IN BRIEF, THE LATEST AIR FREIGHT INDUSTRY NEWS.
Amazon looking at leasing B737F from ASL
The Us e-commerce giant, Amazon, it seems is not only content with forming its own wide body freighter division, but also now wants to start leasing in narrow body capacity for its European operations.
A deal is said to be almost done for Amazon to lease in a Boeing 737 freighter from the Dublin based ASL Group.
The aircraft in question is operated by ASL Aviation.
it is not clear whether the deal has actually gone through or whether this is just another rumor as was apparently the case at the end of 2015 where Amazon was said to want extra capacity over the Christmas holiday period.
Airlander Airship makes its first flight and botches the second
We reported a month or two ago on the plans for a new cargo airship which is called Airliner 10 and is meant to commercially take to the skies as of 2018.
Airlander 10’s trial craft made its first test flight on 17. August, a week after it emerged from the production hanger.
developed by UK based Hybrid Air Vehicles, Airlander took off from Cardington airfield in England at 19:45 in the evening for a test flight which lasted 2 hours and 15 minutes.
Airlander 10 which is 92 metres in length also flew for around 20 minutes at a height of 5,000 feet and reached a speed of 35 knots.
However, the second test flight carried out on August 24th ended up badly.
The craft was just into its final landing phase when the nose dipped steeply and it hit the ground wrecking the cockpit.
Luckily nobody was injured but it seems the craft took quite some forward damage.
Hybrid hopes to market the finished product as a heavy lift cargo vehicle for the oil and gas as well as the heavy cargo industry.
It is planned to carry 10 tons of cargo and up to 48 passengers.
Maleth-Aero looking at adding B737 freighter
The Maltese airline, Maleth-Aero which is based in Valleta and operates a fleet of five aircraft, is seriously looking at adding a dedicated B737 freighter to their fleet.
One of the carrier’s two B737-300 aircraft is also a Quick-change version which can be used for either passenger or cargo operations, depending on demand.
It is said that the dedicated freighter would be a B737-400F and is planned to join the fleet as of the end of this year.
Virgin Atlantic to up belly cargo capacity with new Airbus A350s
The UK based British long haul carrier has recently placed an order for twelve A350-1000 long range aircraft.
The order which was cemented at this years Farnborough Airshow will according to Virgin’s management give the carrier up to 22% more capacity for cargo in the holds compared to its present passenger fleet.
Delivery of the first A350’s is slotted for 2019 and the twelve newcomers will gradually takeover from Virgin’s aging B747-400 and A340-600 aircraft.
IAG Cargo upgrades European freighter operation
A twice weekly Airbus A300 freighter with a capacity of 42 tonnes operates as of August 18th for IAG Cargo on the Madrid - Amsterdam - Madrid sector as well as a once weekly operation Frankfurt-Paris-London.
The service upgrade to wide body capacity is intended to reduce transit times presently encountered on the normal trucking (RFS) services and speed up delivery times especially for connections to LATAM flight into and out of madrid.
On another note, IAG Cargo had teamed up with the British rock band, The Who, to carry their equipment to and from the USA for the band’s 65 shows which were held in America.
The first was in Detroit and the last one in Las Vegas.
IAG cargo sates that a total of 36 tonnes were carried around for The Who’s 50th birthday concert celebrations.
Qatar Cargo introduces automated weight & balance
Qatar Airways Cargo has opened a new Freight Load Control Centre at its main base in Doha.
The new system is aimed at ensuring correct weight and balance calculations for all cargo loaded on the Qatari carrier’s aircraft.
According to information released by QR Cargo this new system will also contribute to a better utilization of cargo volume and weight capacity throughout the fleet.
This will also give better safety and simplify the present manual process needed to set up each load-sheet needed to be presented to the crew before aircraft departure.
TIACA’s Doug Brittin to retire
The TIACA Secretary General, Doug Brittin announced on 25 august that he will retire from his position by the end of this year.
It is intended that he stay on in an advisory role and a selection committee has already been formed under the leadership of Sebastian Scholte to look at and interview suitable candidates who can step into Doug’s shoes.
IPR converts its first ATR72 P2F
The Swiss based IPR Aircraft Conversions has in cooperation with their partner ASI Maintenance (Toulouse) just completed their first P2F conversion of ATR72-202F and delivered the aircraft to Summit Air based in Yellowknife, Canada.
Summit Air has also booked a further ATR72 conversion slot for 2017.
The ATR72F can carry five 88” x 108” containers.
IPR has also offered Summit Air special containers which are so designed that the cabin can accommodate more volume.
John Mc Donagh