IN BRIEF, THE LATEST AIR FREIGHT INDUSTRY NEWS.
Turkish Cargo adds new destinations as business increases
The Istanbul based national carrier has just initiated new weekly Airbus A330-200 freighter services from Istanbul to Chennai, India and Colombo, Sri Lanka.
The airline has revealed cargo figures for the period January to October 2016 whereby it reports an almost 22% increase in cargo tonnage with a total of 714,712 tons carried, as well as a 3.7% rise in its passenger traffic.
Cargo revenue in the above mentioned period rose to US$712 million, an increase of US$4 million year-on-year.
Cargo capacity is now offered to 292 destinations in 117 countries.
The airline operates 11 pure freighters and 323 passenger aircraft, of which 86 are wide- bodies.
Cargo figures continued a further rise in October
Statistics reveal that the September rise in air cargo tonnages also continued within October.
It seems that the peak-season boom is really going to start to kick-in, as the October figures reveal.
North American carriers such as United and American Airlines have indicated a double-digit rise in tonnages carried compared to October of last year. But, strangely enough, Delta Airlines reported an almost 6% drop, with no reason given.
European carriers, with the exception of AF-KLM Cargo, are also happy with the start of the fourth quarter.
In Asia, China Southern and Air China continue as area market leaders.
Europe’s legacy carriers, except AF-KL which shows a -3.5% for October and a year-to-date minus of almost 7%, start to pick up somewhat, but have been dwarfed by the 21% rise in tonnage carried by Turkish Airlines.
South America, specifically the LATAM group of airlines fell again, causing LATAM to rethink their cargo capacity offering for the coming months.
Air Algerie Cargo starts own operations
The Algerian national carrier has completed plans for its stand-alone cargo operator by operating the first all-cargo flight between Algiers and Lyon, France, using a Lockheed Hercules freighter.
Earlier this year the carrier announced that it would create an own cargo unit by ordering a B737-300C aircraft. In the meantime, it has two 737-300s which are confederated as so called Quick-Change units which can either fly passengers or cargo. Until now both 737S have been in passenger configuration.
It was announced that both these units will now fly solely in a cargo configuration, thus giving the stand-alone cargo unit a capacity boost.
ATSG looks at 2017 Chinese cargo airline launch
The U.S.-based Air Transport Services Group (ATSG) is still holding firm on plans to launch a new Chinese cargo carrier. It has faced considerable Chinese regulatory problems but states that it is aiming for a 2017 third quarter launch.
ATSG’s application with the Chinese authorities was put on ice whilst the country reviewed future policy with regards to new start up carriers. It seems however that the application is now being processed.
ATSG aims to utilize B737 and B757 freighters out of a hub in Tianjin.
China Air Cargo ready to complete certification
An Air Operator Certificate (AOC) has been granted by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) to new start up carrier China Air Cargo.
The AOC allows the airline to operate on Chinese domestic routes from its base in Guangzhou as well as to Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
China Air Cargo plans two B757-200 freighters in its fleet along with an elderly MA-600 series aircraft. One 757F is already on hand with the second being converted from passenger configuration and which will be delivered shortly.
China Air Cargo which formerly operated under the name of AVIC Cargo Airlines, is a joint venture between Joy Air Holdings (45%), the Guangzhou Donlinks Group (35%) and Beijing Fidelity Asset Management (20%).
Norther Air Cargo starts operations to the Caribbean
The Anchorage, Alaska based Norther Air Cargo plans to start operations into the Caribbean from Miami International Airport.
Using a B737-300F, the Alaskan airline will offer two weekly flights from Miami to San Juan and St. Maarten as well as a weekly operation from the Florida’s main airport to Santo Domingo (Dom. Rep.) and Port au Prince in Haiti.
The carrier owns three B737-200Fs and one -300F aircraft.
LATAM to cut 2017 cargo capacity
The LATAM Airlines Group is reacting to the continued downfall in air cargo traffic in South America by planning to reduce its line freighter traffic even further.
The third-quarter cargo revenues dropped by 14.3% to US$266 million. A total annual year-to-date decline of almost 20% forces the group to cut capacity even further.
LATAM plans to park one of their three B777-Fs during 2017 along with a B767-300F aircraft.
This will leave LATAM Cargo with an operational fleet of two B777Fs and six B767Fs which will operate alongside the group’s passenger fleet.
Kenya’s Astral Aviation looking at drone operation
The Nairobi-based freight carrier that operates a fleet of four freighter aircraft has created a new in-house company, which is meant to look at expanding into so-called drone niche markets in Kenya and Rwanda.
The carrier plans to create a new drone delivery hub at Kapase Airstrip which is situated in the Lokichar oilfield area.
Here, they plan to operate a fleet of FlyOx 1 drones which are said to be able to carry almost two tons of cargo over a distance of around 1.200 kilometers.
The company also plans to employ surveillance drones, which will monitor oil shipments moving between Kapase and Eldoret.
Watch this space!
John Mc Donagh