IN BRIEF, THE LATEST AIRLINE INDUSTRY NEWS.
EC fines freight carriers €776 million
The European Commission (EC) has re-adopted a cartel decision against 11 cargo carriers and imposed fines totaling €776 million for operating a price-fixing cartel from December 1999 to February 2006. The Commission's original decision against 11 cartel participants was annulled in 2015 by the General Court on procedural errors.
The judges however did not rule on the existence of the cartel. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy explained it as follows: “Millions of businesses depend on air cargo services, which carry more than 20% of all EU imports and nearly 30% of EU exports. Working together in a cartel rather than competing to offer better services to customers does not fly with the Commission. Today's decision ensures that companies that were part of the air cargo cartel are sanctioned for their behaviour.”
The companies fined in 2010 were Air Canada, Air France-KLM, British Airways, Cargolux, Cathay Pacific Airways, Japan Airlines, LAN Chile, Martinair, Qantas, SAS and Singapore Airlines. A 12th cartel member, Lufthansa, and its subsidiary, Swiss International Air Lines, received full immunity from fines. For more visit: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-17-661_en.htm
Saudia Cargo gets African Cargo Airline award
The Jeddah, Saudia Arabia-based carrier, Saudia Airlines Cargo, was recognised as the International Cargo Airline of the year at this year’s cargo gathering in Johannesburg.
The award is handed out every year and this is the first time that Saudia Cargo has picked it up.
It is awarded for exceptional achievements and excellence in the air cargo industry.
Saudia Cargo VP Commercial, Rainer Mueller and VP Operations, Joseph (Chris) Notter were on hand to receive the accolade from Dr. Ismail Vadi, Member of the South African Executive Council for Roads & transport.
The award is traditionally sponsored by the STAT Trade Times.
Saudia Cargo received two notable awards in 2016. The Air Cargo China Award for Air Cargo industry achievement and the Air Cargo India Award.
Lutz to chair Deutsche Bahn
Chief Financial Officer and DB executive board member Richard Lutz (52) will succeed Ruediger Grube as CEO of Deutsche Bahn. This management decision was consented to by the members of Germany’s ruling grand coalition of Christian Democrats and Social Democrats, following Grube’s unexpected departure last January.
Lutz’s nomination is expected to be formerly confirmed by DB’s Supervisory Board in their regular sitting next Wednesday (22 March).
Deutsche Bahn, including its subsidiaries DB Schenker and British DB Arriva plc is a state-owned enterprise, employing 300,000 staff, turning over €40.6 billion annually. After posting losses in 2015, last year DB returned to profitability, earning €1.9 billion.
Lutz, who joined DB in 1994 is responsible for finances since 2010. In his future role as CEO he is facing big challenges, such as driving digitalisation fast forward, reducing the massive losses of DB Cargo, renovating many parts of the outworn track network and improving the punctuality of the railway service.
Kalitta Air wants to block Garuda
In a strange move, the U.S.-based cargo carrier, Kalitta Air has filed an objection with the U.S. Department of Transport (DOT) for an application presented by Indonesia’s national carrier, Garuda. Garuda had applied to the DOT for an exemption authority as well as a so-called amended Foreign Air Carrier Permit (FACP) for regular services from Jakarta to Los Angeles via Tokyo.
Kalitta is objecting because they claim that Indonesia has so far not ratified the terms of the 2004 U.S. - Indonesia Open Skies agreement. Kalitta was denied permission to operate 4th Freedom cargo flights between Jakarta and Indianapolis back in 2010.
A tit-for-tat situation has now arisen between Indonesia and the United States.
Jettainer unveils new logo and has qualified for IATA Innovation Award
The Frankfurt-based ULD management company and 100% daughter of Lufthansa Cargo, Jettainer, unveiled their new company logo at the recent IATA World Cargo Symposium.
On all future headings the company name will be followed by the slogan “Smart - ULD-Pooling - People.”
The new logo is meant to better highlight the service aspect of the company.
Also, at the Abu Dhabi symposium, Jettainer has qualified themselves for the final round of the second IATA Air Cargo Innovation Awards 2017. The jury’s recognition of Jettainer was for the company’s innovated software solution for the improvement of ULD management.
QR Cargo gets 12th B777F
The Qatari carrier has expanded its all-cargo fleet again, receiving its 12th Triple Seven freighter. Including this jetliner, the carrier now operates 21 cargo-only aircraft. Uli Ogiermann, their Chief Officer Cargo commented: “The arrival of our newest Boeing 777 freighter comes at a time when we are consciously strategising our freighter network expansion this year, above and beyond the unprecedented demand and growth in our charter services. Through our expanding fleet of 21 freighters, we offer increased capacity and flexibility to our customers, providing them access to any major air trade market across the world.”
Their B777F fleet is operated on intercontinental routes to the Americas, Europe, the Far East, Asia and some African destinations. QR will receive another Boeing 777 freighter later this year, increasing its freighter fleet to a total of 22 aircraft by the end of 2017.
European Court UPS-TNT decision makes no difference
During the first week of March, the European General Court surprisingly ruled that the EU Commission had infringed on UPS rights of defense during their application to takeover TNT Express during 2013.
The court has officially reversed the 2013 decision, but although UPS wins, this will not change the present situation whereby TNT Express was bought by FedEx Express in 2016.
The 2013 ruling stated that a TNT Express takeover by UPS would restrict competition in 15 of the European Union countries.
Kale Logistics opens new Dubai centre
A new customer service and business development centre has been open at Dubai World Central (DWC) by Kale Logistics Solutions.
Kale, who are one of the global leaders in IT solutions for the logistics community say this new office will be used as a customer facing centre to enable a stronger Kale engagement with logistics companies in the area.
Kale has set its sights on more expansion in the Middle East, claiming that there is still huge potential in the area for new logistics IT solutions.
HNA Airport Group officially confirms Hahn purchase
Although there is still some uncertainty about when the remaining 17.5% Hahn Airport shares held by the German State of Hesse will finally be solved, the 82.5% takeover by the HNA Airport Group was officially confirmed in a press release from them in early March. They also confirmed the sale price (as reported by CargoForwarder Global) of just over 15 million euros.
The final closing is reported by HNA to be finalised by latest end of the second quarter 2017. This is subject to all regulatory approvals being on hand by then.
The official statement is as follows:
“We are pleased to confirm the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire Frankfurt-Hahn Airport. Adding a world-class asset and major European cargo hub like Frankfurt-Hahn Airport to our transportation portfolio is consistent with HNA Group’s strategy of enhancing our leading global platform. We look forward to working closely with all key stakeholders to maintain and enhance this facility in its service to the region.”
Schlimgen Cologne moves to new premises
We reported not long ago that the Cologne-based air cargo handling company, Schlimgen Logistics Solutions had undergone a name change as well as the fusion of their Trucking and Handling activities.
Schlimgen have now changed locations and have moved to new premises, called Camp Spich in Troisdorf, which is a stone’s throw from Cologne Airport.
Schlimgen’s Cargo Center in which the company has been active for the past 25 years will be closed and all activities handled at the new location.
There are 10,000 square metres of handling space available, which is double what is available in the present location. On top of this there are a further 500 square metres office space.
They are more modern than the old premises and allow Schlimgen to enhance work-flow processes better than before.
John Mc Donagh / Heiner Siegmund