IN BRIEF, THE LATEST AIRLINE INDUSTRY NEWS.
Phnom Penh Air Cargo almost ready for takeoff
Plans have been on the table for some months as regards a new cargo airline in the Far East. This time it’s in Cambodia, where Phnom Penh Airlines is getting ready to start services, initially with a B737 freighter operating on regional routes. Local press reports show that the carrier has applied for its Operators Certificate and has registered itself with a working capital of around US$30 million.
The upcoming carrier is said to have Chinese businessmen backing it and wishes to eventually operate with a fleet of 5 - 6 aircraft.
Cargo volumes into and out of Cambodia are increasing year by year and up till now only foreign carriers have been able to take advantage of the tonnage.
IAG Cargo donates blankets in Kenya
Believe it or not, but it gets cold in Kenya during the wintertime.
IAG Cargo’s staff came up with a warming idea by donating 400 aircraft cabin blankets and 150 crew sleeping bags to Kenyan school children. The bags and blankets will be distributed by two aid organizations, Blankets4Africa and The Order of Malta, to children in need.
The shipment was carried by IAG Cargo on four pallets and distributed accordingly.
Ethiopian Cargo claims to be Africa’s largest carrier
The Addis Ababa-based national airline of Ethiopia which lays claim to being Africa’s largest cargo airline is almost ready to open its brand new cargo terminal at Addis in order to be prepared for the expected continued air cargo growth for the carrier.
The complex, which is said to be 85% complete, should open in April of this year and is designed to be able to handle up to 1.2 million tons per annum. The ramp handling capacity allows to load and unload up to eight B747-8 freighters at the same time.
Ethiopian Cargo has a fleet of six B777Fs and two B757Fs which serve international routes.
The costs of the initial cargo complex are around US$150 million and a second phase which would add a further 300,000 tons of capacity is also being planned.
Pos Malaysia may sell courier unit
Malaysia's postal services provider, Pos Malaysia may consider offers from companies who may be interested in establishing partnerships and buying a stake in its courier unit Pos Laju, the New Straits Times reported.
The paper quoted Pos Malaysia group chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh as saying: “From time to time, we do receive offers for collaboration and proposals to buy into Pos Malaysia’s units. Pos Malaysia can collaborate with many partners if the tie-ups are strategic.”
However, the Pos Malaysia group CEO reportedly added: “We have yet to come across a proposal that is juicy enough for Pos Laju.”
Korean Air Cargo got the last of seven B747-8 freighters which they had ordered from Boeing. The phase out of the Korean Cargo B747-400F fleet is expected to be completed soon.
China Postal is one of the largest collectors of converted (P2F) B757 aircraft. It seems that another of this type which flew passengers for China Southern is also on the way to being converted into a freighter version in China by Precision Aircraft Solutions.
FedEx has got rid of a further Airbus A310-300 freighter. The carrier once had a fleet of more than 60 of the smaller A310F aircraft. The FedEx A310 fleet is said to have been reduced now to around six or seven aircraft.
AeroUnion, a Mexican-based cargo operator has acquired an Airbus A300-600 freighter in addition to its fleet of two B767Fs which operate to various cities within Latin America.
John Mc Donagh / Nol van Fenema