Regularly updated article by Giles Large featuring the latest news from the air cargo industry. This month: Etihad adds another freighter; there is backing for LHR runway extension; FTA backs Heathrow development; BIFA also goes for Heathrow expansion; and ABC schedules extra freighter services.

December 2014

Etihad adds another freighter

Etihad Cargo has expanded its fleet of freighter aircraft with the placement of another Boeing 747 freighter from Atlas Air Worldwide as part of a multi-year aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance (ACMI) agreement.

The 747-400 freighter is the third aircraft to be operated by Atlas Air on behalf of Etihad Cargo, and complements existing lease agreements previously signed by Etihad Cargo for Boeing 747 freighter aircraft in May 2012 and May 2013.

Scheduled to come into service this month, the Etihad Cargo Boeing 747-400 freighter aircraft has a payload capacity of 115 tonnes and a range of more than 8000km. James Hogan, Etihad Airways President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “Etihad Cargo continues to play a vital role in the growth and profit of the airline. We reported US$804 million in cargo revenue during the first three quarters of 2014, and we are on track for this business to be turning over US$1 billion by the end of the year.

“Our partnership with Atlas Air is an important part of our success and we are confident that it will continue to deliver the operational excellence, outstanding customer service and security that will help us achieve our goal.”

This year Etihad Cargo launched a new freighter-only service to Hanoi, bringing to 12 the growing number of maindeck destinations it currently operates to. Other destinations include: Chittagong, Djibouti, Dubai World Central, Eldoret, Guangzhou, Houston, Kabul, Miami, Quito, Sharjah and Viracopos.

Backing for LHR runway extension…

Heathrow Hub is the independent proposal to extend the northern runway at the airport to at least 6800m, with a safety area in the middle, enabling the runway to be operated as two runways. The publication of the Airports Commission public consultation report, issued today, confirms that the proposal is the most deliverable option on the Commission’s shortlist.

Led by a former Concorde Captain William “Jock” Lowe, the group’s proposal is to extend an existing runway rather than build a new one. This practical alternative could increase available airport capacity by 40%, minimise environmental impact and avoid bringing any significant new communities into the noise footprint.

Gatwick has a vastly smaller asset base (around 15% of that of Heathrow) and considerably lower revenues than Heathrow. Such a capital expenditure programme, to deliver the new runway they are seeking, would result in significantly higher user charges for passengers at Gatwick.

The group estimates that Gatwick’s proposal would also require significant public investment to upgrade the road and rail services to the airport that would be needed to service the new runway.

The Airports Commission, which has launched its long-awaited public consultation process regarding the shortlisted options, is examining potential solutions to a forecasted lack of runway capacity in the south east of England by 2030; the Commission will subsequently look into solutions required by 2050.

FTA backs Heathrow development

As the Airports Commission says “no decision has been made regarding the best option of a new airport runway in south England”, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) has once again reiterated its message that “air cargo is crucial to the UK economy”.

The Airports Commission has published an assessment of the three airport expansion options on its shortlist: a new 3500m runway at Heathrow Airport in west London; an extension of the existing northern runway at Heathrow in a plan put forward by Heathrow Hub; and a new runway at Gatwick Airport in West Sussex.

FTA’s Director – Global and European Policy, Chris Welsh, said: “FTA would like to emphasise to the Airports Commission that air cargo is vitally important to British businesses as importers and exporters, and is a key enabler for growth and the future success of the UK economy. We believe that London, as the UK hub for freight, is exceptionally important and that this should be recognised alongside passenger traffic. The wider range of services that can be attracted by a major hub with transfer flights makes London the major freight hub for industry. It is critical for UK industry that new services are developed to emerging markets as this is where Heathrow is already falling behind competitors due to lack of capacity.”

The Airports Commission stated that responses to this consultation will be a valuable addition to its evidence base and will directly inform its recommendation to the Government when it publishes its final report in the summer of 2015.

FTA stated that it welcomed the thorough nature of the investigation to ensure that the solutions proposed are implemented for the long-term benefit of the UK, and added that the recognition of the need for additional airport capacity in the south east was also welcome. The Association also stated that it was essential that any future capacity strengthens the existing hub base of the south east of England. This additional capacity would bring not only benefits to the south east of England but to Britain as a whole through enhanced connectivity to the UK’s key overseas markets.

…while BIFA also goes for Heathrow expansion

The trade association for UK freight forwarders and logistics service providers has welcomed the opportunity to participate in the further consultation that was announced by the Airports Commission last week.

Director General of the British International Freight Association (BIFA), Robert Keen said: “The Airports Commission announced a major consultation exercise on the future of air transport and airport capacity in the UK following the publication of its initial assessment of proposals for additional runway capacity at Gatwick and Heathrow airports.

“It is our view that an expanded Heathrow airport will enable airlines to provide wider access to developing markets and hence increase UK trade. Any further delay in providing the UK with a world class hub airport can only damage the UK economy.

“We can only hope that after the general election in May 2015, the welter of evidence as presented will be such that there will be cross-party consensus and politicians will give the green light and adopt the Airports Commission’s recommendations in full and finally get things started on a much overdue expansion of UK aviation hub capacity.”

ABC’s extra freighter services

AirBridgeCargo Airlines’ winter flight schedule for 2014/15 provides more service choices for its customers with additional Boeing 747 freighter frequencies linking major markets in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific, via the airline’s hub in Moscow.

In Europe, Russia's largest scheduled cargo airline and part of the Volga-Dnepr Group, has launched extra weekly frequencies to/from Munich, Milan and Amsterdam. In Asia, AirBridgeCargo has also increased flights to/from Hong Kong and Shanghai with an extra service per week on both routes. ABC has also extended its capacity for customers in North America with two additional flights a week to Chicago and one to Dallas/Fort Worth.

The success of ABC’s business development activities, reflected in its strong operating results, has enabled the airline to further increase its footprint on its existing markets. In the first 9 months of 2014, ABC saw an increase in tonnage carried on all of its routes in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific, with flown tonnage to/from the USA, Asia and Europe growing by 28%, 14% and 13% respectively over this period. The highest growth rate was seen on North America-Europe routes with a 77% growth in tonnage. Volumes from the US to Amsterdam doubled over this period.

The airline has also seen stable growth from the US to Germany, which reflects strong customer support since the launch of direct flights from the US to Frankfurt and new services to Munich launched earlier this year. ABC’s volumes from the US to Frankfurt rose 26% in the 9 months to 30 September 2014. Denis Ilin, Executive President of AirBridgeCargo, said: “We operate all-cargo services on the world's largest trans-regional cargo markets and these Increased Boeing 747 freighter frequencies will enhance trade flows between each region at a time when we are achieving strong growth in demand, and give our customers better access to point-to-point deliveries within our global route network. Moreover, we are matching capacity with demand on these routes. Our FTK grew by 16.5%, surpassing the capacity growth.”

November 2014

Volga-Dnepr is the best

Volga-Dnepr Airlines has been voted Best Cargo Charter Airline in the annual awards presented by the Baltic Air Charter Association (BACA), the global organisation for the aircraft charter industry.

