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WORLD ACW Digital is sponsored by AIRPORTS.COM FREIGHTERS.COM

FREIGH

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ECS Sponsorship_Operations_Digital Only_26 July.indd 1

20/07/2021 11:08


The weekly newspaper for air cargo professionals No. 1,142

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2 AUGUST 2021

Second part of our major AFKLMP interview

FEDEX HELPS HENAN OUT

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INSIDE

JOHN MENZIES: “GENERALLY STRONG”

JOHN Menzies, the global aviation services business, has released an update on current trading ahead of its Interim results on September ... PAGE 2

TAP JOINS CARGOAI

TAP Air Cargo has connected with CargoAi, a digital booking services platform in the air freight industry. The roll out starts with France ... PAGE 2 HOT WHEELS: MAGMA’S AUTOMOTIVE

THE pandemic created supply chain disruption on an unprecedented level but the automotive industry is revving the engines and ... PAGE 4

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edEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp, has made a cash donation of RMB5 million (£0.56 million) to support the disaster relief efforts in impacted local communities throughout the Henan province of China.

The donation will assist in the purchase of emergency supplies and post-disaster reconstruction in support of the disaster-hit province’s return to normalcy as soon as possible. After the extreme rainstorms, FedEx quickly communicated

with relevant organisations and partners to offer emergency logistics support for the affected areas using the FedEx air andground network.

Services resumed

FedEx has fully resumed its international and domestic services in Zhengzhou and is providing flexible pickup and delivery services to help its customers maintain a stable and reliable supply chain in the affected areas.

GEBRÜDER WEISS: NO. 1 IN ALTACH

GEBRÜDER Weiss has expanded its partnership with soccer club CASHPOINT SCR Altach and now outfits all of the club’s goalkeepers. Everyone ... PAGE 5

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LATAM Airlines renews UKWA: logistics staff WFS contract in Spain should be exempt

LATAM Airlines has awarded Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) a cargo handling contract extension at Barcelona Airport. Having initially appointed WFS in Barcelona in 2018, LATAM has now signed a new three-year agreement for WFS to handle cargo onboard its Boeing 767 operations carrying import and export shipments through Barcelona annually. “WFS is our partner for cargo handling services in Europe. The renewal of our contract for Barcelona is the reaffirmation that our relationship is based on WFS’ good quality service,” commented Eva Penalva, LATAM’s regional operations manager, cargo. Earlier this month, WFS also announced contract extensions with Air Europa in Spain. WFS handles over 27,000 tonnes per annum for the

Spanish airline in Madrid and Barcelona. Air Europa operates Boeing 787 and 737-800 passenger aircraft with bellyhold cargo capacity from the two Spanish airports to destinations in Europe and North and South America.

Satisfying Humberto Castro, WFS’ managing director – cargo, Spain, said: “It is especially satisfying when our existing customers extend their contracts with WFS because it demonstrates that our handling teams are delivering the service levels, safety and security airlines need, and this is a tribute to their hard work. “We remain committed to providing airport handling services to support the recovery and growth of the aviation industry in Spain.”

from self-isolation

CLARE Bottle, the new chief executive of the UK Warehousing Association (UKWA), has written to Rachel Maclean, UK parliamentary under secretary of state at the Department for Transport, making the strong case for logistics workers to be exempt from self-isolation as the ‘pingdemic’ sweeps the country causing shortages of supplies. Bottle states: “During the earlier phases of the COVID-19 pandemic logistics workers, including warehouse workforces, benefitted from “essential worker” status, which helped our members and the wider logistics community to maintain critical supply chains, including food and pharmaceutical supplies. We believe that exemption from self-isolation should now apply to this sector by default, which would be in line with the earlier position of the government and straight forward to implement.” Earlier, the UK prime minister said critical workers who are fully vaccinated would be able to avoid self-isolating when recommended to do so by the Track & Trace app.

