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

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The weekly newspaper for air cargo professionals Volume: 20

Issue: 48

4 December 2017

Growth still healthy but slows on previous months

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017 has been a strong year for air cargo to date and while growth is continuing it has slowed a little as capacity constraints affect industry performance. Last week, the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) reported its monthly figures for October, which showed healthy year-onyear (YOY) demand growth in freight tonne kilometres (FTK) of 5.8 per cent. AAPA said this reflects the “sustained upturn” in global trade for consumer and intermediate goods, which has driven air cargo in 2017. In October, capacity in available freight tonne kilometres (FATK) expanded YOY by 4.1 per cent, resulting in a 1.1 percentage point increase in the average international freight load factor to 66.9 per cent for the month. In the first 10 months of the year compared to the same period last year, demand was up 10.1 per cent, while FATK was up 4.3 per cent and the freight load factor was 61.2 per cent, up 3.4 percentage points. AAPA director general, Andrew Herdman says: “The encouraging results mirror the current solid and steady expansion in the global

economy. Airlines have responded by strengthening their networks offering additional frequencies and adding new destinations. “At the same time, the rise in global economic activity has seen a sustained pick up in global trade and transportation of manufactured goods, with air cargo playing an important role in restocking global supply chains and the growth of e-commerce. “As a result, Asian airlines continued to enjoy healthy growth in the air cargo segment, maintaining the broad upswing in demand which began in the latter half of 2016.” Looking ahead, Herdman adds: “The overall demand outlook remains positive, although

Asian airlines are operating in highly competitive markets and face rising cost pressures.” Airfreight tonnage also continues to grow YOY through the globe’s airports, but once again this has also slowed, according to the Airports Council International (ACI). ACI reported last week that in September, volumes were up 6.8 per cent YOY, a way short of the 10.5 per cent recorded in August. The association said most regions posted robust freight volume figures in the month with Africa leading the way at 16.2 per cent, followed by Asia Pacific at 9.4 per cent. Europe was the third strongest region, with growth of eight per cent, followed by the Middle East at 7.3 per cent while North America was up 2.9 per cent and Latin America-Caribbean 1.6 per cent. All regions have grown on a year-to-date basis for the first nine months of 2017, with global volumes up 8.4 per cent, and Africa leading the way at 14.3 per cent. Asia Pacific is up 9.8 per cent, Europe 9.5 per cent, Middle East 7.7 per cent, North America 6.5 per cent, and Latin America-Caribbean 4.6 per cent.

Carr to replace Kerr at Etihad

ATSG pens lease deal with Air Incheon

Etihad Airways has announced changes to its leadership team, with Justin Carr (pictured) taking over as vice president of cargo. Carr joined Etihad from DHL as vice president cargo commercial, and is taking over from David Kerr, who is leaving at the end of the year to join CargoLogicAir as chief executive officer. At DHL, Carr was head of MNC business development for the Middle East and Africa region, and he will take over leadership of the cargo team in December 2017. Andre Blech, who has worked at Etihad for seven years, has been appointed head of cargo delivery, will oversee end-to-end cargo operations including hub, network, customer service and ULD asset management.

Air Transport Services Group (ATSG) has signed a new lease agreement with Air Incheon for one Boeing 767-300 converted freighter and an option for a second. The company says both are set for delivery in 2018, while it has also expanded its dry-leased 767-300 freighter fleet with three deliveries in November. ATSG West Leasing Limited subsidiary in Ireland has committed to lease one converted B767-300F to Air Incheon of South Korea for a multi-year term anticipated to

Roberto Gilardoni will expand his role to include freighters, global customer management and industry verticals. He has worked for Etihad Cargo for three years, growing the charter business and freighter network.

commence on 31 March, 2018. It has also granted Air Incheon an option to lease a second 767-300F for delivery later in 2018. Air Incheon operates two Boeing 737F aircraft from its base in Seoul Incheon International Airport. A third 737 is undergoing passenger-to-freighter conversion via a contract with PEMCO. In November, ATSG’s Cargo Aircraft Management subsidiary completed delivery of three converted 767-300Fs - one each to Cargojet, Northern Aviation Services, and Amerijet.