Commenting on the award, the airline’s sales director Dmitry Grishin said: “This is a highly-coveted award and we are proud to have been honoured once again by the members of BACA. The Baltic Air Charter Association is respected all over the world because it brings together so many of the leading providers of air charter services. With their knowledge and expertise, they are best-placed to identify the companies that truly excel in this specialist sector and that makes winning this award so special to us. As we prepare to commence our 25th year of operations, it will inspire everyone at Volga-Dnepr Airlines to continue to strive to deliver the very highest levels of customer service and operational excellence.”

American expands its temperature-controlled services

American Airlines Cargo has expanded its global temperature-sensitive logistics capabilities with the arrival of its first CSafe RKN containers.

The CSafe container is an advanced, compressor-driven refrigeration ULD which provides precise, temperature control of +4°C to +25°C.

"With ExpediteTC American Airlines Cargo offers an exceptional experience for customers who are shipping temperature-sensitive products. The addition of CSafe to our cold chain program provides customers with another option for their shipping needs," said Tom Grubb, Manager of Cold Chain Strategy for American Airlines Cargo. "This technology is desired by our customers for accurate temperature management of delicate shipments in order to protect and maintain the efficacy of potentially life-saving products for patients."

To support these containers, American recently constructed dedicated Active Container Management areas at its major US hubs. These areas include plug-in stations which enable these state of the art containers to be recharged during transit to maintain precise and consistent temperature control for shipments throughout their entire transit cycle.

Stavanger’s freighter link to Houston

The Norwegian city of Stavanger is a new destination on Lufthansa Cargo's freighter schedule. From 8 November, one of the cargo airline's Boeing 777 freighters links Houston with Stavanger every Saturday, providing a direct freighter service between two of the most important centres of the global oil and gas industry.

"Both in Houston and Stavanger time-critical technology for offshore and deep sea oilfield drilling is produced,” said Alexander Kohnen, Director Sales & Handling Nordic and Baltic at Lufthansa Cargo. "In most cases, speed is of the essence. With our direct cargo connection, time- critical express consignments will reach almost every destination in the world within 24 hours."

In total, Lufthansa Cargo will serve more than 300 destinations across 100 countries with the coming winter schedule. Forty-five stations will be flown to by the freight fleet.

Schiphol’s cargo the highest for four years

Cargo tonnage through Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has continued its positive trend for the third quarter of 2014, up 6.7% on the same period of 2013, and 8.1% for the year to date. Every month of 2014 to date has exceeded 2013 figures.

The third quarter was the strongest in 2014 so far, and also the best for four years — at a total of 409,382 tonnes. It brought the total of cargo handled through Schiphol to 1,211,082 tonnes for the year to date.

Regional rankings in the third quarter remained unchanged, although the underlying share of business shifted slightly. Asia held its traditional top spot at 40.5% of all traffic, against a year-to-date share of 38.9%. North America retained second place with 18.9% (18.3% for the year to date). The Middle East took third place with 11.9% share (12.8% for the year to date). Latin America represented 9.6% in quarter 3 (9.9% for the year to date). Europe meanwhile accounted for 9.4% (9.5% for the year as a whole).

Schiphol Cargo Senior VP Enno Osinga said: “Process optimisation remains top of our agenda, and e-Link shipments through Schiphol now account for 40% of the total.

Meanwhile, new initiatives and investments such as our Joint Inspection Centre for Customs (opening in 2016) will continue to drive streamlined processes, and enhance customer experience at Schiphol. This should attract more flights, operators and cargo, and so enable us to continue outperforming the market.”

Etihad builds on its Milan cargo hub

Etihad Cargo, the freighter division of Etihad Airways, is forming a partnership with Avianca Cargo to deploy a freighter flight from Milan’s Malpensa Airport, Italy, to Bogotá, Colombia and from Bogotá to Amsterdam.

The new service will operate twice a week, providing an important cargo connection between Europe and South America. The flights will also facilitate seamless transportation of goods to other markets around the world by linking the extensive global networks of both Etihad Airways and Avianca Cargo.

In addition to passenger flights by Etihad Airways, Etihad Cargo currently operates four freighter flights per week between Abu Dhabi and Milan, Malpensa. It will also feed traffic from markets across Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Due to its strategic location in Southern Europe, Milan will function as a logistic hub by road to other cities in Italy, including Rome, and other countries such as France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

Avianca Cargo will provide cargo services, through its Bogotá hub, at El Dorado International Airport with its passenger and cargo flights to and from most countries in Latin America, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Uruguay, and Paraguay. The new route will commence with a Boeing 747-400 freighter, offering a maximum capacity of 105 tonnes, with strong demand expected for transportation of raw materials, perishables, machinery parts, equipment, industrial consumables and fashion goods.

Kevin Knight, Chief Strategy and Planning Officer at Etihad Airways, said: “Italy is the third largest cargo market in Europe, and has been a key focus area for Etihad Cargo since 2007, when we inaugurated our first service to the country. Demand has been strong and our operations have since expanded to include freighter and passenger flights to Milan, and a daily passenger service between Rome and Abu Dhabi, launched in July this year.”

LH Cargo adds to its African network

Lufthansa Cargo is strengthening its presence on the African continent in the 2014/2015 winter flight plan. Since mid-September, the freight airline has been flying to Lagos, Nigeria twice a week, with an MD-11F. At the end of October, the Tunisian capital, Tunis, was also incorporated into the route network, served every Tuesday, with the MD-11F.

"As a growth market, Africa is becoming more and more important,” said Hermann Zunker, Director Africa at Lufthansa Cargo. "Tunisia has become one of the most competitive countries in Africa. Strong imports of consumer goods as well as growing demand for exports to the automotive and textile industries, above all, are continuing to increase the need for air cargo."

Nigeria provides good opportunities for import goods, more than anything. "Lagos is Africa's 'Big Apple'. The standard of living is increasing, and with it, the need for consumer goods. Traditionally speaking, another important customer of freight airlines is the oil and gas industry in Nigeria, with the industry dependent upon fast air freight connections."

In addition, All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan's largest airline, and Lufthansa Cargo will begin a strategic joint venture on routes between Japan and Europe, and vice versa, towards the end of the year. This is the first joint venture of this nature in the air cargo industry worldwide. Thanks to the partnership, customers will have a greater selection of routes and more opportunities for service. The first shipment from Japan is planned for the beginning of December 2014.

Bogotá has also been reintroduced into the route network, and from January 2015, will extend the route network to Central and South America. In the Colombia capital, fresh goods, such as flowers, make up the majority of the air cargo.

October 2014

K+N’s aircraft supply chain

LOT AMS, a provider of products and services related to aircraft maintenance, has awarded Kuehne+Nagel (K+N) the order supply chain management.

K+N will organise door-to-door logistics for all imports and exports from Europe, Asia and the Americas, which includes parts and equipment deliveries for civil aviation, AOG express shipments and special services for dangerous goods or oversized cargo. K+N will also administer various customs clearance procedures.

LOT AMS can benefit from KN Login, K+N’s web-based shipment visibility and order monitoring tool, which allows the user to track the routes of every consignment as well as of each individual spare part. Key advantages comprise the possibility of generating customised online reports, tracking delivery routes in real time and checking supplier documentation, which is especially important for multi-item deliveries. As a result, the supply chain efficiency increases and goods are delivered effectively and on time.

DT invests in LHR pharma logistics

Davies Turner (DT), the UK’s leading independent freight forwarder, is continuing to reinvest around its main regional freight hubs across the UK and Ireland.