However, it was later explained to the media that this would only apply to a “very low number of people” and employers would be obliged to make individual applications for the exemption. Subsequently, the impact of millions of workers having to self-isolate has brought increasing pressure on the government to reconsider its position.

Critical Bottle concludes: “While we welcome the news that supermarket workers and food manufacturers will be now exempt from quarantine, warehouse workers form a critical part of supply chains not only for food, but for pharmaceuticals and other essential supplies too. “Although members have been affected to different degrees, some have reported up to 40% of staff self-isolating. Therefore we’re also seeking urgent clarification from the government on the process for individuals and businesses to apply for exemption.”

Toyota opens AGV demo centre

TOYOTA Material Handling UK has has opened a new, dedicated automated handling technology demonstration centre. The 800 sq m facility, which is located at the same site as Toyota’s Midlands business centre on the Meridian Business Park, Leicester, will provide a permanent showcase for the Toyota Autopilot

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range of automated guided vehicles (AGVs) as well as the company’s semi-automated RadioShuttle technology for the storage and retrieval of palletised loads from high density racking systems. In addition, visitors to the centre can also discuss Toyota’s turnkey automated system design expertise. Toyota Material Handling’s

Paul Freeman comments: “The opening of our new automated handling technology demonstration centre provides an easily accessible location in the heart of the UK for our customers to see and assess Toyota’s state-of-theart AGVs and RadioShuttle systems in operation within a realistic working warehouse setting.”

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Volga-Dnepr: future MC-21-200 freighter? DURING MAKS 2021, International Aviation and Space Salon held in Zhukovsky (Russia), Volga-Dnepr Group delegation headed by Chairman of the Board, Alexey Isaykin, visited MC-21-300 – the new generation Russian passenger plane which is going to be manufactured in several modifications from 150 up to 211 seats. Volga-Dnepr Group representatives have marked the extended fuselage of the new plane, advanced airframe systems which were developed by the leading Russian and foreign manufacturers and up-to-date technologies enabling reduction of operational costs.

Freighter programme During the visit, the companies discussed the possibility of the production of a freighter version. Amid the capacity constraints, emerging demand for freighters and increase of cargo volumes worldwide, Irkut Corporation is in favourable position to commence the freighter programme. Volga-Dnepr Group might become the possible launch customer of the MC-21-200 freighter version.

John Menzies: “Generally strong performance” trading update JOHN Menzies, the global aviation services business, has released an update on current trading ahead of its Interim results on September 1 2021. Overall, the group continues to trade slightly ahead of current market expectations. Regional variations exist with ground services in Europe particularly weak but this is offset by encouraging trading elsewhere driven by new business gains, a generally strong performance within air cargo services, extremely tight cost management and additional support from government schemes.

The group’s financial and liquidity position remains robust. At June 30 2021, net debt was £183m on a pre-IFRS 16 basis, and total liquidity stood at £179m leaving the group with significant headroom to allow it to deliver on our strategic priorities. Commercially, the first six months of the year have been very strong and significantly ahead of last year. In May it commenced a new air cargo services contract for Avianca Airlines in Miami, which is the largest single air cargo services contract the group has ever secured. Operations have started very well and we

are delivering enhanced service levels to our customer. As outlined in a statement in May 2021, John Menzies continue to pursue its strategic priorities and have a number of business development opportunities in play. In June 2021, it announced an investment to acquire a minority equity stake, by way of a joint venture, in JFreight Aviation Logistics Supply Chain Co. Ltd at Guangzhou, China. This venture, at one of the world’s busiest cargo airports, will open in September 2021 and is its first significant venture in mainland China.

