IN BRIEF, THE LATEST CARGO AIRLINE INDUSTRY NEWS.
Demand for air freight surges through May
Figures recently released by IATA and WorldACD show that the cargo demand for carriage by air has risen considerably during May of this year. The month showed an almost 13 percent rise y-o-y in actual freight tonne kilometers (FTKs) flown during the month. Read more
This astounding May result brought worldwide cargo traffic carried between January and May up by just over 10 percent compared to the previous year. According to IATA, it is the best start to the year since 2010 and shows a growth rate which is three times more than the five year average. The IATA experts are still predicting continued growth in air freight for the rest of this year, although they say it will not average double-digit figures as shown in the May results. However, an 8% to 9% rise is on the books for the coming third quarter and a strong finish to the year can also be expected. International air freight demand in May was up in all regions, with Latin America lagging behind with a 6.7% growth, whereas Africa topped the list with almost 27% more than May 2016. Asia Pacific, North America, Europe and the Middle East showed good results for the month.
Cargolux - Best Green Airline
Luxembourg-based all cargo carrier, Cargolux has been given the “Best Green Airline” award at this year’s Asian Freight Logistics and Supply Chain Awards ceremony which was held in Singapore at the end of June. The award follows closely on the recent Lean & Green award which the carrier received for its efforts to reduce CO2 emissions by 10 percent within the coming five years.
Cargolux has also announced that it is adding Quito as a destination in its regular South American routing. The Ecuadorian capital city is being served four times per week since the beginning of July. The flights operate via Mexico City, Curitiba or Viracopos in Brazil before landing in Quito.
China express business continues to boom
Figures recently revealed show that the express parcels business in China is moving forward at an astounding rate. The 2016 figures show a growth of almost 52% compared to the previous year. In total just over 31 billion parcels were transported according to figures made public by China’s State Postal Bureau. The figures however also showed that actual revenue growth in the express parcels segment was somewhat behind the actual volume growth. Indications for the first quarter of this year show a rise of just over 30% compared to Q1 of 2016. International express cargo volumes which were carried by Chinese express operators has increased by 30% y-o-y during the first quarter 2017. This is thanks to the e- commerce high cross border demand and the so called “One Belt, One Road” initiative which the Chinese government recently introduced.
Northern Air grows its B767F fleet
Anchorage-based Northern Air Cargo (NAS), a daughter company of Northern Aviation Services, is to dry lease three B767Fs from the Air Transport Services Group (ATSG) through Cargo Aircraft Management (CAM). NAS already has aircraft operating on wet lease from ATSG, but has now decided to enter into a seven year dry lease agreement with ATSG and operate the aircraft themselves. These will fly for NAS as well as Hawaii-based Aloha Air Cargo which is also a daughter company of the Northern Aviation Group. NAS has recently taken over Florida-based StratAir. Apart from the upcoming B767f editions, NAS operates a mixed fleet of none B737 freighters, manly on regional routes out of Anchorage.
Antonov steps up their AN-178 and AN-132D freighter program
The Ukraine-based Antonov Design Bureau which is best known for their massive AN-225 and AN-124 transporters, is pushing ahead with production of their much smaller AN-178 and AN-132D freighters. The AN-178 production line got a boost through an order out of China for a total of fifty of the type. Information is that Antonov will deliver twelve aircraft manufactured in Ukraine and the remainder will be delivered to the client in so called “kit-form” with final assembly being completed in China. The AN-178 has a maximum operating payload of 18 tons.
The AN-132D version is a turboprop freighter with a payload of 9 tons. Antonov is said to have joined up with Saudi Arabia’s Taqina investment company and agreed on an assembly line for this aircraft to be formed by 2020. Rumors are that the Saudia government has the need for almost 100 AN-132D aircraft for military use.
West Atlantic Airlines first operator for the B737-800BCF
The Swedish cargo operator West Atlantic Airlines which operates a fleet of B767Fs and B737Fs on regional routes out of Sweden, is to become the launch customer for the Boeing 737-800BCF aircraft. U.S.-based leasing company, GECAS, has a program running with Boeing for the passenger-to-freighter conversion of this type. West Atlantic will be the first carrier to take the B737-800BCF and has agreed to lease four of the type from GECAS. All four aircraft will be delivered during 2018 and 2019.
West Atlantic Airlines has been growing fast during the past five years. The fleet which presently totals 44 aircraft, is made up of 24 ATPF turboprop freighters, 3 B767Fs, 2 CRJ200Fs and 15 B737 300/400 freighters.
Bolloré start new distribution centre in Singapore, China
French transportation company Bolloré has expanded its regional presence in Singapore with the launch of a new Regional Distribution Centre to support the marketing activities of its longtime partner L’Occitane en Provence.
The new centre handles freight import & export on the Asian markets, warehousing, kitting and labeling operations. In addition, L'Occitane en Provence has also contracted with Bolloré Logistics to handle a new 5,000-sqm National Distribution Centre for the Chinese market in Shanghai, China, which will start operations next month.
The new Singapore centre with a capacity of over 10,000-sqm marks the launch of the 8th hub for Bolloré Logistics Singapore confirming its leading market position in logistics and freight management for the cosmetics industry.
John Mc Donagh / Nol van Fenema