The company currently benefits from growing demand for its combination of multi-modal freight forwarding, warehousing, distribution and value-added services.

“Our aim is as ever to offer customers the complete supply chain management package, together with our global network of consolidation services,” according to Philip Stephenson, chairman of the DT Group.

DT Air Cargo has built additional office space at its Heathrow HQ, as well as a new temperature-controlled storage facility, geared to handle the company’s increasing involvement in pharma logistics. The facility offers comprehensive control and temperature logging electronics to comply with the latest customer requirements in this sector.

This follows earlier investment in a new scissor lift, powered loading bed and five-tonne pallet mover at its Heathrow distribution centre for handling skids and ULD s.

WFS moves into Brazil

Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) has taken its first step into the Latin America ground handling market by acquiring a controlling shareholding in Orbital Group, one of Brazil’s leading providers of ramp, passenger and airport security services.

The investment is also timed to serve as a platform for France-based WFS to enter the cargo handling market in Brazil as new opportunities emerge.

Founded in 2002, Orbital has operations at 19 airports across Brazil and handles some 23,000 flights a year for more than 30 major airline customers. The company employs 1700 staff, is headquartered in Sao Paulo and generates annual sales of approximately US$40 million.

Olivier Bijaoui, President and CEO of WFS, said: “We’ve been looking for an entry point to the Latin America market for a number of years. Rather than jump at the first opportunity, we have waited for the right one to come along. Brazil was a clear choice because of its economic strength, growth and the scale of commercial aviation to support the objectives we have in entering the market. We are delighted to welcome Orbital and its 1700 employees into the global WFS family of companies. Orbital has been a success story in its own right and is highly respected for its quality, stability and growth, and as a caring employer. It shares the same corporate values as WFS and we are confident it is an excellent fit for us.”

FedEx starts work on Copenhagen gateway

FedEx Express officially broke ground at the site of its new gateway facility at Copenhagen Airport, Denmark, in October, signalling the official start of construction. The building is another milestone for FedEx Express growth in the Nordics region, which has also seen the opening of eight new stations since 2011.

The new facility will serve as a gateway for inbound and outbound shipments for Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. In addition, ramp, freight and sort facilities will be combined in a single location, allowing the efficient and smooth processing of shipments, supported by a state-of-the-art automated sort system.

“We are investing in this facility to give our customers even better connectivity from the Nordics to Europe and the rest of the world. Copenhagen is an ideal choice because of its strong freight transport infrastructure and the central location of its airport,” said Helena Jansson, vice president, Finance, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Indian Subcontinent, FedEx Express. “In the last three years, we have expanded our presence across Europe opening more than 100 new stations — of which eight are in the Nordics. Our new Copenhagen gateway is a key part of our growth strategy and, like elsewhere in Europe where we’ve invested, customers in this region will benefit from earlier deliveries and later pick-up times.”

The new facility will sort 11,500 packages per day, comprise 8,000m², process 18 weekly FedEx Express flights, 170 truck movements per week and a fleet of up to 36 pick-up and delivery vehicles. Approximately 120 FedEx Express team members will be based at the site. The building will be located in the airport´s cargo area near the Øresund Strait and is scheduled for completion towards the end of 2015.

Operations in the new facility will allow deliveries of more than one hour earlier for shipments to customers in Denmark and Southern Sweden as well as later pick-up times in those markets. The number of shipments delivered before noon to customers in the greater Copenhagen area will increase significantly.

Hactl hosts IATA dangerous goods meeting

Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (Hactl), Hong Kong’s largest cargo terminal operator, has hosted the 105th meeting of IATA's Dangerous Goods Board.

The 3-day event took place in Hactl's in-house conference facility, and was attended by the 11 members of the Dangerous Goods Board, together with some 50 additional observers including dangerous goods experts from leading airlines, and representatives of the International Federation of Air Line Pilots' Associations (IFALPA). Hactl's Operation Training Manager, Simon Yap, also attended the meeting as an observer to the Board, as he has done since 2005.

The meeting discussed latest developments, a proposal from airlines relating to the Dangerous Goods Regulations, ICAO Working Papers from Panel members and issues relating to the carriage of dangerous goods by air.

Moscow develops temperature-controlled facility

Moscow Sheremetyevo International Airport temperature-controlled infrastructure will be enhanced at Cargo complex Sheremetyevo in support of AirBridgeCargo Airlines’ (ABC) new Boeing 747F services from Basel in Switzerland, the home of many of the world’s leading life sciences organisations.

The new developments are designed to ensure the airport maintains the integrity of temperature-controlled pharmaceutical products throughout the ground handling process.

Dmitry Sudosiev, Commercial Director of Cargo complex Sheremetyevo, said: “Our cargo terminal is a major hub for AirBridgeCargo Airlines. The sensitive nature of pharmaceutical products requires the airline to ensure the maintenance of the correct temperature regime throughout the transportation process in order to meet its customers’ strict requirements. As Cargo complex Sheremetyevo provides an important part of this process on the ground, we also have a critical role to play to ensure the protection and continuity of the cold chain ABC has promised to its customers.” Cargo complex Sheremetyevo has put in place refrigerated vehicles and a 580m² pharmaceutical warehouse to handle temperature-controlled products, including a laboratory to complete the obligatory procedures required to certify pharmaceutical products for importation into Russia. As well as maintaining the cold chain and supporting all regulatory requirements, this enhancement of the cargo terminal’s capability speeds up the delivery of goods to the consignee.

Lufthansa Cargo becomes more customer friendly

Lufthansa Cargo is making the invoicing model for Cool/td shipments more customer friendly. The sender is now free to select the number of required rental days, the number of additional fees will be noticeably reduced, and this will be implemented in clear structures.

Until now, it was only possible for a customer to hire a refrigerated container for a minimum of four days at a time; in the event of a booking at short notice, a change to a booking or an extension, further fees were added.

"The aim is to be as flexible as possible in the interest of the customer and provide a reliable as well as clear basis for calculation," stated Jörg Bodenröder, Director Competence Center Temperature Control at Lufthansa Cargo. "As such, this removes the former minimum hire duration and in the future, our customers will only pay for the days that they actually need. In addition, we have significantly lowered our extra fees, so that our customers are not disadvantaged even if they make bookings at short notice."

August 2014

Call to boost UK air links

Action is needed to boost the UK’s air links and put growth on a sustainable long-term footing, but these decisions do not have to come at the expense of environmental commitments, according to a new CBI report, Flying High.

It highlights that investments made by the aerospace and aviation industries in new technology are already having an impact on noise and greenhouse gas emissions. Noise is currently in decline at the UK’s major airports, while new aircraft are as much as four times more fuel-efficient than their equivalent in the 1960s.

The report demonstrates, with new technologies already in the pipeline and greater collaboration between industry and government, how the UK can meet projected demand growth while reducing noise and emissions.

It warns, however, that, without urgent action from politicians to make key decisions on the future of the UK’s airport infrastructure, businesses would miss out on the new connections they need, severely hampering efforts to rebalance the economy towards trade and investment. CBI research shows that each and every additional flight to a high-growth market boosts trade by as much as £175,000, while almost half (49%) of businesses in the UK consider air links to emerging markets as a key consideration when choosing where to place their next investment.