Air Canada Q2 results: cargo comments

MATTHIEU Casey, senior director, cargo global sales and revenue optimisation, commented on the airline’s Q2 2021 results where they impacted on cargo activity. He said: “We’re tremendously proud of the strongest quarterly results Air Canada Cargo has ever seen, which are a testament to our continued efforts to maintain stable and consistent capacity flows for our customers across the globe through cargo-only flying. As announced, we achieved a record $358 million in cargo revenue for the second quarter, which represents an increase of $89 million, or 33% compared to the same quarter in 2020.” Air Canada Cargo currently operates cargo-only flights (scheduled and on demand) to over 30 cities worldwide, operated on Boeing 777 and 789, as well as A333 aircraft. This includes some Boeing 777 and A333 aircraft with cabins converted for the transportation of light freight. On Monday, July 5, flight AC7251 from Toronto to Buenos Aires marked a significant milestone for Air Canada Cargo: the 10,000th cargo-only flight. In June, Air Canada Cargo announced the initial list of planned routes for the Boeing 767-300ER freighters scheduled to enter into service this fall. The first 767 freighter will operate on routes linking Toronto to Miami, Quito, Lima, Mexico City and Guadalajara, the first time Air Canada Cargo will serve this destination. As more freighters enter service, additional flights in January of 2022 will further expand the network to Madrid and Frankfurt. In May, Air Canada operated a cargo-only flight to Delhi, providing urgent medical supplies to the Indian population which has been severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The shipment included ventilators, oxygen cylinders and generators and PPE.

TAP joins CargoAi

TAP Air Cargo has connected with CargoAi, a digital booking services platform in the air freight industry. The roll out starts with France, and then the United States and the full worldwide offer shall be available at the end of August. The freight forwarders can request e-quotes and make e-bookings via CargoAi for the 90 destinations that the company offers. “TAP Air Cargo has implemented modern digital solutions to allow its clients to manage the process of transporting their freight in an independent manner. CargoAi quintessentially represents this model, with a highly intuitive and simple use of e-quote and e-booking functionalities. A genuine self-service platform for stakeholders in the field of aerial freight”, says Bernardo Nunes, director cargo business development and transformation, TAP Air Cargo. “From its Hub in Lisbon, TAP Air Cargo covers all continents with an average of 2500 flights per week, thanks to a modern fleet of 80 cargo transport aircraft. It is exactly this type of transport solution that is sought by freight forwarders and we are very proud to be able to offer it to them via the CargoAi platform,” explains Matthieu Petot, CEO of CargoAi. A win-win partnership which perfectly meets the burgeoning needs of the sector for digital solutions that are simple to use, easy to implement, and which provide valuable advantages in terms of responsiveness, reliability, and availability.

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HOT WHEELS: MAGMA’S AUTOMOTIVE MOVES

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he pandemic created supply chain disruption on an unprecedented level but the automotive industry is revving the engines and coming back strong. “Like many industries, 2020 was hard year for the automotive market with worldwide exports down 53% during the height of the pandemic and down 13% over the whole year,” explained Paul Hoatson, commercial manager, Magma Aviation, the specialist air cargo management company, part of the Avia Solutions Group. “In quarter four the industry saw some strong recovery of around 20% which has continued into the first quarter of 2021. When comparing the start of 2021 to 2019, the industry exports have grown by 25% in absolute numbers.” In June 2020, Magma was operating

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three B747-BCF under a wet lease agreement from Air Atlanta. Since then, Magma has taken two additional B747’s in the last 12 months, reflecting this increased demand.

Precious cargo “Magma serves various sectors of the automotive industry from moving VIP cars for heads of state and high net worth individuals, a classic fire engine for a collector to moving rally and racing cars for events,” Hoatson told ACW. Just last month, Magma flew a range of rally cars from Leige Airport for the WRC Safari Rally Kenya, which took place at the end of June. The off road closed circuits challenge drivers, with twists and turns and bumps through the Kenyan countryside. Jose Antunes, managing

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director of freight forwarder Impeco, who manages logistics for the WRC, noted that the cars are “unrecognisable” after the race. “We also work very closely with Senator International, moving prototype, crash test vehicles, batteries, engine blocks and spare parts between their customer’s production plants in Europe and the USA,” added Hoatson. Magma’s partnership with Senator has seen the relationship grow from operating two flights a week in 2017 to now operating over 10 flights a week across four continents.

