IN BRIEF, THE LATEST AIR FREIGHT INDUSTRY NEWS.
Three new customers for the Boeing BCF programme
The Boeing Converted Freighters (BCF) programme which got off to a slow start earlier this year has gained three new clients, Boeing reveals.
The new customers names were revealed at this year’s Farnborough Air Show.
A total of six B737-800BCFs were put on the Boeing conversion department books.
Two aircraft are destined for Bulgaria Air Cargo which has its base in Sofia. Another two go to Colombia’s Lineas Aereas Suramericanas situated in Bogota and the final two aircraft to Air Algerie.
The BCF programme is now picking up speed and the preferred aircraft are the B737-800 series.
In Farnborough it was also announced that Boeing had received an order from a yet unnamed customer for four B767BCFs. Whether the customer is again FedEx or another carrier remains to be seen.
AN-22 freighter operations to be resumed by Antonov Airlines
The Ukranian carrier Antonov Airlines, based in Gostomel, has restarted commercial AN-22 operations by bringing another of these venerable aircraft back into their fleet.
The plane with the serial number UR-09307 went back into service at the end of June.
The airline which is a subsidiary of the Antonov Design Bureau said that after having been in storage for the past years the aircraft was returned to a state of airworthiness at their Gostomel factory by the end of February and then undertook various test flights before resuming commercial service.
Antonov Design Bureau hopes to rejuvenate interest in the AN-22 after what they state is a strong interest in the aircraft’s capabilities from clients around the world.
The AN-22 is still the world’s largest turboprop powered aircraft and was originally designed for the Russian military. It can carry up to 60 tons over a range of 5,000 kilometres.
Fraport releases first-half 2016 figures
Germany’s largest airport operator, Fraport has released its first half-year figures for Frankfurt and its other subsidiaries.
Cargo on the rise - and declining passenger figures - that was the first half-year message.
June results for Frankfurt showed cargo volumes increasing by 3.3% up to 179,808 metric tons. In comparison, June passenger figures went down by 4.1% to 5.5 million. Some of this drop was also due to 230 flight cancellations because of adverse weather and strikes.
The cumulative January to June figures showed cargo volumes increasing slightly by 0.7% to just over 1 million tons.
Passenger figures held their own despite bad weather and strike actions and ended with a 0.9% decrease compared to 2015. In total 28.7 million passengers were handled.
Fraport AG’s international portfolio showed varying passenger handling results during the first six months.
The winners were Lima Airport with +11%, Xi’an Airport - +11.3% and the joint Bulgarian airports of Varna and Burgas with a combined +24.8%.
Losers were Antalya showing a drop of -30.5%, St. Petersburg - -6.5%, Ljubljana with -4.5% and Hanover with a slight drop of -0.7%
PEMCO will convert 737s for Chinese carrier Longhao
The Boeing 737 passenger to freighter P2F conversion programme continues to gain new customers.
Pemco World Air Services (PEMCO), with its main base in Florida and their Chinese conversion partner, Jinan Shandong (STAECO) have announced that the Guangdong Longhao Aviation Group (GLHA) has signed a deal to take three converted Boeing 737-300 aircraft. The conversions will be performed by Jinan Shandong and the aircraft are expected to be delivered in October this year.
Longhao Aviation is a relative newcomer into the Chinese aviation scene.
The B737-300 is now the eldest of the 737 series to be converted into a freighter. It can carry up to 20 tons over nine main deck positions. Most orders these days are for the newer 737-700 and 800 series aircraft which offer better range and payload.
Luxembourg pilots join for “fair competition”
The Luxembourg pilot association, ALPL, has joined forces with the European Cockpit Association in a coalition named “Europeans for a Fair Competition.”
The coalition is formed because of what they feel is the need to restore fair conditions for European carriers who are competing against their counterparts in the Gulf region.
The move it seems is mainly aimed at both Emirates and Qatar Airways whom the coalition claims are still being massively supported by state aid, cheaper airport infrastructure and fuel.
The coalition’s message is that these alleged practices are giving both the European aviation branch and the EU economy serious disadvantages.
John Mc Donagh