, aerospace and oil & gas have proved strong, with some very good projects for the latter, and Sokolov adds: “We are also confident of seeing more charters

for customers in the Energy & Power industry as well as demand to move heavy machinery for infrastructure projects that are starting around the world.” One project that required innovation was operating 21 flights using a modernised Ilyushin IL76TD-90VD to support iron ore mining for Baffinland Iron Mines, so it could increase its iron ore production quota at its Mary River operation in North Baffin, Nunavut, Canada. Baffinland needed more trucks and trailers, but ice had shut down shipping lanes so it turned to Volga-Dnepr for help. Volga-Dnepr engineers got around the problem that the trucks were too tall to fit inside the IL76 but fitting smaller tyres on the tractor units. Sokolov explains that -50 degree weather conditions meant it was essential to minimise the level of dismantling of the trucks in order to eliminate a lengthy re-assembly process on arrival. He says: “Using the aircraft extension ramp equipment and onboard cranes also ensured the programme was self-sufficient in terms of loading and unloading which was also a big advantage in such a remote part of the world.” With the necessary approvals from Transport Canada, Volga-Dnepr commenced a four-week programme of 21 flights at the start of April, and Sokolov says: “This included positioning extra crew in Canada to ensure the timeliness of the

CHAPMAN Freeborn Airchartering has delivered over 200 tonnes of project cargo to help keep a port expansion development on course. The time-critical consignments from Europe and India were required for the opening of a new port terminal, set to welcome its first cargo ships next month, and the cargo was originally scheduled to be shipped as sea freight but Chapman Freeborn was called in at short notice to arrange an air charter to ensure that the deadline was met. The Barcelona team arranged for the first 75 tonne shipment to be trucked from a Spanish manufacturing facility to Brussels Airport, where it was transferred to a Magma Aviation Boeing 747-400 Freighter for delivery to Libreville. Chapman Freeborn’s Indian team then arranged three further charters with shipments

routed from Mumbai to Gabon on two Etihad Cargo Boeing 777 Freighters and a Maximus IL-76 Freighter. The team advised the client on repackaging the cargo to make it suitable for air transport, as well as taking care of the documentation and customs requirements. The airlift was carefully managed by Vikas Chaturvedi and Luis Sierra – including arranging airport representation for the flights to ensure the safe and professional handling of the cargo. Chapman Freeborn India country manager, Shailendra Seth says: “This was a challenging charter project that demonstrates the benefits of Chapman Freeborn’s global coverage. With the help of our airline partners, we were able to deliver this time-critical cargo to its final destination in a quick and well-organised manner.”

flight operations for the four-hour rotation from North Bay to Mary River and back again.” Handling projects safely and efficiently remains Volga-Dnepr’s priority, Sokolov explains: “What we are trying to do every day is go beyond what’s unique even for us, devel-

oping newer and better versions of loading equipment, adding auxiliary services such as more advanced technical consulting, provision of external equipment, providing door-to-door deliveries where required– all things that can make our customers’ lives easier.”

Gabon port remains on course

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AIR CARGO BRUSSELS

BRU hopes it is in the final sprint to resolve noise issue

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oise restrictions for freighter services have had an impact on cargo at Brussels Airport this year, but the Belgian gateway is hopeful it is working towards a solution with regional and national law-makers. In February, Chinese carrier Yangtze River Express left, while in May Air Cargo Global announced that it was abandoning services from the Belgian gateway, which had impacted

freighter operations and tonnage levels and raised concerns that more would follow the route out of Brussels. Brussels Airport head of cargo, Steven Polmans (pictured) explains: “Belgium is known for its surrealism art, the noise issue is as surreal for the last 15 years. “One regional government imposing different rules than the Federal Government, resulting in conflicting situations. And this has already been for many years. “Result is an unclear situation for our customers and what liability to be expected in future. Not the amount itself, but especially this uncertainty is the biggest obstacle we face. “Current situation is that the governments are discussing in order to find a solution, but rather than doing so in silence, they rather have the

fight on the street creating further unnecessary turmoil. The fact is also that the issue becomes bigger a problem due to this perception than it really is. “DHL is further investing in Brussels and growing and the main problem for cargo is focused on the Boeing 747-400 Freighter. All other types can operate normally. “We are doing everything we can, from lobbying to court cases in order to get this solved soonest possible. We do hope that we are in the final sprint towards a solution.” Brussels has been growing strongly over the last few years, and concerns were raised last month whether noise restrictions were going to hinder further growth and expansion. However, despite this, traffic at Brussels continued to grow in May as it was up 8.5 per cent on 2016 as the gateway handled 43,836 tonnes compared to the 40,396 tonnes in the same month last year. In the first five months of 2017, freight is up 18.8 per cent to 225,941 tonnes, compared to the 190,265 tonnes in 2016. Polmans says while the airport prefers obviously not to lose any customers, the effect for the moment however, is limited. “Our double-digit growth figures we are seeing for the moment confirm this. But again, if it was up to us, we would keep all customers and we want all types of modern aircraft to be able to operate at Brussels without any restrictions,” he explains.