EXECUTIVE TEAM CHANGES AT IAG CARGO AF-KL AND JET AIRWAYS SIGN CARGO MOU ASIA TO EXPAND RAPIDLY AFTER EXCEPTIONAL YEAR ASIA REMAINS IMPORTANT FOR ANTONOV

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NCA and Cargolux sign agreement CARGOLUX has signed a cooperation deal with Nippon Cargo Airlines (NCA) allowing both partners access to each other’s capacity through codeshare and space swap agreements. Cargolux now has access to NCA’s flights from Frankfurt Hahn to Tokyo Narita while NCA has access to its flights from Luxembourg to Narita. The carrier says it is a major milestone in its operations to Japan, which, traditionally, has been an important market. Cargolux says it plans to operate a weekly flight from Luxembourg to Tokyo Narita and Cargolux Italia will stop operations to Narita, but maintain services to Osaka (Kansai). The codeshare operation is planned to start in the summer season of 2018. Both airlines consider the agreement as a first step towards a “potentially deeper cooperation”. In addition to this opportunity to develop its activity at Narita, Cargolux also intends to further develop operations through Komatsu. Together with Cargolux Italia’s operations to Osaka, Cargolux says it is well placed to provide its customers with “comprehensive services” to and from Japan

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Executive team changes at IAG Cargo

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AG Cargo has made three changes to its executive team including creating two new roles, which it says has been done to align with its business priorities. From 1 December commercial director, David Shepherd took the position of director of digital ventures. Meanwhile, IAG Cargo has appointed a new director of sales, marketing and product in the shape of Camilo Garcia, who joins the executive team. A new role of director of worldwide operations was created, filled by Lynn McClelland, who now has overall accountability for global operations outside of Spain. IAG Cargo says the new look executive team is charged with “driving performance across premium products, digital transformation, customer service and global operations following robust Q3 results”. IAG Cargo’s chief executive officer, Lynne Embleton (pictured) says: “We have ambitious plans for the next few years and I believe our new structure, new positions and new talent will put us in a strong position to achieve the transformational changes we want to make for our customers and our business. She adds: “The newly created role of director of digital ven-

tures will be crucial in ensuring that we’re taking strategic action in response to the opportunities that technology can bring to our industry. With David’s deep experience within the business, he is well placed to take the lead on this new focus. “Meanwhile, I am delighted to announce that Lynn McClelland will be adding regional operations and customer service to her recent London and Dublin responsibilities, giving her global oversight of our operations. “Finally, Camilo’s talent and knowledge of the business will be invaluable as we welcome him to the executive team as director of sales, marketing and product.”

FedEx to buy Cessna SkyCourier

FEDEX Express has signed as the launch customer for up to 100 of the new twin-engine, large-utility turboprop Cessna SkyCourier 408 aircraft – developed by Textron Aviation. FedEx will have an initial fleet order of 50 cargo aircraft and options for 50 more. Entry into service for the cleansheet design Cessna SkyCourier is planned for 2020. Textron Aviation president and chief executive officer, Scott Ernest says: “With our depth of expertise and proven success in new product development, we were eager to work directly with a world-class company like FedEx Express to jointly develop the Cessna SkyCourier. “The aircraft will fulfill a gap in this market segment with its superior performance and low operating costs in combination with the cabin flexibility, payload capability and efficiency only a clean-sheet design can offer.” The Cessna SkyCourier 408 will be offered in cargo and passenger variants. The cargo variant will feature a large cargo door and a flat floor cabin that is sized to handle up to three LD3 shipping containers with 6,000 pounds of maximum payload capability.

Schulz in for Leahy at Airbus AIRBUS has appointed Eric Schulz to take over from John Leahy, who is due to retire after 33 years with the French aircraft manufacturer. Schulz will join in January 2018 as executive vice president – chief of sales, marketing & contracts for the commercial aircraft business, and report to chief executive officer, Tom Enders. The 54-year-old started his career in 1986 with Aerospatiale-Sogerma and has held senior management positions at Air France, AOM, Air Liberte-British Airways, EADS, and most recently as president of civil aerospace at Rolls-Royce since January 2016. Enders says: “He [Schulz] has broad international experience in the aerospace industry, a deep understanding of airline operations and aero engines as well as a proven track record in building and effectively leading organisations in complex environments.” Leahy will remain with Airbus for a transition period of a few months with his successor.