To ensure the UK does not miss out, the CBI has urged all parties to commit to the findings of the Airports Commission’s final report on new runway capacity in the south-east when published in 2015, as well as take action to improve ground connections to airports across the UK, and to safeguard the UK’s freight connectivity.

Nicola Walker, CBI Director for Business Environment, said: “The environmental challenges of growing the UK’s air links are quite rightly a concern for the public, businesses and politicians alike. But this is not a question of green or growth — both can, and must, go hand-in-hand.”

WFS wins Air France cargo contract

Air France has awarded a five-year cargo and mail handling contract to Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) at Paris-Orly Airport.

This is the fifth cargo contract awarded by the airline to WFS in France in the last 12 months, following Nice, Bordeaux, Strasbourg and Marseille.

WFS has employed and provided training for 70 new staff at Paris-Orly in support of the Air France contract, which covers the physical handling of cargo and mail, freight documentation processes, safety and security procedures, and ramp transport for 1200 Air France flights per month.

Qatar orders more B777 freighters

Qatar Airways has announced further substantial investment in its fleet, with the largest aircraft order in its history for a single aircraft type. At the Farnborough Air Show 2014, the airline finalised an order for 50 Boeing 777-9Xs and increased its order with an additional 50 Boeing 777-9X with purchase rights. The aircraft is due for delivery starting from 2020. At list prices, the order is valued at around $US40 billion.

In order to support the continued growth of its cargo business, Qatar Airways also signed a Letter of Intent to purchase an additional four Boeing 777 freighters, with an option on another four. The combined value at list prices is $US2.4 billion.

The Chief Executive of Qatar Airways, Akbar Al Baker, commented: “It has been a year of many new beginnings for Qatar Airways, with the opening of our new home at Hamad International Airport and now these further aircraft orders for our fleet. The Boeing 777 has been a backbone of our operation and our relationship with Boeing will continue to grow and develop as we go on investing in the equipment that we value and trust.”

Schiphol cargo grows

Air cargo tonnages through Amsterdam Airport Schiphol continued to build throughout the second quarter of 2014, leading to overall growth of 8.84% in the year to date.

In the period January–June, Schiphol handled a total of 801,700 tonnes. Cargo throughput has outstripped 2013 in every month of 2014, reaching a peak increase of 14.1% in May.

Asia was once again the airport’s top market, with a total of 304,872 tonnes — up 8.3%, and supplying 38% of the total. North America retained second place, with 143,686 tonnes — up 14.6% and accounting for 17.9% of all traffic.

The Middle East grew 14.5% to 106,937 tonnes, representing 13.3% of the total; at the same time, Africa saw more modest growth of 4.14% to 89,010 tonnes, an 11.1% share. The relative figures in these two markets are slightly distorted by the increasing use of Middle East-based freighters to uplift fresh produce from Africa.

Europe grew by 16.2% to 76,598 tonnes, accounting for 9.6% of traffic. Latin America was the only sector to show a decline, of 5.2% to 80,597 tonnes — still a 10% share of Schiphol’s total cargo throughput.

Schiphol Cargo Senior VP Enno Osinga said: “These figures, supported by those of other European gateways, are clear indicators that the European air cargo market is stabilising, and returning to moderate growth.” He continued: “Freighter operations have grown again, but by less than the increase in total traffic; this supports feedback from our carriers that they are enjoying improved utilisation.”

LH Cargo’s load factors rise

Lufthansa Cargo has been flying well-laden aircraft in the first six months of the year. Although the market environment did remain challenging in the second quarter of 2014, Europe’s leading cargo airline increased its load factor to more than 70% — an exceptionally high value compared to the rest of the industry. Lufthansa Cargo was able to achieve such good utilisation levels thanks to flexible, demand-driven capacity management. Overall, the Lufthansa subsidiary reduced its offering in comparison with the previous year by 2.1%, with the sharpest decline coming in the Africa/Middle East transport region.

“We’re still not seeing any stable recovery in demand in global air cargo markets,” said the cargo airline’s CEO Peter Gerber. “In this environment, it’s important that we remain vigilant and can respond quickly.” The schedule is continuously and flexibly adapted to meet current demand in order to ensure the profitability of the individual connections. Thanks to disciplined capacity management, Lufthansa Cargo was one of the few cargo airlines in the world to maintain solid profitability last year.

The carrier is also energetically pursuing its fleet renewal plans. “With four brand new Boeing 777 freighters now in use, we have even more ways of aligning our network to best meet the needs of our customers,” emphasised Gerber. The new aircraft have been achieving the highest levels of efficiency from day one, lowering costs and environmental impacts.

Etihad-PAL’s cargo partnership

Etihad Airways and Philippine Airlines (PAL) today announced a strategic partnership agreement that marks a new era of co-operation between the two flag carriers.

The agreement covers codeshare flights, loyalty programmes, airport lounges, joint sales and marketing programmes, a Philippines domestic air pass, cargo, and the co-ordination of airport operations to provide a better customer experience at their Abu Dhabi and Manila hub airport bases.

Etihad Airways' President and Chief Executive Officer, James Hogan, said the broad scope of the commercial agreement reflected the strength of the relationship between the airlines and the close ties between the United Arab Emirates and the Philippines.

On the cargo front, the airlines have signed a letter of intent for an extensive capacity agreement based on the bellyhold of all passenger services between Abu Dhabi and Manila, as well as connecting airfreight into Africa, Australia, the Middle East and South East Asia. The airlines will work on the joint development of value-added cargo products such as priority and pharmaceuticals across their combined networks.

Etihad Airways operates two flights daily between Abu Dhabi and Manila using a Boeing 777-300 aircraft. PAL's five weekly flights utilise its new Airbus A330-300 aircraft.

July 2014

Just-in-time freighter service

Specialist time-critical logistics provider BDA (Bespoke Distribution Aviation) is offering a freighter charter aircraft that can be flown to any airport in Europe, including the Mediterranean rim and North Africa, enabling delivery of goods and components just hours after the charter booking. Quotations are immediate and, subject to crew and aircraft availability, the aircraft can be launched within 90 minutes of the charter being confirmed.

Cargo charter flights provide a lifeline for companies that require immediate transportation of emergency orders. Recent charters have featured a range of cargo, including automotive industry parts, machine spares, pharmaceuticals, AOG parts, high value shipments, diplomatic mail and perishables. BDA is also licensed to carry a range of dangerous goods on its charter aircraft, including chemicals, samples, shipments on dry ice, explosives, radioactive substances and other cargo not allowed on passenger aircraft.

Based at Frankfurt airport, the aircraft can be flown to any airport within range for loading. This allows the company to offer greater flexibility to businesses that urgently need to export or import goods and components across Europe, directly to and from production lines, on an emergency, time-critical basis.

ABC is the best carrier …

AirBridgeCargo Airlines, Russia’s largest scheduled cargo airline and part of Volga-Dnepr Group, has been named “Best All Cargo Carrier” in the 28th Asian Freight & Supply Chain Awards (AFSCA).

The criteria for the award identified that the winning airline should have clearly set performance standards and clear communication of these standards to shippers, and demonstrate satisfactory and timely resolution of problems should these standards not be met. As well as providing a broad international network, other criteria for the award included the importance of damage-free handling of cargo and the effective use of IT and customer service systems.

