IN BRIEF, THE LATEST AIRLINE INDUSTRY NEWS.
SASI receives “Golden Chariot” award
During a ceremony held at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva on 13. April, Strategic Aviation Solutions (SASI) represented by its Managing Director, Stan Wraight, received the “Golden Chariot” award.
The Organizing Committee of the International Transport Awards, chaired by Albert Zhukov, handed over the chariot to Stan Wraight during what was the first international transport and environment conference which among others was attended by representatives of TIACA, FIATA and state universities from China and Russia.
The conference named: “Sustainable Development of Transport And Peace,” had participants from 30 countries and was held at the U.N. Palace of Nations in Geneva.
SASI was honoured for its involvement in the Air Cargo Professional Development Program which runs together with TIACA, aims at encouraging young upcoming professionals to master future challenges in the air transportation sector.
Stan Wraight commented when accepting the award on behalf of SASI that: “solutions in global logistics for air cargo require a new way of thinking, and that can only come about through training and encouragement to the young professionals involved in transportation.”
Lufthansa Cargo busy with new fleet strategy
According to a Lufthansa Cargo spokesman, the carrier will start internal discussions later this year on fleet renewal plans and aims to reach a decision by the middle of next year.
The carrier presently operates its relatively new five B777Fs along with eleven MD-11Fs.
It still has various MD-11Fs parked and these will most probably not rejoin the fleet again in the near future.
Whether LH Cargo and Leipzig-based AeroLogic Cargo will consider a firmer fleet cooperation in the future, may be part of the internal discussions. AeroLogic now operates eight B777Fs for DHL Express during the week and allocates part of them to LH Cargo during the German national carrier’s weekend operations. A further Triple Seven freighter, coming from LATAM Cargo, is expected to join the fleet shortly, operating exclusively for DHL Expess.
SATS opens e-commerce hub at Changi
Singapore's ground handling company and catering services provider SATS has opened its new eCommerce AirHub at Changi Airport, which will enhance the airport's mail-sorting capability by more than three times and reduce the processing time by half.
Under a long-term agreement signed by SATS and Singapore Post (SingPost) in 2015, the latter will shut down its cargo-handling facility at Changi and use the new 6,000-square-metre facility, which is located in the Changi Airfreight Centre.
The new eCommerce AirHub, which was co-funded by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), includes a fully automated mail-sorting system that increases mailbag processing capability to more than 1,800 per hour, from the 500 previously.
Turkish Airlines leases B747 freighter
The cargo arm of Turkish Airlines, Turkish Airlines Cargo, has signed a lease agreement with U.S.-based freighter operator, Atlas Air, for a Boeing 747-400F.
This aircraft will replace the 747-400F which was operated by another Turkish operator, MyCargo on behalf of TK Cargo and which was destroyed in a crash in Russia earlier this year.
TK Cargo operates nine of its own Airbus A330-200 freighters and has also three Airbus A310-300Fs on lease from USL Airlines Cargo.
Silk Way Airlines goes into passenger business
Azerbaijan’s Silk Way Airlines which has its main base in Baku and is better known for their cargo operations with its fleet of Boeing 747Fs under the Silk Way West and East flags, has signed a firm order with Boeing for the delivery of ten B737 MAX 8 passenger aircraft.
The first two aircraft will be delivered in 2018, with the remainder expected by 2020. Silk Way has concrete plans to enter into the passenger market by using Baku as a regional passenger base.
In other news, Silk Way has started flights to Africa by initiating its first Baku to Djibouti operation which carried relief goods for the region. New flights to Tokyo, Nairobi and Dacca are expected to start soon.
Iran Air takes up B747 Combi operations again
It seems that Iran’s national carrier, Iran Air, needs extra cargo uplift.
They have again started services with their single remaining B747-200 Combi which had been parked at Tehran for a long time. It is reported that the aircraft will operate only as a freighter between Tehran and Dubai. Iran Air has so far no own freighter fleet on hand and still has two very old Airbus A33B4 freighters on their books which have not been used for many years, probably due to lack of spare parts.
- Atlas Air has taken delivery of an ex LAN Airlines B767-300BCF after the aircraft was reconfigured as a freighter by Boeing. The aircraft is expected to be leased out to Amazon for their Prime Air operation.
- ASL Airlines Ireland leased a further B737-400 freighter from Vx Capital Partners. This aircraft was previously leased by Vx Capital to Danish operator Jet Time.
- DHL’s Middle East Aviation operation just acquired another B767-200F to boost its Middle East operations, The aircraft comes from Cargo Aircraft Management (CAM).
John Mc Donagh / Nol van Fenema