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AirBridgeCargo keeps expanding with 15% growth

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irBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC) has continued its strong growth with volumes increasing 15 per cent in the first 10 months of 2017 helped by an expanding fleet, network and developing new products. It handled 575,000 tonnes in the first 10 months with all major markets performing well, and load factors were up four per cent to 71 per cent. Increasing bi-directional trade flows on the Europe-Asia lane, where exports from Europe to Asia were nearing the level of volumes from Asia to Europe, helped ABC’s volume grow during the period. Freight corridors seeing significant growth were South East Asia-North America, South East Asia-Europe, Europe-Japan & Korea and Europe-North America, increasing 53 per cent, 52 per cent, 49 per cent and 23 per cent respectively, not only for general cargo but for special commodities. Certain products have done particularly well, with pharma shipments up 153 per cent, off size & heavy by 32 per cent, e-commerce by 22 per cent and dangerous goods by 10 per cent. ABC general director, Sergey Lazarev says the airline is well prepared for the peak season having welcomed a brand new Boeing

747-8 Freighter to the fleet. He says: “Our well balanced network and newly-integrated destinations provide extensive transportation connections and cater to the needs of our customers worldwide, with connectivity options through our hub in Moscow Sheremetyevo airport.” “Throughout 2017 we have been engaged in a constant dialogue with our customers, bolstering our product development in line with ABC’s network expansion, whilst improving the quality of our services and optimising costs.”

WORLDNEWS

CHAPMAN Freeborn has appointed David De Clercq to the role of charter sales manager for France. In his newly created position, Paris-based De Clercq will work in close cooperation with the company’s long-established team in Belgium and offices worldwide. He has 15 years of aviation experience including as a senior cargo charter account manager with a Paris-based charter company. SAN Bernardino International Airport (SBD) has entered into an agreement with UPS to support growing seasonal demand for air cargo flights. In 2016, UPS operated four weekly flights through SBD during the holiday season. This year UPS will operate up to 18 flights each week during the holidays. The flight segments will include SBD – Louisville, and SBD – Rockford, using Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft. SBD is located 60 miles east of Los Angeles.

AF-KL and Jet Airways sign cargo MoU

AIR France KLM Cargo and Jet Airways Cargo have signed a memorandum of understanding to deepen cooperation. Under the MoU, the airlines say they seek to deepen cooperation and endeavour to link and leverage their route networks to create and offer expanded high-value cargo services, as well as new and innovative products tailored towards the needs of specific industries such as pharmaceuticals, express and e-commerce. Jet Airways Cargo senior vice president, Pradeep Kumar says: “We share the ambition to jointly explore and exploit the vast

opportunities in the air cargo market via mutual synergies in the areas comprising our routes and networks, as well as warehousing amongst others. We also intend to work closely to co-create new and industry-leading products and services for our clients.” Air France KLM Cargo executive vice president, Marcel de Nooijer says: “This agreement stipulates again the importance of strong partnerships in the air freight market. With the dynamic developments in India, we are excited to offer new opportunities to our customers and strengthen our global network towards the Indian freight market. Together with the Jet Airways, we will work on new possibilities!” Jet and Air France KLM will collaborate to optimise and expand volumes from emerging Indian markets such as Bengaluru and Chennai where intercontinental connectivity by direct services has been recently enabled.

WFS picks up new contracts in France WORLDWIDE Flight Services (WFS) has scooped five new cargo handling contracts by passenger and freighter airlines in France. Four of the contracts cover Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport as well as handling at WFS’ other 11 cargo stations across France. Vietnam Airlines has renewed its handling agreement with WFS, while CAL Cargo Airlines has appointed WFS to provide receiving points for cargo, which is then trucked to Belgium to connect with its Boeing 747 Freighter services in Liege. WFS has also won contracts for the whole

of France from the Moldovan airline FlyONE for freight carried onboard its weekly Airbus A319/320 belly flights to Chi in u International Airport as well as from the Italian carrier, Meridiana. Air France has also chosen WFS as its cargo handling partner at three gateways in France; Lyon, Toulouse and Nantes. WFS’ director of cargo sales for Europe, Stephane Scholving says: “We are proud to be increasing WFS’ relationship with Air France and to be the preferred handling partner of all-cargo and passenger airlines from Vietnam, Israel, Moldova and Italy.”

