IN BRIEF, THE LATEST CARGO AIRLINE INDUSTRY NEWS.
AMI’s online quotes boosts business
Air Menzies International, better known under the AMI brand was founded in 1976 with the aim of giving their freight agent clients what they termed as a ‘single source of capacity’ for their traffic - in other words, “a one-stop-shop.” A product which over the years has paid off and given AMI a neutral standing as they deal solely with freight agents.
The company recently introduced a new trade-only-online for express imports called ‘click2ship Express’ which is aimed at make the freight agents’ life easier searching for suitable quotes for shipments. This does away with telephone enquiries and gives instant pricing and booking possibilities. AMI UK claims that this new service has boosted traffic by 10% during the past three months. AMI already runs a ‘click2ship Express’ service for exports. This has been in use since 2010 and its success prompted AMI to extend it for imports earlier this year. AMI’s VP Europe, Sharon Wright is convinced that the new import system will also be a success and states that “I can only see click2ship Express imports growing, as more and more customers become aware of its benefits to their businesses.”
BIFA gets a new chairman
The British International Freight association - BIFA, has selected Mark Bromley to succeed Fred Osborn as their new National Chairman for the coming two years. Osborn, who will effectively become Vice-Chairman alongside John Stubbing who is Group Director and Company Secretary of the UK-based Woodland group of companies.
Bromley has been associated with BIFA for the past years in his position at Allways International Freight Forwarding.
Robert Keen, BIFA’s Director General comments: “In welcoming Mark and John into their new positions, I wish to express my appreciation for the contribution made by Fred Osborn over the past few years.”
Will both gentlemen, in their new positions, be involved in trying to tie down British shipping interests during the Brexit negotiations? British shippers as well as the forwarding industry in the country are becoming more and more concerned on the outcome of the Brexit battle.
Yangtze River Airlines to become Suparna Airlines
In a surprise move, Shanghai-based Yangtze River Airlines, which is part of the mighty Chinese HNA Group, has announced that the carrier will be rebranded as Suparna Airlines. Yangtze River Airlines operates as both a scheduled passenger and cargo operator and it is not yet clear whether the cargo arm which operates with a mixed fleet of B747 and B737 freighters, will also be part of the rebranding. On the passenger side Suparna operates with a fleet of five B737-800 aircraft. A Suparna is a divine bird in Hindu and Buddhist mythology.
In other news, Yangtze River Airlines has concluded a new partnership with Sinoair which is the air freight arm of China’s Sinotrans. The deal is aimed at a mutual collaboration on developing new air cargo market opportunities and network development.
Yangtze River Airlines is said to be almost ready to launch a new Xi’an to Hahn Airport (Germany) cargo service. This is part of the HNA group’s planning for Hahn services after having acquired the majority shareholding in the airport.
SF Airlines inks maintenance deal with Boeing
Boeing Shanghai Aviation Services Co., Ltd., (Boeing Shanghai) has signed a maintenance agreement with China-based SF Airlines Co. Ltd (SF Airlines) for its Boeing Classic 737 and 767-300 freighters.
The first aircraft is already undergoing a C-check in Boeing Shanghai's facilities at Shanghai Pudong International Airport and more freighters will follow on a nose-to-tail basis. A C-check is an extensive check of the aircraft's systems and components that can require several days to perform.
Currently, SF Airlines has an all-cargo fleet of 39 aircraft comprising Boeing 767s, 757s and 737s. It operates the largest all-cargo fleet in China and its air cargo volume is increasing year by year.
Boeing Shanghai is a joint venture between Boeing, Shanghai Airport Authorities and China Eastern Airlines.
TCA boosts their fleet with B727F acquisition
Georgia, situated in Eastern Europe and once part of the mighty USSR, has boosted capacity of the country’s sole cargo airline, ‘tca CARGO AIRLINES,’ by adding a single Boeing 727 freighter to its fleet in order to serve regional destinations out of Tbilisi Airport.
The carrier which was founded in 2012 operates mainly on a wet lease basis with their fleet of three Airbus A300F4 and two Boeing 747 freighters, one of which is a-300 series aircraft and the other an aging -200 series machine. tca CARGO AIRLINES has been busy during the past couple of years in operating on behalf of the ISAF (Afghanistan) mission for the military.
Kale to start Center for Innovation
India’s Kale Logistics Solutions, based in Mumbai, has announced that they will set up a so called ‘Center for Innovation’ for IT in the Air Cargo Industry. The announcement was made at the company’s annual Thought Leadership event. An initial sum of USD 25,000 has been earmarked as startup capital for this project. The company states that the aim is to “try and groom the Air Cargo Industry in adopting information technology for an agile, effective and equipped Air Cargo business.” The decision to set up the programme was taken at this year’s Kale Thought Leadership Summit for Air Cargo which was held this time in Athens, Greece on 6th and 7th of July. It was not disclosed whether the USD 25,000 investment will be topped up during the future when and if the programme takes hold.
RECENT FREIGHTER FLEET NEWS:
Air France-KLM have returned yet another Boeing 747-400 Combi. The aircraft has already been ferried to Florida where it will probably be broken down for spare parts.
PEMCO has started the first B737-700 FlexCombi conversion at their facility in Tampa, Florida. When converted it will be delivered as a pax-cargo Combi to Bahrain operator, Texel Air.
Sweden’s West Atlantic Air has taken over a B737-400F, which once operated in a passenger configuration for British Airways. The aircraft was converted into a freighter by AEI.
DHL Express has taken another B757-200PCF aircraft after conversion by Precision Aircraft Solutions. In another move, DHL International Aviation Middle East, has returned one of their B757-200 freighters back to Aerolease.
John Mc Donagh / Nol van Fenema