Accepting the award in Shanghai, Denis Ilin, Executive President of AirBridgeCargo Airlines, said: “We are honoured to have won this award and especially proud that this recognition should come from our customers as ABC celebrates its 10th anniversary. This is a tribute to the hard work of our teams in Asia and around the world, the support of our parent, Volga-Dnepr Group, and our constant drive to improve the quality of our services. Asia is a vitally-important market to AirBridgeCargo and we look forward to further growth in this dynamic region. This award, which has judged ABC alongside other high quality international cargo airlines, will deepen our commitment to building a world class cargo service and more air bridges between major cargo markets across the globe.”

Asia, which is one of the largest cargo markets in the world, has always been the key market for AirBridgeCargo Airlines since the very start of its operations back in 2004. Since then the airline has successfully grown its market share in the region and forecasts more growth and development over the next decade, with future plans for more new freighter aircraft and more international cargo routes.

… and Schiphol is the best airport

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol won the best European airport category at this year’s Asian Freight & Supply Chain Awards (AFSCA), for the nineteenth time in the scheme’s 28 year history.

The awards honour winning organisations for their leadership, service quality, innovation, customer relationship management and reliability. The awards cover 39 categories, and all voting is independently audited.

The Best Airport Europe award was based on Schiphol’s infrastructure, competitiveness, ongoing investment and range of cargo support services and facilities offered.

Schiphol’s Senior VP Cargo, Enno Osinga, said: "It is always an honour to receive any award; the discriminating criteria, highly-regulated voting process, and strong calibre of competitors in the AFSCA Awards means this is a result of which we can be particularly proud.

“But we are not complacent. Streamlining our processes and strengthening our position as Europe’s preferred cargo hub is a work in progress. We’ll continue to invest, innovate and support our community to the best of our ability.”

Qatar adds Tokyo service

Qatar Airways is set to continue its expansion into the Far East after it launches its newest destination, Tokyo Haneda International Airport. This addition will double the airline's service to Tokyo. The route, which will be operated by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, will be Qatar Airways’ third into Japan, joining Osaka and Tokyo Narita International Airport.

Tokyo Haneda International Airport is one of two major airports that serve the Greater Tokyo area, and in 2012 alone it handled more than 66 million passengers.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer, Akbar Al Baker, said: “Qatar Airways is very excited to further extend our network in one of our most popular destinations. Tokyo, with its rich culture and heritage, has long been a dream destination for travellers all over the world who are looking to explore and experience the fast-paced and vibrant city. We are very pleased that we are now able to provide both leisure and business passengers an additional option when flying into Tokyo.”

Etihad starts Dar es Salaam freighter operation

Etihad Cargo started a weekly freighter service to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in June. On the return sector to Abu Dhabi, the freighter also stops in Nairobi, Kenya.

Dar es Salaam — Tanzania’s biggest city — is a major industrial and economic centre in East Africa and, following the first Etihad Cargo flight, all subsequent weekly freighter services will operate every Monday to Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR).

Etihad Cargo is using one of its three Airbus A330-200 wide-body freighters on the route, offering customers heavy uplift capability of up to 64 tonnes.

Initially, the UAE airline expects the service to carry heavy electronics, medical equipment and food items to Dar es Salaam, with primarily perishable goods destined for the Gulf region and Europe loaded for the return flights.

Kevin Knight, Etihad Airways’ Chief Strategy and Planning Officer, said: “Tanzania is a new market for Etihad Cargo, and our weekly Abu Dhabi–Dar es Salaam–Nairobi–Abu Dhabi routing will allow us to capitalise on the strong import and export demand to and from one of the fastest growing cities in Africa.

“This Dar es Salaam service will facilitate trade between the UAE and Tanzania, in addition to offering customers across the Middle East, subcontinent and Europe bidirectional maindeck cargo solutions to and from a major trading centre on the African continent.”

Birthday of an unusual airline

AeroLogic has celebrated five years of safe, efficient and punctual operations.

The idea was as simple as it was ingenious. DHL Express largely undertakes express operations during the working week, while Lufthansa Cargo’s main business happens at the weekend. This proved the perfect starting point for synergies, so both companies decided to set up an airline together. The goal: to make the best use of aircraft capacities. What began as a bold vision is now the success story named AeroLogic.

The cargo airline, which is based in Schkeuditz at the airport of Leipzig-Halle (LEJ), started operations five years ago and has been flying around the globe for DHL Express and Lufthansa Cargo ever since. AeroLogic has experienced strong growth since its maiden flight on 29 June 2009 from Leipzig-Halle to Singapore via Bahrain. The fleet of brand new Boeing 777Fs increased in less than two years to eight freighters. “We now have one of the largest Boeing 777 freighter fleets worldwide”, said Managing Director Ulf Weber. “Building this up from scratch with our team has been a strong achievement.”

AeroLogic has safely and reliably operated 25,300 flights for parent companies DHL Express and Lufthansa Cargo in the past five years. The Leipzig airline now has 21 destinations in 15 countries in its schedule. In the last five years AeroLogic served a total of 51 destinations on behalf of its customers and shareholders.

“When compared internationally, AeroLogic is synonymous with outstanding punctuality and maximum efficiency”, said Marcus Niedermeyer, Director of Administration at AeroLogic. “We want to continue on this successful course into the future with our some 280 employees.”

June 2014

Qatar boosts its Jakarta services

Qatar Airways is increasing its operations to Jakarta with the addition of four new flights per week. The increase in frequency will bring the total to 18 flights per week. The route is operated by a combination of Airbus A330 and Boeing 777 aircraft.

The additional flight timings will offer more choice and improved connections to destinations across Qatar Airways’ global network.

The Jakarta route was re-launched in 2001 with direct service to the most populous city in both Indonesia and Southeast Asia. With a population of 28 million, the Indonesian capital is ranked 17th among the world’s 200 largest cities, and has grown rapidly thanks to a blossoming economy and infrastructure development.

Air Partner adds to its freight team

Leading air charter broker, Air Partner has added to its freight team. Mark Middleton joins the Group as Director of Business Development for Freight – Asia Pacific, and Stuart Smith takes on the role of Business Development Manager for Freight – MENA and CIS.

Mark Middleton has over 31 years’ experience in the aviation industry, in both the UK and Singapore. During this time, Mark has spent 15 years working for aircraft operators, and over 15 years working in the air charter broking industry. Mark has managed charter sales and operations for many different aircraft, from Beechcraft up to Boeing 747 and Antonov 124, and although his experience has been predominantly in freight, he has also worked with private jets, ACMI and helicopters.

Stuart Smith has seven years’ experience in the aviation industry, including five years in the charter broking sector as a Cargo Director, and two years with Qatar Airways as Manager for Freighter Sales and Marketing and Regional Cargo Manager CIS/North Africa. In his new role at Air Partner, based in Istanbul, he will be working to develop Air Partner Freight’s offering in new markets.

Air Partner Freight charters aircraft of every size to fly cargo anywhere, at any time, whatever its weight, size or shape. Serving governments, leading industrial shippers and relief and humanitarian organisations, the freight team provides bespoke air charter solutions to meet a wide range of cargo charter needs. From urgent “go now” requirements moving small quantities of automotive spare parts, through to the most complex project cargo shipments taking several months to plan, Air Partner Freight has the skills, experience and expertise to ensure shipments are handled securely and reliably. Air Partner Freight has cargo specialists in the UK, USA, Dubai, Germany, France, Turkey, Hong Kong and Japan, who provide strength of knowledge by utilising regional carriers for tailored charter services.