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Astral delivers aid to Yemen Delta widens DASH network

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stral Aviation operated a humanitarian flight on Saturday (25 November) from Nairobi to wartorn Sanaa in Yemen with 15 tonnes of vaccines for over 600,000 children against diphtheria, tetanus and other diseases. The African carrier ran the Boeing 727-200 flight on behalf of Chapman Freeborn and

UNICEF into Sanaa Airport, which had been closed from 6 November. Humanitarian supplies began arriving in the Yemeni capital on Saturday after the easing of a nearly three-week military blockade that triggered an outcry from the international community. Astral’s charter manager, Colins Oloo, who accompanied the mission, says the time-slot in Sanaa is restricted to one-hour, and requires a high level of precision to deliver the humanitarian cargo. Since inception of the conflict in Yemen, Astral has performed more than 100 humanitarian flights from Nairobi, Djibouti, Aqaba, Dubai and Salalah into Sanaa and Aden to aid citizens. The Yemen conflict has killed more than 10,000 people and displaced more than two million, triggered a cholera epidemic, and driven Yemen to the verge of famine.

DELTA Cargo has expanded the coverage of its DASH Critical & Medical service to 15 US locations, with further expansion planned next year. DASH Critical & Medical is the first fully GPS-enabled, same-day product offered by a US freight and passenger carrier, providing real-time tracking and monitoring of any eligible shipment, and customers can ship items up until 45 minutes prior to scheduled flight departure. The service was launched from Boston, and will be available from 14 other locations, namely: Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, New York LaGuardia, Los Angeles, Memphis, Minneapolis, Orlando, Rochester New York, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Savannah and Seattle, with service to 89 mainland US destinations and Hawaii. Antech Diagnostics North East regional

transportation manager, Todd Sand says: “The GPS took a huge load off our shoulders, knowing that if something happened we would know where the box was and could retrieve it in minutes. Our experience using DASH Critical & Medical has been fantastic.” DASH offers premium domestic services for time-sensitive, small packages.

New Singapore facility for Unilode

UNILODE Aviation Solutions has moved its unit load device (ULD) and galley cart repair centre in Singapore into a larger facility near the Changi Airfreight Centre. The repair station has a 800 square metre warehouse, 250 square metres of office space and an outside storage area. It holds the certification of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, allowing it to carry out repairs for airlines based in Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong and the USA, as well as European Aviation Safety Agency certification. The station’s repair capability includes all certified ULDs such as large structural main deck units, containers, pallets and horse stalls, and inflight food service equipment. In addition to the centre’s main customer, Singapore Airlines Cargo, the increased capacity enables the provision of ULD and galley cart maintenance and repair services to other customers as well. Unilode chief executive officer, Benoît Dumont says: “In addition to the new facility in Singapore we are looking at establishing a presence at a number of strategic hubs in the region. Unilode’s ULD and galley cart capabilities and expertise play an important part in airlines’ decision to outsource their ULD management and repair operations to Unilode.”

GDP renewal for Swiss SWISS WorldCargo has renewed its GDP compliance for handling pharmaceutical products at its Zurich Airport hub, and says this further strengthens its network of quality corridors. Swissmedic, the Swiss authority responsible for the authorisation and supervision of therapeutic products, renewed the Cargologic handling facilities’ GDP compliance certification in September 2017. Swiss WorldCargo’s ground handling partner was one of the first to secure GDP compliance in 2014 and IATA Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) certification for handling pharmaceutical products in 2015. The airline has invested heavily in replicating best practice models in collaboration with its ground handling partners around the world, with a network of certified trade lanes being implemented to ensure the highest quality standards and product integrity in cold chain handling on a global scale. It plans 50 “quality corridors” by the end of 2017.

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Changi continues its strong growth path in 2017

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he growth in cargo volumes at Singapore’s Changi Airport has slowed in October, but was still up five per cent year-on-year (YOY). The airport handled 185,800 tonnes of cargo in October 2017 compared to 177,000 tonnes in the same month of 2016. YOY growth in October was lower than the previous three months; July had been up 11.2 per cent to 179,600 tonnes, August by 10.7 per cent to 180,600 tonnes and September by 9.8 per cent to 183,600 tonnes. On a year-to-date basis cargo volumes are up 7.8 per cent to 1.74 million tonnes with much of growth being driven by additional routes being added with the Asia region, and further afield. Among the new carriers that have started at Changi are three new Chinese airlines, with

Spring Airlines operating three flights a week to Guangzhou, China Eastern Airlines launching three weekly services to Fuzhou then on to Yantai, and Hebei Airlines starting daily services to Hangzhou then on to Shijiazhuang. SilkAir has also launched thrice-weekly services to Hiroshima in Japan; while Jetstar Asia has started four flights a week to Hat Yai in Thailand; and home-carrier Singapore Airlines has increased services to Paris from seven flights a week to 10. On 29 October, Changi also welcomed US carrier United Airlines’ new daily non-stop service from Los Angeles, operated with its Boeing 787-9. This is the longest non-stop route being operated between the US and any city around the globe and it is moving significant freight payloads in each direction.