Taking the wheel Operated on behalf of Senator, Magma’s main automotive route is from its European hub at Hahn Airport to Senator’s specialised facility at Greenville Spartanburg Airport in South Carolina. “Magma also operates two flights a week from Hahn Airport to Johannesburg, giving Senator a reliable airbridge between two factories of their key automotive customer in the USA and South Africa,” said Hoatson. Bespoke flying programmes for key clients who support the automotive industry are part of the company’s service offering. “We pride ourselves in providing them with a safe, reliable, on-time flying programme to meet their customer’s needs,” Hoatson explained. “We support clients who serve the automotive industry in a variety of ways, some of the key challenges include: avoidance of damage when strapping vehicles down in the aircraft; Roll On, Roll Off ‘RORO’ insurance for drivers who drive the vehicles into the aircraft; and restricting possibility of photos being taken outside the perimeter of the airport when moving prototype vehicles. “Magma has also supported Senator International to have their whole supply chain audited to be able to accept UN3480 and UN 3090.”

Next week - POLE POSITION: F1 & EMIRATES TAKE TO THE TRACK

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DHL EXPANDS PHARMA LOGISTICS CAPACITY IN FLORSTADT

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HL Supply Chain, the contract logistics leader within Deutsche Post DHL Group, is currently building an approximately 32,000 sq m logistics centre in Florstadt, Germany. Located 35 kilometres north of Frankfurt am Main, the centre is scheduled to open in late 2021. The new building expands the current capacity of the multi-user campus for pharmaceuticals and medical products in Florstadt to over 70,000 sq m in total and will service markets across Europe. The site currently consists of two logistics centres. The new facility will offer customers from the pharmaceutical and medical products sector additional warehouse space in temperature zones of 15-25°C, 2-8°C and -24°C. Customers can also take advantage of a separate 1,750 sq m of space for storing hazardous materials. The entire warehouse features continuous temperature management, state-of-the-art security and alarm systems, and has received all major life sciences and healthcare certifications such as GDP, GMP and ISO 13485. “One of our most important objectives is to continuously expand our business in step with the pharmaceutical industry,” says Rainer Haag, managing director at DHL Supply Chain Germany & Alps. “Especially in those markets that are important for us, such as Germany and Europe, our goal is to continue to grow and to help companies outsource and optimise activities outside their core business, such as logistics.” The multi-user campus in Florstadt is located just a few kilometres from the heart of the Frankfurt Rhine-Main economic region and offers ideal access to Frankfurt Airport, DHL’s parcel and Express network, as well as rail and highway networks. “Because of the many projects we have implemented over the years, our team in Florstadt is highly experienced and flexible,” says Murat Erzurumluoglu, business unit director of Life Sciences & Healthcare at DHL Supply Chain Germany & Alps. “They can handle all manner of contract logistics orders on very short notice, plan and implement logistics solutions

for customers, and respond quickly to changes in day-to-day business.”

Next steps

Matthias Wellms, head of business development for Life Sciences & Healthcare at DHL Supply Chain Germany & Alps adds: “We are very pleased to be taking this next step for the site and further improving on the good conditions it already offers.” The climate-neutral warehouse features photovoltaics, heat pumps and a solar wall, and has received Gold Standard certification from the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB). It is scheduled to open at the end of 2021. With this latest project, DHL Supply Chain fulfills its responsibility for sustainable business practice and makes an important contribution to Deutsche Post DHL Group’s target of zero-emission logistics by 2050. At the same time, DHL Supply Chain further empowers its customers to achieve more sustainable supply chains.

Emirates launches Dubai-Miami EMIRATES has launched its first-ever passenger service between Dubai and Miami. The airline celebrated the inaugural flight of its four times a week service when it touched down in Miami at 11:00 local time. Emirates flight EK213 was welcomed by Miami International Airport with a water cannon salute.