Lufthansa Cargo takes to the skies with lighter containers

All of the LD3 containers used by Lufthansa Cargo are now the lightweight versions. The LD3 standard containers produced using lighter composite materials are helping to radically reduce fuel consumption and emissions at Europe’s leading cargo airline.

With some 500,000 container movements per year, the 14 kilo difference over conventional containers amounts to a weight saving of 7 million kilos. Therefore, using these flyweight containers to transport cargo and luggage will reduce fuel consumption by 2000 tonnes and CO² emissions by a good 7000 tonnes per year.

“The new, lighter containers are still extremely robust and strong in spite of being almost completely made of plastic”, said Dr Karl-Rudolf Rupprecht, Board Member Operations at Lufthansa Cargo. “Replacing all of our LD3 standard containers brings us a good deal closer to our goal of reducing our specific CO² emissions by a quarter by 2020 compared to 2005. We want to continue to fulfil our role as an industry leader in the future as well and help make air freight greener through innovative and modern technologies.”

Chapman Freeborn appoints ALS as Portuguese agent

The aircraft charter specialist has worked closely with the management team of Cascais-based ALS Portugal for a number of years and the new agreement will give local customers greater access to worldwide air charter solutions.

ALS Portugal is a company that follows a Fifth Party Logistic Model (5PL) by organising and implementing comprehensive aviation and logistics services and guaranteeing appropriate solutions for the management of all phases of a network supply chain.

In addition to marketing Chapman Freeborn’s cargo charter expertise, ALS Portugal will also give local clients access to the company’s specialist on board courier (OBC) division and passenger air charter services.

Pierre Van Der Stichele, Director of Business Development at Chapman Freeborn, said: “We’re delighted to be formalising our close working relationship with ALS Portugal. They share in common our focus on excellent customer service and we welcome the opportunity to enhance our coverage in the Portuguese market.”

Qatar launches Stansted freighter service

“Stansted is one of the largest freight hubs in the UK, which is why we are very happy to add Stansted to our network of more than 40 exclusive freighter destinations worldwide,” said Qatar Airways Chief Officer Cargo, Ulrich Ogiermann. “Effective 1 May, we commenced five weekly flights to Stansted.”

Graeme Ferguson, MAG’s Commercial Director for Cargo, said: “Stansted Airport and MAG are delighted to welcome Qatar Airways' new five times weekly scheduled flights, the first regular service by one of the Middle East’s major carriers. The introduction of this service will create new opportunities for customers from the Middle East and beyond, as well as for businesses and exporters from across London and the eastern region.”

Qatar Airways Cargo is operating the Boeing 777 freighter to London Stansted. Stansted is London’s second largest airport for cargo. It transports over £8 billion worth of cargo every year, and accounts for approximately 13% of all UK air freight.

Qatar Airways Cargo recently strengthened its product portfolio with the launch in January 2014 of two new premium services that optimise the transportation of time and temperature-sensitive goods, including high-value pharmaceutical products and perishables. The new services, QR Pharma and QR Fresh, add to the company’s substantial range of cargo services and further enhance its capacity and flexibility to effectively move sensitive commodities in line with the highest world-class standards.

FedEx grows in Southern Africa

FedEx has announced that its FedEx Express subsidiary acquired Supaswift businesses in South Africa and six other countries; Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland and Zambia.

These acquisitions represent the latest step in the company’s strategy to grow its African network and service offering. FedEx Express now has direct access across the seven countries to 40 facilities and over 1000 team members, who join the ranks of more than 300,000 FedEx team members globally. FedEx Express is offering a complete suite of export, import and domestic solutions across Southern Africa, connecting the region to more than 220 countries and territories worldwide, enhancing customers’ business flexibility and speed to market.

“Southern Africa is a key region for us,” said Frederick W. Smith, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of FedEx Corp. “The region offers tremendous opportunities for both local and international customers to access new markets and increase market share.”

The acquisitions provide FedEx Express access to an established regional ground network and extensive knowledge of the Southern Africa region.

Etihad flies to Entebbe

Etihad Cargo, the fast-growing freight business of UAE flag carrier Etihad Airways, inaugurated a new weekly freighter flight between Abu Dhabi and the Ugandan city of Entebbe in May.

Situated on the shores of Lake Victoria and close to the capital Kampala, Entebbe is a major commercial centre in central Uganda. The direct cargo service operates every Monday using an Airbus A330-200F freighter, with a capacity of 64 metric tonnes.

Etihad Cargo expects the service to carry large quantities of electronics and textiles to Entebbe, with primarily perishable goods destined for the Gulf region and Europe loaded for the return flight.

Kevin Knight, Etihad Airways’ Chief Strategy and Planning Officer, said: “Uganda is an important market for Etihad Cargo, and the new Abu Dhabi-Entebbe freighter service will allow us to capitalise on the strong import and export demand to and from East Africa.

“In addition, whilst we expect to see strong onward trade flows over our Abu Dhabi cargo hub to destinations across the Middle East, subcontinent and Europe, ultimately this service will further strengthen the trade ties between the UAE and Uganda.”

May 2014

LH Cargo weathers the storm

Lufthansa Cargo achieved an operating profit of €77 million in the last financial year — €28 million less than in the previous year. Numerous projects in the Lufthansa Cargo 2020 future programme were vigorously pursued; fleet modernisation was successfully initiated. A significantly higher result is expected in 2014.

Lufthansa Cargo Chairman and CEO, Karl Ulrich Garnadt, emphasised at the annual press conference in Frankfurt that the company is well on its way to consolidating and strengthening its position as Europe's leading cargo airline this year. “We have set ourselves ambitious targets. We want to grow our tonnage by around five per cent and plan to significantly increase the operating profit,” said Garnadt.

Demand in global air freight markets remained perceptibly below expectations last year. Signs of the upturn predicted for the middle of the year only appeared towards the end of the year, with positive developments on Far Eastern routes in particular. During this difficult phase, Lufthansa Cargo continued to pursue its very successful strategy of flexible, demand-oriented capacity management, as in previous years. This allowed the cargo airline to boost capacity utilisation even though tonnage levels fell slightly. On an annual average basis, the cargo load factor increased to the very high level of 69.9%. However, there was continued pressure on average yields due to poor demand.

All in all, the company achieved a total revenue of €2.4 billion, a decline of some nine per cent over the previous year. The airline will greatly benefit in 2014 from the now three Boeing 777 freighters to be deployed on North Atlantic routes and also to Shanghai. With significantly lower fuel consumption, the brand new aircraft not only produce lower emissions but will also help reduce costs. Another Triple Seven will be delivered in June of this year. Because of the new arrivals, Lufthansa Cargo is planning to operate just 14 of its 18 MD-11 freighters.

ABC flies to SFW

Russia’s largest cargo carrier, AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC), is expanding its presence in the US market with the launch of Boeing 747-8 freighter flights linking Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) with Amsterdam and Moscow. New twice-weekly all-cargo flights from Dallas/Fort Worth will operate on Mondays and Thursdays to Amsterdam Schiphol and Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airports.