New gateway in Rwanda remains on track

THE building of a new gateway in Rwanda - Bugesera International Airport – is well on track and it is sure to open up more air cargo opportunities and boost intra-Africa trade. Environmental consultancy firm Ramboll Environ has undertaken an environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) and will prepare a resettlement action plan on behalf of the Bugesera Airport Company Limited (BAC) for a new airport to serve the

East African country. BAC is a joint venture between the Rwandan government and Mota-Engil Engenharia e Construção SA, whose parent company is Mota-Engil Group. Bugesera International Airport will have modern cargo handling facilities, capacity to handle about 1.8m passengers annually, multiple commercial spaces, and include other facilities. Work on the first phase of the new development is set to take about 27 months and earmarked for completion in December 2019 at a cost of about $400 million. The new airport is located in southeastern Rwanda, in Bugesera District, near the town of Rilima, approximately 40 kilometres by road, south of Kigali International Airport. The new gateway will also serve to complement the growth of national carrier RwandAir, which continues to expand and is soon to open a second hub in Cotonou, Benin where it will position two Boeing 737s.

Slight freight fall of 1.8% in October at Dubai DUBAI International Airport (DXB) handled 231,805 tonnes of freight in October compared to 236,169 tonnes, which was a monthly YOY fall of 1.8 per cent. The operator Dubai Airports also reports year-to-date (YTD) cargo volumes as at the end of October reached 2,189,824 tonnes, a growth of 2.9 per cent compared to 2,127,589 tonnes in the same period last year In 2016, DXB handled 2.59 million tonnes, a 3.4 per cent rise on 2015.

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Vienna expands its cargo capabilities and adds pharma centre

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ienna Airport has added 13,000 square metres of cargo capacity and opened a new Pharma Handling Centre to meet growing air cargo volumes and demand. The developments are part of a €17.9 million investment by operator Flughafen Wien to expand its cargo capabilities. It says further facility expansion of air cargo and locating of logistics partners is a “crucial” future growth area. As part of the plan four steps are being taken: the expansion of the Air Cargo Centre, the new pharma hub, the locating of logistics centres such as Cargo Partner, DHL and other firms as well as the improvement and expansion of transport infrastructure. The airport opened a new logistics centre in October adding 13,000 square metres to the Air Cargo Centre including deployment of latest technology and the Pharma Handling Centre. In the future, the airport explains there will be a strong focuson the new Pharma Handling Centre, which covers about 1,600 square meters and is located in the enlarged Air Cargo Centre. The facility features a 153 square metre cold store for shipments from 2°-8°C, and another 1,415 square metre area for 15°-25°C. Vienna Airport will invest a further €1.9 million in the new Pharma Handling Centre up until the autumn of 2018. The gateway is also focusing on sustainable growth and one of the country’s largest photovoltaic facilities covering an area of 8,000 square metres was installed on the roof of the state-of-theart Air Cargo Centre. Flughafen Wien member of the management board, Julian

Jäger says: “Our good market position as an air cargo transshipment hub will be further strengthened thanks to the expansion of the Air Cargo Centre. “In particular, we can focus on a market niche with high standards on the basis of the future Pharma Handling Centre and position ourselves through first-class expertise and an optimal infrastructure. “Austria is an exporting country in the pharmaceutical industry, which is developing very well. We will support domestic pharmaceutical companies to generate growth by providing special, highly professional handling services.” Fellow member of the management board, Günther Ofner adds that half the export production value of lower Austrian industry, products manufactured to the amount of €8 billion is transported as cargo throughout the world via Vienna Airport underlines the gateway’s “essential role” as a cargo transshipment hub.