Gebrüder Weiss: No. 1 in Altach

GEBRÜDER Weiss has expanded its partnership with soccer club CASHPOINT SCR Altach and now outfits all of the club’s goalkeepers. Everyone from the youth to the professional teams will wear the Gebrüder Weiss orange jersey in the future.

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“WE WANT TO CONNECT AFRICA AS MUCH AS WE CAN”

line’s network and expansion plans. “KQ is well interconnected, with Africa being the niche. We serve over 36 points in the continent, and we are keen to grow this figure as the pandemic phases out. Our interest is to connect Africa as much as we possibly can and provide linkages to destinations outside of Africa,” Kilavuka explained.

Route to recovery

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n 2021, the world is a small place. The air cargo industry creates lifelines from all corners of the world and if the pandemic has highlighted anything, it’s the importance of these air bridges on all aspects of life and trade. As the world restarts again, airlines are resuming routes and adding new destination to their network. ACW spoke to Allan Kilavuka, CEO Kenya Airways Cargo (KQ) about the East African air-

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“In 2019, KQ was voted by AFRAA (African Airlines Association), The Best Improved in Intra-Africa Connectivity. Our aspiration is to be the preferred carrier in the region by 2024. We are currently ranked 2nd for intra-Africa connectivity.” Kilavuka described that the airline will renew its focus in the region post-pandemic, following points to action. These points include: prioritising the return of earlier suspended African destinations; revamping and increasing frequencies to “signature” African destinations like Capetown, Victoria Falls, Livingstone, Seychelles etc.; advocating for reopening of key African islands like Mauritius, Madagascar and being first into these markets; building winning partnerships with other African carriers like Congo Airways (in DRC), Airlink (in South Africa) among others; and partnering with like-minded airlines like Delta Airlines and other companies to offer greater access to niche markets like Maasai Mara. There has been much uncertainty around flying to some destinations these past 18 months but KQ’s operations have not come to complete standstill, which has created momentum to push the airline forward post-pandemic. “Some of the new cargo routes that have been activated during the pandemic include Sharjah, Frankfurt, Guinea Bissou, New Delhi and Gaborone which serve both scheduled and non-scheduled basis,” explained Kilavuka. “This also includes the activation of the southern HUB concept routes Johannesburg/ Lilongwe, Johannesburg/Lusaka, Johannesburg/Dar-es-Salaam, Johannesburg/Maputo

and Johannesburg/Harare.”

The height of the preighter era As for preighters, which have helped tackle the capacity issues that have challenged the industry, Kilavuka told ACW that he believes this trend will continue. He said: “This is essential in terms of de-risking our business and is in line with our diversification strategy. Our passenger business contributes 85% and, if 2020 is anything to go by, we need to build business resilience and ensure that our cargo business contributes to 20% of the overall business. “In December of last year, we launched the world’s first B787 Preighter, which increased dedicated cargo capacity by 126 tonnes per week.”

The next step KQ is making plans for network expansions. “We have plans to expand our routes to different markets in alignment with our strategy for the sustainable development of Africa as we continue to contribute to the socio-economic development of the region by ensuring the movement of people and goods,” said Kilavuka. Key short, medium and long investments will also be made to “bolster” KQ’s regional African footprint. “These include the recently completed world class pharma handling infrastructure in our JKIA warehouse, introduction of additional B733F aircraft into our cargo fleet by Q1 2022, among others. “Cargo is going to grow into 20% of the business, up from 10%, and will cover 30% of Kenya’s cargo market. We have embarked on expanding cargo operations in Southern Africa to uplift cargo directly from Johannesburg to Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique and Tanzania. “We have also recently signed a MoU with Congo Airways to cover technical capacity building, commercial co-operation and human resource training. Part of this will cover

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cost-effective aircraft maintenance and technical expertise, particularly on the Embraer E-Jet fleet training in engineering, flight deck and crew, route codeshare opportunities and other synergies.”

