IN BRIEF, THE LATEST AIRLINE INDUSTRY NEWS.
Cologne-Bonn Airport increase cargo and passenger figures in 2016
Michael Garvens, Cologne-Bonn’s CEO is enthusiastic about the airport’s results for 2016.
In a statement issued on 30 December, he stated that “2016 was a very positive year for us. Cologne-Bonn showed the highest growth of all Germany’s major airports and reached new records for both passenger and cargo growth.”
Air freight tonnage reached a record 786,000 tons which is an increase of 4 percent compared to 2015.
Passenger figures rose to 11.9 million - an increase of 1.6 million or plus 15 percent compared to the year before.
The low cost carriers contributed much to the increase with Eurowings gradually increasing their long-haul sectors from CGN and Ryanair which offers 21 destinations from Cologne to points with Europe.
Egyptair Cargo restarts Russian flights
The ban on Egyptian carrier’s cargo flights to Russia which was implemented after the loss of the Russian MetroJet aircraft in October of 2015, has now been lifted by the Russian authorities.
Egyptair Cargo started again with direct flights to Moscow from Cairo using an Airbus A300B4 freighter.
The ban which was enforced due to concerns about Egyptian aviation security after the MetroJet bombing is still in force for all passenger operations. However, recent discussions between Russian and Egyptian officials give hope that this ban will also soon be lifted.
FedEx underperforms in 2nd Quarter
The Memphis-based carrier has disappointed their shareholders with their 2nd quarter results which although showing a revenue income increase of almost 3%,were apparently diluted due to FedEx’s IT and infrastructure investments including those of the costs for the TNT Express integration.
It is said that the planned total US2 billion infrastructure investment was not properly taken into account; FedEx states that it will provide the market with a detailed update in March of 2017.
Overall revenues in Q2 of FedEx’s fiscal year show an increase of 20%, up to US$14.9 billion. Net results were given as US$700 million which represents only an increase of 1.3%
The higher revenue was diluted by the infrastructure costs so far implemented in that period.
FedEx’s CFO, Alan Graf was seemingly also surprised by the results but was quick to point out that in his view the company needs more time to evaluate how planned investments will turn out.
Alitalia again on the verge of bankruptcy
Etihad Airways with their 49% holding in Italy’s national carrier, Alitalia, now faces a further problem as it was reported in the Italian press towards the end of December that Alitalia is once again on the verge of bankruptcy and needs an urgent cash injection of 180 million euros in order to stay afloat during the coming weeks.
Alitalia’s CEO and the President of the Board of Directors presented those banks which have a financial holding in Alitalia an ultimatum that if a 180 million euro injection is not given, then the airline will be forced to cease operations and declare bankruptcy.
They have it seems agreed to pump a further 150 million euros in which will give the stricken carrier approximately 2 months to try and get the shop in order.
Until now, the banks have been very reluctant to pump more money into the ailing carrier and it seems that Etihad Airways is also not receptive to giving more financial aid.
DP-DHL and UPS finalize year-end acquisitions
Deutsche Post-DHL has now finally completed their acquisition of England’s UK Mail after a lengthy process. The UK-based company offers mail, parcel and logistics services throughout the country and now officially become a part of DP-DHL’s European parcel network.
United Parcel Services (UPS) has made a year-end investment by acquiring Marken which offers clinical trial logistics solutions to the life sciences industry. The acquisition will give UPS a firmer presence in the healthcare industry. Financial details of the deal are not being revealed.
Kalitta pilots agree on new contract terms
Kalitta Air and its pilots have signed a new four-year contract deal. The new contract which was overseen by the Teamsters Union which represents Kalitta’s pilots was given the green light by 234 pilots, with only 17 of them having voted against it.
The new contract includes job security protection, a reduced duty period clause and improvements in wages and benefits as well as financial protection for Kalitta pilots who operate flights into war zones.
The carrier utilizes a cargo fleet of 18 aircraft made up from 13 B747-400Fs, 2 B767-300Fs and 3 elderly B747-200Fs.
Tbilisi-based Air Georgia which operates regional business passenger services with small Cessna Citation aircraft, has acquired a Boeing 747-400F aircraft.
The big cargo aircraft is expected to be leased out to a cargo operator in the region.
China Postal Airlines got itself another B757-200PCF aircraft which was originally owned by China Southern Airlines and was recently converted from passenger to freighter (PCF) by Precision Aircraft Solutions in Xiamen.
Korean Air has placed another B747-400F into storage and at the same time has taken delivery of another B777F, which is its eleventh triple seven freighter. Korean is gradually phasing out its B747-400F fleet and replacing them with more modern B777F and B747-8F aircraft, but still has 13 of the older version in their cargo fleet.
FedEx has taken a further elderly MD-10F out of the fleet and it is now stored and will be scrapped.
John Mc Donagh