He adds: “Further growth is expected in the years to come, especially due to the strong increase in e-commerce. Our own investments, especially the locating of logistics partners at the airport site such as cargo-partner, Kühne+Nagel and soon DHL contribute to exploiting this growth potential. “DHL will set up a logistics centre on an area of over 60,000 square metres and create 500 new jobs.”

Cargo and profits up at LGW

CARGO volumes have increased 23.3 per cent at Gatwick Airport and profits before tax are up to £140.7 million ($186.7 million) in the first half of this year. For the six months ending 30 September 2017, cargo was up helped the airport’s expanding long-haul network, including flights to Singapore, Seattle and Denver operated by Norwegian, and RwandAir flights to Kigali. Before the end of the financial year, Norwegian plans new routes to Buenos Aires, Chicago and Austin, and China Airlines will start flying to Taipei. In the first half of the year, the airport’s total revenue was up 5.5 per cent to £469.7 million, EBITDA by 9.9 per cent to £290.6 million and profits before tax rose from £116 million to £140.7 million. The gateway says growth that comes from a combination of more aircraft, which are also bigger and fuller, and are able to fly further with extra capacity compared to previous years. Gatwick Airport chief executive officer, Stewart Wingate says: “As we prepare for Brexit, it is critical that we continue to grow our long haul links in addition to connections within the UK and Europe. Our results show significant cargo growth on the back of our ever strengthening long haul network.” He adds: “We are currently preparing our full submission to the Government’s re-opened National Policy Statement consultation. We are planning future submissions to support the Aviation Strategy in which we will detail the plans we have to continue to make best use of the airport’s existing facilities.” Wingate says the growth continues to demonstrate the need for a second runway at Gatwick, saying: “Gatwick is ready to play an increased global role for Britain as we grow. Gatwick is prepared to build our financeable and deliverable second runway scheme so that Britain can reap the benefits of greater global connectivity faster.”

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Asia to expand rapidly after exceptional year

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017 has proved to be an exceptional year for all three of Air Charter Service’s Asia Pacific offices; and regional director for Asia Pacific Steve Fernandez (pictured) predicts rapid growth in years to come. He says there has been a resurgence in peak season demand, the likes that have not been seen for over a decade. Fernandez says many clients who have supported ACS through 2017 with regular charter programmes are expected to extend these into 2018.

He says: “Expectations for what remains of 2017 is for continued record breaking months, with November headed that way and forward bookings that mean December should also be very merry. I’m cautiously optimistic for 2018.” ACS’s regional headquarters are in Hong Kong, and it looks after clients in all parts of Asia, from Myanmar in the west, Japan in the north, Micronesia in the east and Indonesia in the south. The Beijing office focuses solely on mainland China, a diverse market in itself. This means demand for all kinds of products from live animals to heavy machinery and consumer goods, as well as for China-based organisations with interests in other parts of the world. Fernandez comments: “With such a large territory there are clients with just about every charter requirement imaginable from cargo

flights transporting emergency oil well tools through humanitarian aid flights for the various agencies headquartered in the region.” Highlights in the region have included humanitarian flights from Malaysia to Chittagong with aid to help in the Rohingya refugee crisis, and flying a Boeing 727 from Guam to Nagasaki with cargo for the Japanese government. Describing the latter, Fernandez says: “As there are so very few 727s left flying it had been a very long time since one flew to Japan.”

OBC on the rise

ACS is working hard to develop the On Board Courier (OBC) division in the region, and with a network of almost 500 couriers and a 24-hour dedicated team, ACS can provide a solution within 30 minutes. Fernandez admits that like chartering a cargo aircraft, using a courier to transport cargo is often an expensive way to do things but sometimes the next flight out or an express services is not fast or secure enough. He says: “Our client base for OBCs is incredibly diverse; from high fashion, to law firms with legal documents, through prototype automotive components, to a teddy bear for the son or daughter of a multi-millionaire. Growing the OBC division in Asia is a key goal for ACS in the coming years.” The Asian cargo charter market is still predominantly big aircraft on inter-continental flights, flying from China to America or Europe, and Fernandez does not see this changing, though he sees demand moving from China to Indochina and elsewhere as manufacturing moves to countries with lower production costs. He believes there will be growth in regional

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flights on smaller aircraft as Asian countries hopefully move towards more open sky policies with one another.