Next Week in ACW WITH capacity uncertainty looming over the industry Peter Penseel, chief operating officer, airfreight, CEVA Logistics explained why CEVA is taking matters into its own hands.

“Over the past two years, demand fluctuations and the pandemic effects on passenger flight capacity have necessitated a rise in charter activity as a result of the overall supply chain volatility,” said Penseel.

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EUROPEAN heavyweight, IAG Cargo boasts an impressive network and reach, managing the cargo capacity of over 500 widebody and narrowbody aircraft. ACW spoke to John Cheetham, chief commercial officer to gain insight into the carrier’s next steps for network expansion. ACW: Can you tell us about some routes IAG is planning to add to the network? John Cheetham: Since the beginning of the year we’ve restarted several routes that were paused due to the pandemic such as Madrid - Tel Aviv, Barcelona - San Francisco and London-Heathrow – Riyadh. We’ve also introduced brand-new direct services from Madrid – Guayaquil, an important business trade link for the perishables sector, and in July following demand from customers in South Asia we launched Madrid – Male, supporting manufacturing hubs in the region. Demand for our charter service also remains high, allowing customers to book their freight to almost anywhere in the world. ACW: What have been the most popular routes and what cargo demands are these responding to? Cheetham: Today IAG cargo operates in 60 countries; our busiest trading lanes are linking APAC markets with Europe and the Americas. We’re utilising widebody aircraft on several European routes which feed into our main hubs at London-Heathrow, Madrid-Barajas and Dublin, connecting both sides of the Atlantic to transport medical goods, e-Commerce and automotive parts, for example.

This includes Stuttgart and Stockholm to London, Amsterdam and Frankfurt to Madrid, and London to Dublin which offers faster delivery for customers receiving freight to destinations in the Americas. ACW: What new routes were added during the pandemic and why? Cheetham: Last year we launched a new route to Lahore, Pakistan - home to many manufacturers of goods such as textiles, leather and surgical goods, and it is an important market for computer equipment, electrical machinery and auto parts from Europe and the US. We also launched a new route between Madrid-Male that will allow customers in the Maldives and nearby Sri Lanka seeking to transport essential goods, such as textiles and perishables, access to key markets in Europe, Latin America, United States and elsewhere. As well as new routes, the pandemic has also led us to create new solutions to keep global chains moving. In March 2020 we were one of the first airline groups to set up scheduled cargo-only flying and offer a charter service utilising the Group’s extensive fleet. In its first year, we have flown over 1,250 charters to over 80 destinations around the world which have operated alongside our regular schedule. Products carried on these charters have varied from fish, automotive parts to manufacturing items and even Argentinian and Chilean cherries

of which we transported over 1,000 tonnes in November 2020 from Santiago into London. ACW: IAG have a strong presence in Latin America. Are there plans to add more routes? Cheetham: We are seeing significant increases in our services to South America, where in May this year we launched a new service to Guayaquil, Ecuador directly from Madrid. From July, we also restarted direct flights from Madrid to San Juan, Puerto Rico and Cali, Colombia. We have extended our presence in Brazil, operating daily services from Madrid to Sao Paulo and we have four services a week operating between London Heathrow to Sao Paulo. The routes support the export of tropical fruits, automotive and manufacturing parts out of Brazil, and electronics, pharmaceuticals, and medical goods from Europe. ACW: Will routes added during the pandemic be permanent? Cheetham: Our priority remains supporting our customers, remaining adaptable and flexible to ensure we can deliver goods to where our customers need them, keeping global trade moving. Charters have proved to be a popular solution, and demand continues from customers and shippers for this tailored service. Following customer popularity, we’re always looking to explore new stations and destinations – in the past year we have set up new stations for customers such as Edmonton and Halifax in Canada.

