Below we present in brief the latest developments in the air freight industry.
WFS wins Japan Airlines as a first time customer
Worldwide Flight Services (WFS), the new majority shareholder of Fraport cargo Services and designated owner of the US based Consolidated Aviation services (CAS), has just won its first ever contract with Japan Airlines.
The contract is for the cargo handling of Japan Airlines twice-daily flights at New York’s JFK Airport to and from Tokyo, which are operated with Boeing 777 and 787 aircraft.
The deal covers the handling of about 15,000 tons of JAL cargo per annum at the airport.
Sydney Stephenson, VP Ground Handling and Cargo, U.S. East Coast and Canada for WFS is extremely happy with this first time contract. He states, “This is a milestone contract for WFS to be working with another of the world’s most respected airlines.”
WFS was able to clinch the deal after having moved into JFK’s cargo building 75 where JAL Cargo has been handled for many years.
TNT sells its airline operation to ASL Aviation Group
What has been expected by many has now become reality.
TNT Express N.V., based in Liege has announced that it has signed an agreement to sell its airline operations TNT Airways and Pan Air Lineas Aeras to the Dublin based ASL Aviation Group.
The takeover by ASL is conditional on the finalization of FedEx’s planned acquisition of TNT. This is expected to be accomplished by the middle of this year.
The ASL Aviation Group will take over all flights operated by TNT Airways and Pan Air as soon as the deal is inked.
It is also planned that the TNT Airways and Pan Air employees will become part of the ASL Aviation Group and that the employee’s current terms and conditions will be maintained.
ASL states that they will keep the TNT Airways headquarters in Liege.
Schuermann Exits DUS Cargo
Dusseldorf Airport Cargo’s long-time head of Marketing & Sales, Thomas Schuermann, will take up a new professional challenge in Abu Dhabi as of May1 this year. He will assume the position of Cargo Project Manager at Etihad Cargo. This was confirmed to CargoForwarder Global by industry sources in Dusseldorf.
Thomas started his career with DUS Cargo exactly 10 years ago. In close cooperation and under the stewardship of DUS Cargo’s Managing Director, Gerton Hulsman, he successfully brought clients such as American Airlines Cargo, Etihad Cargo and many others on board. Thomas also was responsible for managing the many cargo charters which operated to and from the airport.
As of late Thomas led the planning and setting up of Dusseldorf’s upcoming certification as a Centre of Excellence of Independent Validators for the handling of pharmaceutical products and temperature sensitive goods according to the IATA CEIV standards.
Mr Schuermann will terminate his DUS Cargo duties as of 31 March.
So far, a replacement has not been named.
FedEx pushes a new share buyback
The Memphis based parcels and freight carrier FedEx Express is pushing for a new share buyback drive where up to 25 million of the FedEx Corp. common stock can be reacquired by the airline.
FedEx has since 2014 already compensated shareowners to the tune of US$8 billion by buying back 57 million shares.
There has apparently been no time limit set for the completion of the buyback.
Fred Smith, Chairman & President of FedEx is quoted as saying that “our profit and cash flow performance is strong, and we will continue to fund substantial investments in the business.”
Kerry Logistics looking at expanding into USA
Kerry Logistics Ltd with its headquarters in Hong Kong is said to be looking at acquiring a U.S. freight forwarder in order to broaden its global logistics network.
So far, Kerry Logistics is not revealing which company is in their sights. It was said, however, that it will take a 51 percent holding in a yet unnamed U.S. forwarder and that they would reveal details of the deal within the coming two months.
Kerry Logistics main operations arena is China and Southeast Asia. They have gradually been extending operations during the past few years into other areas such as Brazil, the Middle East and Canada.
LH Cargo Ups Cairo Flights
As result of increased demand mainly for perishables since November 2015, LH Cargo has upped their Cairo flights from 3 to 5 weekly, utilizing MD-11 freighters. The carrier emphasizes that from a cargo perspective Cairo is the most important station on the African continent after Nairobi. “Among all African sub-markets it is Egypt where we are growing fastest. We are enjoying a good reputation in the market and furthermore, the distances are favorable for freighter connections,” states LH Cargo’s Director Africa, Hermann Zunker. The manager goes on to say that the new cargo terminal in Cairo is almost completed and moving in is planned for the first half of 2016. “In Cairo we are closely cooperating with local partners and are responsible for managing the cargo handling.”
John Mc Donagh / Heiner Siegmund