Traffic right challenges

Traffic rights are the biggest challenge in Asia, obtaining permits to land in and overfly countries is longer than many parts of the world, Fernandez says, though ACS has good relationships with civil aviation authorities in the region. He says: “In many cases, we’re able to reach out to them directly, explain the urgency and why a particular charter is necessary, and then generally so long as all of the airline and aircraft documents are in order those responsible at the authorities I’ve found to be helpful in expediting the process.” Fernandez says: “As Asia becomes wealthier, combined with liberalisation, I hope to see more free markets such as those in America and Europe where in the middle of the night (within those continents) if you need to operate a flight, if there is an available aircraft, then you can.” Asia is set to become a very important market; though Fernandez can not go into details, he says: “I can say that the ACS footprint in Asia now, versus what it will be in the coming few years will require the most rapid rate of expansion we’ve undergone since inception.” Though Europe and America are still the biggest financial contributors to the ACS group, Asia growing rapidly. Fernandez says: “I feel that ACS in Asia will, given time, one day overtake our colleagues in Europe and America, in terms of flights and income generated, because of the sheer volume of people and business in the region.”


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Asia remains an important market for Antonov

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he Asian region will remain an important market for Antonov Airlines, representing a significant proportion of flight revenue in 2017, business development director Michael Goodisman (pictured) tells Air Cargo Week. Total charter revenue for 2017 has significantly increased compared to 2016, Goodisman says, and around 30 per cent of this revenue came from flights to/from Asia. He says outsized cargo continues to be Antonov’s core business activity, suited to the aircraft types it operates including the AN-124, AN-225 and AN-22. Goodisman says: “Our focus this year has been to maintain a high level of service to our existing customer base. The broker and forwarding communities have ever more efficient presence to reach outsized cargo business, and so they will remain our primary channel

Customers welcome commitment to region

for new business.” Antonov has also been busy appointing general sales agents (GSA) for certain markets, and more are being considered for one or two locations though no final decision has been made. Goodisman explains: “We have appointed a few GSAs in markets where we think a more pro-active edge is needed, including in Australia, Japan, and India, and they have indeed helped to raise

the Antonov Airlines profile and provide a local point of communication should our customers prefer this channel.” In addition to appointing GSAs, Antonov is working towards opening an office in the Far East to provide local commercial and load planning support. Goodisman comments that the Asian market remains diverse in its requirements for moving outsized cargo by are, and flights have been spread across many different countries. He says: “The challenge, which we welcome, is to engage with this broad market as effectively as possible.” He also says: “We continue to work with local Civil Aviation Authorities and airport managements to ensure we have access to as many airports as possible and that the lead time needed for permit applications is minimised.” Goodisman says there has been a boost in recent months, reflecting a shift in the balance of availability to demand, including in Asia. He says: “We expect Asia to remain important to business in the future and may well provide some seasonal boosts.”

THE charter market has mirrored the air cargo market as a whole by proving strong in 2017, and Volga-Dnepr Group says a new regional base in the region has supported growth. It has opened a regional base in Hanoi to provide full service support to local customers in Asia, which it says means Volga-Dnepr full team based in the region to help customers as well as special on-site loading systems for unique, outsize and heavyweight cargo. Customers have been grateful for this, with Volga-Dnepr saying: “Our customers in Asia have welcomed this commitment by Volga-Dnepr and it is certainly generating more charter opportunities for our An-124-100 and IL-76TD-90VD freighters as well as for the 747 freighters in the Group’s fleet.” Volga-Dnepr has carried over 20 different types of cargo for customers in the region, with the highest volumes coming from the industrial and aerospace equipment sectors. The company says: “This is where Volga-Dnepr has a strong advantage given the uniqueness of our fleet and our ability to offer a range of logistics and engineering solutions for both regular charter shipments and very complex, out-ofgauge cargoes.” Volga-Dnepr has also continued to put its Cargo Supermarket service, which combines scheduled and charter flights, to good use. This was used to move a gas turbine from Chicago to a power station in Yangon in Myanmar, combining a scheduled Boeing 747 service operated by AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC) along with a chartered IL-76TD-90VD. The airline says: “The ABC cargo team in Chicago conducted a detail planning process to prepare for loading the outsize cargo into the freighter. In Hanoi, the urgent shipment was quickly transferred from the 747 to Volga-Dnepr’s IL-76TD-90VD ramp loading freighter, marking the first time such a transfer operation had been undertaken at the airport.” With customers working in a wide range of industries including aerospace, oil & gas, energy and power, heavy machinery and automotive sectors, Volga-Dnepr is confident it will continue to grow, especially as the region is home to a concentration of fast growing economies. It says: “Our customers can see we have a unique service offering, and we are also seeing more new customers showing interest in using air charters to and from Asia to support their global operations.”