The airline, part of Volga-Dnepr Group, is also developing its current services to Chicago, introducing direct flights from Frankfurt.

Denis Ilin, Executive President of AirBridgeCargo Airlines, said: “Chicago has been a very successful route for us since we commenced services on the route in 2012 and the extra B747F flight a week from O’Hare International Airport will provide welcome additional capacity for our customers. Expanding services in the US market is a logical step in the airline’s development and means we can increase our ability to offer fast and efficient freight deliveries for customers doing business in North America, Europe, Asia and Russia.”

The USA has always been on ABC strategic radar screen and the new Dallas/Fort Worth route, as well as increased frequencies to/from Chicago, will reinforce ABC’s position as a strong player on the global cargo market. AirBridgeCargo’s scheduled network covers major markets in Asia (China, Japan and Korea), Europe (the Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy and Spain) and North America (Chicago, Dallas).

Schiphol launches remote security scanning

Schiphol Airport has seen the launch of a revolutionary new remote security scanning system, in which Dutch Customs will be able to view shipments being scanned at the premises of freight forwarders and handlers, from the Customs Control Centre. Customs can then decide if selected shipments require physical inspection.

A trial programme is being undertaken by Rhenus Logistics and Customs. Once fully operational throughout the airport community, the Remote Scanning scheme — part of the ongoing SmartGate Cargo project — will speed up the flow of freight, reduce the incidence of physical inspections and enable Customs to make more efficient use of its resources.

Schiphol Cargo’s Senior VP Enno Osinga said: “Once fully operational, this new remote scanning system will play a significant part in further streamlining the handling of air cargo through Schiphol. The system demonstrates that innovation and collaboration will continue to enable the industry to maintain speed and competitiveness.

“We are very fortunate in the Netherlands that both our government and our Customs authorities recognise the vast importance of logistics to our economy and actively work together with industry to ensure that security and compliance and operational efficiency are given equal consideration.”

New contracts for WFS

Air France, AirBridgeCargo Airlines, TMA Cargo and XL Airways have awarded cargo handling contracts to Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) in France.

At Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, the new contracts with AirBridgeCargo, TMA and XL Airways are effective immediately.

AirBridgeCargo operates three B747 freighters a week from Paris to Moscow, while TMA Cargo has two all-cargo flights a week from the French capital to Beirut using A300F and B767F. WFS will also handle cargo on XL Airways flights to various destinations such as North America, DOM-TOM, Mexico, and Dominican Republic.

Paris-based WFS will also be extending its contract with Air France to include EuroAirport Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg airport, with effect from October. WFS commenced cargo handling for the airline at Nice, Bordeaux, Strasbourg and Marseille airports in 2013.

AMI expands Down Under

AMI, the world’s leading trade-only airfreight and express wholesaler, has opened two further offices in Australasia.

AMI Darwin, located in the capital of Australia’s Northern Territories, has been opened in response to current and planned major energy projects in the area, including the AUS$34 billion Ichthy’s LNG project being developed by Inpex. These projects are expected to drive significant growth and investment in the region, and will result in an expanded working population that will boost consumer demand.

The new AMI office will provide freight agents at Australia’s gateways with a local presence in Darwin, which will avoid the necessity to operate their own offices. It will also provide AMI’s global office and agent network with access to the Northern region of Australia, as its potential grows as a result of the new developments.

The AMI branch will provide scheduled import and export airfreight services, charter services, project forwarding, breakbulk, ocean services, clearance and local collection and delivery. It will also offer domestic services by air, road and rail.

In Christchurch, New Zealand, AMI has opened a new base as a satellite to its existing office in Auckland. AMI Christchurch will offer global export and import consolidations via major gateways including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Los Angeles, Chicago, London and key Asian hubs.

Etihad outperforms the market

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has announced its strongest ever passenger and cargo volumes for a first quarter, together with US$1.4 billion in total revenues during the three-month period, marking a year-on-year increase of 27%.

Etihad Cargo outperformed the global market, carrying 127,821 tonnes of freight and mail in the first quarter. This marks a year-on-year increase of 26%, almost seven times higher than IATA’s prediction that the international cargo market will grow by four per cent in 2014. The airline’s cargo revenue also increased by 26% to US$243 million, placing Etihad Cargo on track to become a billion dollar business in 2014.

James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, said: “Although the global airline industry has faced challenges such as higher-than-expected fuel prices and fierce competition in key international markets during the first quarter of 2014, we have continued to outperform the passenger and cargo markets, and raise the bar even further for Etihad Airways.”

A number of factors contributed to the rapid growth of Etihad Cargo’s revenues in the first quarter compared to the same period in 2013, including stellar performances in the India (+32%) and China (+14%) markets, the launch of new routes to Brazil and Vietnam, and heavy demand for charter solutions. Cargo volumes were also strengthened by the launch of a joint freighter service with DHL, serving Pakistan and the GCC markets out of Abu Dhabi.

St Louis chosen for streamlined Customs regime

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has admitted Lambert-St Louis International Airport to its Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) Cargo Release Pilot.

The ACE Cargo Release Pilot (formerly known as Simplified Entry) allows importers to file a streamlined set of data earlier in the import process, and update their entries right up to the carrier’s arrival, so that information submitted is the best available.

Under ACE, CBP can review shipment information much earlier in the supply chain and either issue an admissibility message or request additional data. Filers can then resolve issues before the aircraft departs for the USA, or during transit, resulting in fewer goods being held on arrival.

Other airports included in the ACE pilot include Anchorage, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas Ft Worth, Houston, JFK, Los Angeles, Miami and San Francisco.

LH adds Milan freighter link

Lufthansa Cargo has added another destination to its freighter network — Milan in northern Italy. Aircraft will fly to the capital of Lombardy twice a week. Lufthansa Cargo’s MD-11 freighters and newly delivered Boeing 777Fs will be used on this route.

Milan Malpensa Airport will become a stopover for Lufthansa Cargo flights returning from Cairo to Frankfurt. Therefore, customers in this economically strong region in northern Italy will enjoy an even better connection to the airline’s hub.

UK forwarders welcome US Customs plans

The British International Freight Association (BIFA) said that it welcomes the Executive Order signed by President Obama, as it does with any initiative that appears to be aimed at promoting global trade and greater efficiencies within supply chains.

Specifically, the Executive Order is aimed at completing the International Trade Data System (ITDS) by December 2016, which is designed to reduce export and import processing and approval times from days to minutes for small businesses.

Today, as in many countries worldwide, businesses must submit information to dozens of government agencies, often on paper forms, sometimes waiting on them to be processed for days, before goods can move across the border.

BIFA understands that the ITDS is designed to allow businesses to transmit electronically, through a single-window, the data required by the US Government to import or export cargo, speed up the shipment of American-made goods overseas, eliminate often duplicated and burdensome paperwork, and make the administration of international trade more efficient.

Peter Quantrill, Director General of BIFA, said: "Although the development of the ITDS has been underway for some time, the recent Executive Order establishes a deadline for completion, requires relevant agencies to transition from paper-based to electronic data collection, and calls for enhanced transparency by requiring public posting of implementation plans and schedules.