Growth set to continue

Polmans adds: “We also expect growth to continue in the near future, based on some new routes and flights we are forecasting, overall economic growth and growth in both belly cargo and integrator.” On a positive note, Polmans says Magma Aviation, which had signalled its intention to quit the gateway in May, has decided that despite the uncertainty, they still “prefer the benefits of their operation at Brussels and will remain at Brussels for the time being”. Aside from noise and tonnage figures, the airport’s Air Cargo Belgium organisation goes

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from strength to strength and is growing in stature at Brussels and in Belgium. Polmans, who is the chairman, explains: “Air Cargo Belgium has signed an agreement with both ACMAB (cargo airline association) and BAFI (forwarder association), incorporating their members. “This resulted in over 150 members for the moment, truly making the Air Cargo Belgium organisation and representation at Brussels Airport. “Since the Port of Antwerp has selected the same cloud-based data sharing platform as our BRUcloud for their future needs, we started closer collaboration with NxtPort. “And also with customs we are signing a memorandum of understanding later this week to strengthen collaboration between the air cargo community and customs in order to facilitate trade and collaboration.”

Pharma success

Another major emphasis has been the focus on pharmaceuticals through Pharma.Aero and Brussels is firmly placed as one of the globe’s main pharma gateways. The gateway also developed its ‘Airside Pharma Transporter’ a cool dolly for moving pharma on the tarmac. Polmans says the airport has seen strong demand for the transporter. “The cool dolly is a huge success and we are going to more than triple our orders,” he notes. Brussels has been at the forefront of air cargo developments including setting up the Pharma. Aero organisation along with Miami International Airport last year and it is a sure bet that it will remain there. “I don’t think ‘just carrying on’ is part of our vocabulary and nature. We are doing a tender, which means we will have a new company becoming available on the handling side. “And we are expanding our cargo facilities with 60,000 square metres where the work should start this year for both forwarding and handling activities,” Polmans says. Noise resrictions or not, Brussels is certainly not staying still and it looks set to continue the growth path it has been on.


AIR CARGO BRUSSELS

Strong start to 2017 for Brussels Airlines Cargo

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he first five months of 2017 have yielded volumes growth of 36 per cent for Brussels Airlines Cargo. Last month alone, it saw a 46 per cent uplift and the strong performance is being put down to three factors. Vice president of cargo, Alban Francois says: “Firstly, we harvest the results of our new commercial strategy - improved relationship with our clients and development of our product portfolio. This resulted in being able to understand and better fulfil the needs of our customers and attract additional clients. “Secondly, we have implemented and optimised a capacity tool allowing a significant increase of payload while reducing considerably the risk of offloads. The third reason is linked to our 10th Airbus A330 and launch of our new Mumbai route in March.” Francois says the carrier’s main market Africa is a key factor as in both directions it has seen 30 per cent growth, while pharma, general cargo, perishables and mail and express courier shipments are driving performance. He explains: “If you take into account that Africa counts for over 75 per cent, we can be very satisfied with this result. Also the westbound BRU-North America sector is doing very well (+90 per cent from January-April linked to the YYZ (Toronto) route launched in April last year) mainly driven by pharma and general cargo. “Last, but not least our new Mumbai service, launched in April, is in terms of cargo volumes (pharma, general cargo and perishables) doing better than budgeted in both directions. “Finally, although having a smaller share, the volumes intra-Europe also evolved very nicely (+70 per cent from January-April in a shrinking market) linked to the strong performance of our courier service.” Investments made by the airline and Brussels Airport in the pharma segment have led to a surge in shipments, and use of the airside pharma transporter has improved handling. Francois says: “The pharma transporter is filling a gap and allows us to control and guarantee the temperature of the pharma shipment at all times. It is about walking the talk. Before we couldn’t always guarantee the same temperature during the transport from the warehouse to our aircraft. “This is now something from the past as the pharma transporter offers us the perfect temperature control solution as it will be a standard product used for all pharma shipments. We are very happy with this investment and so are our pharma clients. “In addition, we are proud with the fact the airside pharma transporter is the concrete result of a joint undertaking of shippers, handlers, forwarders, airport and airlines.”

Brussels Airlines Cargo is joining the eAWB360 initiative at Brussels Airport to become by 1 October an eAWB community, which is being driven by the Air Cargo Belgium eFreight Working Group which Francois is leading. He adds: “Brussels Airlines Cargo is also participating in the BRUcloud (community sharing of data) and work in the scope of Pharma.aero to set-up the near real-time transfer of key parameters through the chain in order to anticipate any corrective action.” Internally, he says the carrier has invested in digital processes to deal with irregularities and claims by implementing a ‘Customer Centric Improvement Program’ where operational improvements are implemented based on irregularity analysis. And he notes the willingness to digitise processes is one of the reasons it has selected a new handler at Brussels Airport in the

shape of Swissport, as Francois says they have made and are making serious digitalisation efforts, which allow it to further integrate data within its own digital tools. But there is a major challenge for air cargo in Brussels due to noise regulations at Brussels Airport during the night and early morning and Francois says: “This is not good for our industry. We really hope a balanced and sustainable solution, supported by all stakeholders, can be found very soon.”