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IRAN Capacity set to flood into the Iranian aviation market

I

ran’s aviation market has moved at quite a pace in the last 12 months after sanctions were lifted and it is likely to be one of the globe’s fastest growing air cargo markets as the economy grows. Over the next five to 10 years significant cargo capacity will be available as the country’s carriers expand their domestic and international footprints as they receive new aircraft. Iran is forecast to require some 400 to 500 new aircraft in that time to modernise as well as to grow its existing fleets to catch up with years of pent up demand on domestic as well as international routes. At this year’s Paris Air Show in June, Iranian carriers were one of the most active as huge investments were made and they penned aircraft order agreements with French aircraft

manufacturer Airbus. Tehran-based Iran Airtour Airlines became Airbus’ newest customer for the A320neo Family after signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for 45 aircraft. These aircraft are to be used for services to domestic and international markets as the carrier expands its operations and new routes are set to be added. Meanwhile, Zagros Airlines, one of the leading domestic airlines in Iran, also signed an MoU with Airbus for the acquisition of 28 new aircraft, covering 20 A320neo and eight A330neo aircraft. This order is part of the carrier’s fleet renewal strategy as it earmarks expanding both its domestic and international belly services. Boeing is also getting in on the action and in

April the aircraft manufacturer signed a MoU with Iran Aseman Airlines, expressing the airline’s intent to purchase 30 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. This was valued at $3 billion and the agreement also provides the airline with purchase rights for 30 additional 737 MAXs with deliveries scheduled to start in 2022. Boeing negotiated the MoU under authorisations from the US Government following a determination that Iran had met its obligations under the nuclear accord signed in 2015. At the time, Boeing said it will look to the Office of Foreign Assets Control for approval to perform under this transaction and will follow the lead of the government with regards to working with Iran’s airlines, and any and all contracts with Iran’s airlines are contingent upon government approval.

Fleet expansion

National carrier Iran Air was the first to sign an aircraft order and took delivery of its first new A330-200 in March as part of its major fleet renewal plan. It was the first widebody from a firm order placed in December 2016 for 100 Airbus aircraft (46 single-aisle and 54 widebody aircraft) to renew and expand its fleet. Prior to this, Iran Air had also taken of delivery its first new Airbus aircraft an A321 and it will be welcoming numerous more over the coming years. 12 months ago, Iran Air also signed an agreement with Boeing for 80 aircraft that included 50 737 MAX 8s, 15 777-300ERs and 15 777-9s, valued at $16.6 billion at list prices. Speaking at the time, Iran Air chairman and chief executive officer, Farhad Parvaresh said it was the first practical step in Iran Air’s ambitious passenger aircraft fleet renewal and its stronger presence in international civil aviation.

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Routes into and out of Iran are high on the agenda of many international airlines as the country begins to look outward.

New international routes

Qatar Airways upgraded its operations from Doha to the southern Iranian city of Shiraz from an A320 to an A330 on 2 November. The Qatari carrier has been flying to Iran for 13 years, and first launched services to Tehran in 2004. Flights to Mashhad started the following year, and Shiraz was introduced to the network in 2011. It currently serves Iran with 58 flights per week to and from Doha’s Hamad International Airport. After sanctions were lifted last year, international carriers were quick to put on new routes into Iran. IAG Cargo was one of the first international carriers in September last year to launch a belly service and a six times a week British Airways Boeing 777-200 Heathrow Airport to Tehran (pictured above) connection was started. These flights have helped boost IAG as the services have a capacity of six pallets and up to 20 tonnes of lift on each flight. The new route came into service following the easing of European Union sanctions against Iran. The country’s economy in 2016 and 2017 expected to grow by 4.8 per cent and 5.4 per cent, respectively. IAG Cargo head of commercial, David Shepherd said at the time that Iran offered a “huge opportunity” for global trade. Dutch carrier KLM also restarted a route on 30 October from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to Tehran utilising a B777-200 four times a week. In the past, KLM operated to Tehran from April 1948 through to April 2013. These routes are sure to be just the start as Iran’s aviation market continues to open up.


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