IN BRIEF, THE LATEST CARGO AIRLINE INDUSTRY NEWS.
Cathay Pacific buys DHL’s 40% stake in Air Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific and DHL have signed a memorandum of understand-ing (MoU) under which Cathay will buy DHL’s 40% minority stake in cargo airline Air Hong Kong (AHK). Cathay currently holds 60% in AHK.
The buyout will take effect from December 31, 2018 when the current joint venture between CX and DHL is scheduled to expire. DHL will buy eight Airbus A300-600 freighters from AHK and lease them
back to Cathay’s unit. Under the existing block-space agreement, Air Hong Kong sells space to DHL on a network of overnight freight routes in Asia, including Bangkok, Penang, Singapore, Taipei,
Narita, Kan-sai, Nagoya, Seoul, Shanghai, Beijing and Manila.
According to the MoU, AHK will operate an agreed freighter network to destinations in Asia for DHL and will receive agreed service fees and reimbursement of operating expenses. Bloomberg noted in a report that with mainland China as its backyard and an ongoing boom in e-commerce in the region, Cathay has been expanding its airfreight business even as it streamlines the structure by eliminating the role of cargo director. Cathay, together with its Cathay Dragon unit, carried 11 percent more freight in the first five months of 2017 than a year ago.
CargoLogicAir supports upcoming young aviators
Stansted, UK-based CargoLogicAir (CLA), which along with AirBridgeCargo (ABC) is a daughter company of the Volga-Dnepr Aviation Group, has joined with the British Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) in supporting aspiring young international aviators and engineers. Teams were formed under the guidance of the British Model Flying Association and were given the task of designing, building and launching their own model aircraft in a series of three separate challenges which were based on distance, quantity and weight of the aircraft. Participants ranged from under 17 year olds along with air cadets. CLA managers decided to sponsor this event as in their view it embraced two of the carrier’s own core values - namely, a passion for aviation and community involvement. Aleksey Matyukhin, CLA’s Lead Engineer was also on the panel of judges for the competition.
Volga-Dnepr saves the day for Nippon Express
A total of 197 tonnes of very urgent and sensitive automotive parts were carried by Volga-Dnepr Antonov AN-124 freighters on behalf of Japanese freight forwarder Nippon Express, from Tokyo to San Francisco. The cargo which was of an outsized nature needed a total of four AN-124 flights. Volga-Dnepr has a specialized team of Load Planning engineers who are based in Vietnam’s capital city of Hanoi. These were brought into action to coordinate and ensure a speedy uplift of the urgently needed parts to the USA. Their assistance included advice on optimal packaging of the cargo as well as secure tie-down on the giant AN-124’s cargo floor. Nippon Express managers were 100 percent happy with the operation and congratulated the Volga-Dnepr team on their hard work.
Royal Jordanian gets first A330 freighter
Amman-based Royal Jordanian Airlines has recently taken delivery of their first Airbus A330-200 freighter. The aircraft was handed over to the carrier on July 4th. The A330F was previously operated by Malaysian Airlines’ cargo department. The new addition will join RJ’s only other freighter, an Airbus A310-300F in serving the Jordanian carrier’s cargo routes from Amman to North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. It is rumored that another A330-200F will soon follow into the fleet. Royal Jordanian operates to 51 destinations with a fleet of 27 aircraft.
Frankfurt to host second Air Cargo Innovation Lab.
The 26th and 27th of September are the dates set for the second “Frankfurt Air Cargo innovation Lab” at Rhine-Main Airport. The event is hosted by operator Fraport AG along with the DVV Media Group. A notable list of speakers from the airline and freight forwarding industry have been put together and the organizers have stated that the theme of the second “Lab“ to be held will be to explore innovative hotspots around the globe and new players in the market, along with dealing with topics such as the rise of platform solutions.
Fraport AG have released their 2017 half-year figures which show that cargo volumes at the airport grew by almost five percent to a total of 1.1 million metric tons from January to June. This is the highest first half-year volume increase for the past six years. Passenger figures also rose by 4.5 percent to 30 million for the same period.
Qatar orders two Jumbo freighters
At a recent aviation conference in Dublin, Qatar Airways CEO, Akbar al - Baker announced that the carrier had ordered two new Boeing 747-8 freighters from the Seattle-based aircraft manufacturer. These will be operated by the Qatar Airways Cargo division. Qatar Cargo presently operates 8 Airbus A330Fs, twelve B777Fs and a single B747F. Mr al - Baker cancelled an order for four Airbus A350 passenger versions because the carrier is not happy with the delays being experienced with the delivery by Airbus of this type.
Hactl wins Virgin in HKG
Hong Kong-based air cargo handler, Hactl, has announced that they have closed a deal with Virgin Atlantic Cargo as cargo ground handler for Virgin Australia’ new operation from Melbourne to Hong Kong’s Chek Lap Kok Airport. Cargo terminal handling along with all documentation for the carrier is part of the agreement. Virgin Australia began on July 5th with the first of five weekly flights using Airbus A330-200 aircraft from Melbourne to Hong Kong. Each flight is capable of carrying up to 14 tonnes of belly cargo on each sector. Hactl already handles Virgin’s daily fights between Hong Kong and London Heathrow and has worked with the British carrier for the past 23 years.
Airship orders boost Hybrid Enterprises
Paris-based company Hybrid Air Freighters has announced that they will purchase 10 LMH-1 Hybrid Airships from Hybrid Enterprises, a company which has the exclusive selling rights for Lockheed Martin’s hybrid Airships. The French operator plans to use the cargo airships on services to remote destinations throughout the globe. This brings the Lockheed order book for the type up to twenty-two units, including a letter of intent also on hand from Straightline Aviation, a UK-based operator. Each of these cargo airships have a price tag of US$ 42 million.
John Mc Donagh / Nol van Fenema