The A330 effect

Fleet upgrades have also boosted cargo and this year it added an additional A330 used on the five weekly service to Mumbai. It will also replace its A330 fleet soon as seven of the 10 aircraft in use today will be replaced from the end of 2018 onwards by the newer A330-300 with a better performance (higher payload) and range. This will mean fewer weight restriction issues and it will be able to accommodate up to 40 per cent more volumes. The Air Cargo Belgium community organisation has boosted air cargo in Brussels and continues to grow, and Francois says it has resulted in much better understanding and cooperation between airlines, handlers, forwarders and customers. “Since the ACB initiative was launched we have seen a serious efficiency improvement and we work together on a much needed further digitisation of the sector. “One of the best improvements realised by Air Cargo Belgium so far has been the introduction of a cloud application that allows all stakeholders to share data and communicate better with and between each other,” he notes. “Air Cargo Belgium offers the opportunities to move forward to the next step of air cargo as it offers a single platform of exchange between the community and key stakeholders such as Customs and the sanitary authorities, which allow to further streamline, optimise and simplify processes.” Digitalisation and simplifying of processes is an important part of the business strategy to remove, as Francois puts it, the “old-fashioned administrative burdens”.

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FREIGHTER ROUTES

First Emirates SkyCargo service lands in Luxembourg

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mirates SkyCargo operated its first scheduled weekly freighter service to Luxembourg Airport on 12 June. The freighter operation between Luxembourg and Dubai World Central is one of the first steps in the strategic partnership between the UAE carrier and Cargolux Airlines International announced in May at air cargo europe in Munich. Both say this will give customers access to a wider range of destinations and services through block space and interline agreements. Emirates SkyCargo is operating a Boeing 777 Freighter aircraft on the route with a capacity of more than 100 tonnes. The carrier’s new freighter service facilitates increased connectivity between Cargolux’s hub at Luxembourg and Emirates’ in Dubai adding to the thrice weekly freighter service Cargolux operates to Dubai World Central. At Luxembourg, ground handling of

the Emirates SkyCargo’s freighters will be carried out at the same facility as Cargolux and at Dubai, Cargolux freighters are handled by Emirates SkyCargo allowing for seamless transit of cargo between two of the globe’s most active air cargo operators. Smooth movement of cargo is also enabled by other factors including the common EU Good Distribution Practices (GDP) cer-

tification of both hubs. Emirates divisional senior vice president for cargo, Nabil Sultan (pictured) says: “Emirates SkyCargo is delighted to start our weekly freighter operations to Luxembourg. “This is an important step in our operational partnership with Cargolux through which we will be able to offer our customers an enhanced reach across each other’s networks, as well as an enriched service offering building upon our compatibility in ground handling and standard operating procedures for cargo transportation.” Cargolux president and chief executive officer, Richard Forson says: “Cargolux is proud to welcome Emirates SkyCargo at our home base in Luxembourg. As the leading Gulf airline and one of the premier carriers worldwide, Emirates is as important a player in the industry as Cargolux is. “With the arrival of SkyCargo’s first freighter here, we open a new chapter in our history and lay the foundation for a fruitful cooperation for the benefit of our customers. Our supplementary capabilities allow us to develop service offerings that both of us could not provide on our own.”

MIA-BRU route for Amerijet

AMERIJET International is to connect Miami International Airport with Brussels Airport with two flights a week starting in the second quarter of 2018. The airline operates a fleet of Boeing 767 Freighters serving destinations throughout the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America, and it operates its own terminal at Miami. The route will be its first scheduled transatlantic route and additional frequencies will be added depending on demand and performance of the route. Amerijet chief executive officer, Vic Karjian says: “The airport, its strategic location, facilities and strong business community played a vital role in our selection of Brussels as our European gateway.” Brussels Airport head of cargo & logistics, Steven Polmans says the countries in Amerijet’s network are important for Brussels and underserved with main deck capacity. He says: “With Amerijet joining our customers we can now offer a unique network and new destinations to our cargo community. Especially for both pharma and perishables they will strengthen the offer to and from Brussels.” “Not only is Amerijet almost certified as CEIV, with Miami Airport we work close together and have created Pharma. Aero.” Brussels and Miami are both IATA CEIV Pharma certified, and Polmans adds: “The fact Amerijet as a CEIV airline will link both our hubs with a full cargo aircraft is a next step in offering customers an end to end solution for pharmaceuticals.” Brussels and Miami were the founders of Pharma.Aero - an organisation developed to create standardised global pharma trade lanes so this route is set to boost transatlantic pharma traffic from the US to Europe. At IATA’s World Cargo Symposium in March, Pharma. Aero welcomed an additional eight companies into the organisation. Among them were pharma shippers Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson, Merck Sharp & Dohme, as well as DHL Temperature Management Solutions, Expeditors, EuroAirport Basel, 4Advice and e-CARGOWARE. This brought the total number of companies to 16 members. Changi Airport, Sharjah International Airport, Mumbai International Airport, Brussels Airlines Cargo, Singapore Airlines Cargo and Brinks are also members.

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ACW 19 JUNE 2017

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ACW 19th June 17  
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