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IN the second part of our major two-part interview, GertJan Roelands, SVP sales and distribution Air France KLM Martinair Cargo, tells ACW how AFKLMP Cargo’s strategy is paying off

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rowing our business is essential. However, we aim to do so in a more sustainable manner. In December last year, we launched the first sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) programme in the industry. We have gained a great deal of knowledge from the passenger business and have been involved in this from the start together with partners like SKYENERGY. What’s more, Air France KLM Martinair has been ranked at the top of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for more than 10 years. For AFKLMP, SAF Cargo is not a commercial proposition. We invite all players in the industry to participate in our SAF programme. We believe that reducing the carbon footprint of the airfreight industry is key. The more parties to participate, the greater the volume. Step by step, this will lead to a lower price for SAF. Additionally, this will present opportunities for innovation and to discover and invest in new technologies like synthetic fuel. As an industry, we need to join forces in relation to this topic and drive the change together. Our SAF programme is gaining traction. More than 20 partners (forwarders and shippers) joined in the first six months, and there are many more potential partners who would like to participate. What strategic commercial focus will you have over the next year? Apart from enhancing our service proposition and generating further synergies for our customers, we have a clear strategic focus when it comes to extending our Pharma service proposition. We have a long history when it comes to shipping pharmaceuticals and healthcare-related products. Dealing with such shipments in the most optimal way is all about having the right infrastructure, handling capabilities at both our AMS and CDG hubs, but also at our outstations and in relation to our processes. Most importantly, we need staff with the right level of expertise. We are the first airline group to be awarded CEIV certification. We aim to maintain our leading position, but this will require further optimisation and innovation. We will keep on investing in our people, optimising our operational processes,

“ We invite all players in the

industry to participate in our SAF programme. We believe that reducing the carbon footprint of the airfreight industry is key.” enhancing our monitoring and intervention management and optimising the cool chain process and facilities. Also, we intend to develop new initiatives. As mentioned, the Express segment and cross border e-Commerce have grown rapidly in recent years. We invested in state-of-the-art sorter systems at both CDG and AMS, giving us an opportunity to tap into this growing segment of e-Commerce. In terms of express, we also intend to focus on enhancing our service propositions. More news will follow later this year. Perishables form an essential part of our base load. Both our hubs at CDG and AMS play a critical role in the global distribution of perishables. We will continue to invest in our cool chain solutions and other services to cater to the needs of our customers specialising in this segment. As mentioned, our strategy will also focus on ensuring that all our product-related developments will ultimately also be available for our online customer journey. Will the pandemic cause any long-term shift in your network? For the time being, we will continue to focus on a cargo-driven network, while also taking account of the recovery of the passenger business. In practical terms, this means that we will also be serving

more leisure-orientated destinations during the forthcoming winter season. In anticipation of the further relaxation of travel restrictions and recovery of the passenger business, our network will be gradually adjusted. When do you see COVID-19 vaccine shipments beginning to fall away? Has it been a profitable trade for you? In June last year, we initiated the formation of a COVID-19 taskforce. The aim of this multidisciplinary group – also involving pharmaceutical customers, forwarders and suppliers – was to build a service solution to cater to specific requirements when shipping COVID-19 vaccines. The important aspects here include the different temperature requirements (-80 degrees u/I 20 degrees), monitoring and intervention management, security and dedicated customer service. Combined with our extensive network serving more than 110 long-haul destinations, this presents us with an opportunity to play an important role in global vaccine distribution. To date, we’ve successfully shipped more than 30 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to 42 unique destinations. Especially to Africa, Asia and South America, we’re seeing the number of shipments increasing week-on-week and we expect this trend to persist until the end of the year and probably beyond. Our co-operation with both UNICEF and the Pan American Health Organisation plays an important role in this respect. These are just a few examples of our transformation. Also, from an operational perspective, we have game-changing initiatives at both our hubs in AMS, CDG and at our outstations that will be implemented in the course of the year. This reflects a combination of infrastructure and process-related initiatives, but further investments in technology and innovation are key enablers here too.

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Profile for Azura International

ACW 2nd August 21  

ACW 2nd August 21  

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