"The timing is apt in light of USA-EU free trade talks and it will be interesting to see if the announcement adds some impetus to various European Union initiatives such as the Cassandra Project, which addresses the visibility needs of both business and government in the international flow of containerised cargo by developing a data sharing concept that allows an extended assessment of risks by both business and government.”

Etihad strengthens Chinese links

Etihad Cargo has enhanced its Chinese cargo services by increasing bellyhold cargo capacity between Abu Dhabi and Chengdu.

Cargo capacity to and from Chengdu has grown 40% to 930t per month, a result of the current five times a week Airbus A330 passenger service between Abu Dhabi and Chengdu moving to a daily operation.

Chengdu is a leading economic, transportation and communications centre in China, where nearly half of the world’s Fortune 500 companies have operations. Situated in Sichuan province, which is home to more than 80 million people, Chengdu is also one of China’s biggest markets for Foreign Direct Investment.

Etihad Cargo is the only operator that provides a direct air link between Chengdu and the UAE capital, where cargo can connect seamlessly to destinations across the globe.

The increase in cargo capacity between Abu Dhabi and Chengdu comes against a background of increasing trade flows to and from China. In 2013, Etihad Cargo carried more than 73,000t of goods to and from China, up 33% on 2012.

Beyond increasing bellyhold cargo operations into Chengdu in 2014, Etihad Cargo will continue to deploy substantial maindeck freighter capability to Shanghai (seven per week), Hong Kong (six per week), Beijing (two per week) and Guangzhou (two per week). These services will operate using a mix of Airbus A330F, Boeing 777F and Boeing 747F aircraft.

The airline will also continue to offer daily bellyhold cargo capability between Abu Dhabi and Beijing, Abu Dhabi and Shanghai and, with its equity partner Air Seychelles, between Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong.

Pegasus Cargo adds more general sales agents

As part of Pegasus Cargo's new sales structure for Europe and the Balkans, ABDA Cargo Services is now responsible for Germany in addition to Austria, Denmark, France, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, while Aviation Services becomes cargo general sales agent for Greece as well as Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Romania and Serbia.

Vice President of Pegasus Cargo, Aydin Alpa, says of the new cargo general sales agents: “During 2013 we transported 8.2 million kilos of cargo, a rise of 50% compared to 2012, and our aim is to transport 10 million kilos in 2014. Our new network of cargo general sales agents is in line with Pegasus Cargo's mission of on-time and quality service.”

AMI reduces road congestion

A commitment to support local departures whenever possible has seen direct exports via Manchester Airport top 75% for AMI — the airfreight and express wholesaler. Using local departures has achieved later cut-offs for AMI’s freight customers, and saved 100,000 truck miles per year.

Since AMI first opened a Manchester operation in the 1980s, its declared aim has been to support Manchester departures wherever possible, instead of adopting the airfreight industry’s common practice of trucking all cargo 200 miles south to London Heathrow.

Continuing expansion of Manchester Airport’s international flights has enabled AMI to progressively increase its support for local departures. The company’s latest audit reveals it now exports 75% of all cargo booked through its Manchester office on Manchester-departing flights.

Recently-appointed Regional Manager – Northern England, Samantha Leaper, said: “We’re proud to support our local airport, and doing so also makes good business sense. Using flights from Manchester, we are providing the northern and Scottish agent communities, and the exporters who are their customers, with more direct routings, later close-outs and keener rates. That makes them more competitive.

“Using ex-Manchester departures, we are consistently achieving flown-as-booked rates above 97%. With no congestion or queuing problems at our terminal, and fast-track deliveries for time-critical freight, we are finding we can offer unprecedented service standards to this market. At the same time, we are easing road congestion and protecting the environment.”

FTA: Don’t ignore air freight

The significance of air freight is overlooked, says the Freight Transport Association (FTA) in its Sky-high value – The importance of air freight to the UK economy report.

The FTA-commissioned document outlines the importance of air freight to the UK economy and why continued investment in airport capacity is essential to its growth and success.

Chris Welsh, FTA’s Director – Global and European Policy, said: “It is imperative that the UK has a single air freight hub. Heathrow fulfils that role and is an essential hub of connectivity for passengers and freight, bringing together huge resource, expertise and opportunity in one place.”

95% of air cargo is carried in the bellyhold of passenger aircraft; air freight accounts for nearly 40% of UK imports and exports by value and employs 39,000 people, most clustered around Heathrow — the UK's main airport hub. It is critical for important sectors such as pharmaceuticals, high-end manufacturing and retailers. The case studies in the Sky-high value report underline these facts.

Air freight may seem an expensive and environmentally challenging way to ship goods, but for many high-value and high-end goods it is either the best or only way to transport them. The report reflects that air freight is not only the safest and most secure form of freight transport but for some companies it is also the most cost-effective.

March 2014

Turkish carrier’s expansion

Pegasus Cargo has appointed new sales agents, giving the carrier general sales agents in Europe and the Balkans.

The new structure means that ABDA Cargo Services LLC will now be responsible for Austria, Denmark, France, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Aviation Services will be general sales agent for Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Romania and Serbia.

Oil and gas milestone for Volga-Dnepr

Volga-Dnepr Airlines has carried out its 1100th flight for oil and gas industry customers.

The cargo was specialist equipment for a water-driven excavation system and auxiliary equipment and was transported on an IL-76TD-90VD freighter from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil to Prestwick, Scotland.

New Abu Dhabi freighter service

A new capacity-sharing agreement has been signed by DHL and Etihad Cargo on DHL’s new freighter service through Abu Dhabi.

The service, which started in January of this year, uses DHL’s Airbus A300–600 freighter fleet, from Bahrain to Abu Dhabi and then on to Bagram, Lahore and Karachi. After that it returns to Abu Dhabi, where cargo can transfer to Etihad Cargo’s international destinations.

DHL claims this has already resulted in improved transit times for its cargo coming from Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North America.

Transatlantic gains for Virgin Cargo

Virgin Atlantic Cargo reports it gained transatlantic tonnage, revenue and market share in 2013, resulting from traffic from the USA to India, business gains in the north-east USA and more traffic in perishables.

Cargo volumes from Miami to Delhi were up 50% compared with 2012, while cargo to Mumbai from the USA, via London, showed significant gains from Atlanta and Miami.

FedEx sees SenseAware growth

FedEx Express is to expand its SenseAware service into 14 new European countries: Belgium, Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, the Czech Republic, Poland and Germany. Customers in these countries can now reportedly monitor their shipments in near real-time, using SenseAware. The service will also be expanded in Canada.

The expansion of SenseAware in Europe and Canada will be matched by a rollout in those countries for the FedEx ShipmentWatch service.

According to FedEx, SenseAware combines an online application with a device that transmits data by wireless from within packages, pallets, trailers and warehouses — and can monitor temperature, light exposure, relative humidity, shock and barometric pressure.

Schiphol cargo tonnage up 3.2%

Cargo traffic increased by 3.2% at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam in 2013. The final quarter of last year was the busiest, with a total of 410,698 tonnes (up 8% on 2012). The airport’s Asia business also strengthened — up 7.1% to 601,442 tonnes. Exports and imports remained roughly even with 2013, at 50.86% and 49.14% shares, respectively. Freighter movements were up by 0.5% to 15,623. Again, the greatest growth occurred in the final quarter of the year (up 6.1% from 2012).

Last reviewed 1 December 2014