IN BRIEF, THE LATEST CARGO AIRLINE INDUSTRY NEWS.
ABC ups tonnage again and signs with Sky Fresh
AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC) reports a 15% year-on-year tonnage increase between January and October of this year. A total of 575,000 tons have been moved in this period by the Moscow-based airline. ABC further reports that the overall fleet load factor has risen by another 4% to reach an average of 71%.
The record increase is put down to various factors such as the introduction of new routes, special product offerings and the carrier’s continued fleet expansion. ABC point out that the ever increasing trade on the Europe - Asia sectors, in both directions, has played an important role in generating higher tonnages. It is interesting to note that ABC’s East to West and West to East volumes between Asia and Europe are almost on par to each other. All sectors served by the Russian carrier have shown significant increases during the first ten months of this year and it is expected that this will continue until the end of 2017 and into 2018. Automotive spare parts between Europe and North America have increased significantly as well as aerospace equipment from South East Asia to North America.
AirBridgeCargo has continued throughout the year to rely less on GSA sales services by strengthening their central sales structure as well as placing more emphasis on their various regional office expertise. The carrier has recently added a further brand new B747-8 freighter to the fleet.
A Service Level Agreement has been signed by ABC with Sky Fresh to enhance digital procedures for the transport of time and temperature sensitive products such as pharmaceuticals. The agreement is mainly related to cargo acceptance checklists for such commodities which before were paper-based and with Sky Fresh’s online web platform, can now be digitally entered into ABC’s system. This includes monitoring the movement of such shipments along with temperature control throughout the complete supply chain.
Unilode opens new Singapore cart repair centre
Unilode Aviation Solutions, the large management, repair and supplier of ULD’s and galley equipment to the airline community, has just opened up a new aircraft galley cart repair centre in Singapore. The facility is situated next to the Changi Air Freight Centre. The station is situated in an 800 m2 warehouse and also offers 250 m2 of office space as well as a large outside storage area for galley equipment. Unilode’s new facility has been fully certified by Singapore’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAAS) which also allows for the repair of ULD’s for airlines based in Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia. It has also been certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Main Deck ULD’s, containers, pallets and horse stalls can all be repaired at the facility.
Benoit Dumont, the recently appointed CEO of Unilode stated that: “our new conveniently located and spacious repair facility in Singapore allows us to offer our services to our expanding customer base in the Asia Pacific region where we are intensifying our business development efforts.”
SASI obtains CILT certification
Montreal-based Strategic Aviation Solutions which provides professional services worldwide to the aviation industry has received certification from the renowned Charted Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT).
SASI has become the first aviation-related company which has received CILT’s accreditation for its Air Cargo Professional Advancement Training Programme. The programme was initiated by SASI some time ago and is aimed at all levels of management and upcoming leaders in the air cargo supply chain as well as all others who are interested in gaining more valuable information about how to enhance and further development the supply chain management in air cargo.
Stan Wraight, President & CEO of SASI stated on receiving the accreditation: “we are proud to receive this accreditation as it gives SASI further impetus to enhance its strategic value to our partners and clients in all fields of the industry.”
Air Cargo Global back in Brussels
Bratislava based Air Cargo Global (ACG) which operates three B747 freighters has decided to start services again from Brussels after having departed there due to the risk of having to pay noise fines. The carrier left Brussels in May of this year after the Brussels region introduced stronger noise limits and threatened carriers such as ACG who operate older aircraft with heavy noise fines. ACG then moved the two B747-400Fs based in Brussels over to Amsterdam. This proved not to be a good move for ACG as Amsterdam has recently imposed heavy slot restrictions for freighter operators and ACG has also been affected by this move. It remains to be seen whether the Slovakian carrier will actually have to pay noise related fines in Brussels.
Cargo services resume between Sudan and USA
Political relations between the United States and Sudan have been relaxed somewhat during the past twelve months and this has also led to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) taking a more positive look at allowing flights between both countries.
The DOT has now relaxed the embargo on cargo flights between both countries by officially revoking the 1997 imposed Order 98-2-5 which had prohibited all air cargo related services between the U.S. and Sudan. The order also applied to any foreign carrier who wished to operate cargo flights from Sudan to any point in the USA. Relations between both countries are starting to mend although Sudan remains on the U.S. list as Sponsors of Terrorism. In other news it is rumored that Sudan Airways which only has a fleet of six aircraft, is seriously looking at adding two full freighters to its fleet. It is not revealed which type of aircraft these might be.
ASL unites Safair and Airlink
Dublin, Ireland-based ASL Aviation Holdings has made it public that they will participate in a proposed transaction to unite two of South Africa’s leading independent carriers, Safair and Airlink. Both carriers submitted their documents for approval to the South African Competition Commission on November 28th. ASL has a strong relationship with Safair which goes back many years and it was ASL who stood behind Safair’s low cost carrier FlySafair start-up which was founded in 2014. ASL is also a minority shareholder in Airlink. Safair was founded in 1965 and Airlink in 1992
Safair also operates on behalf of the United Nations with their fleet of B737 Combi aircraft and Hercules freighters. It is said that once the deal is approved that both carriers will continue to operate separately with their respective fleets and that there will be no job lay-offs due to the joint cooperation.
UPS has taken delivery of their third of fourteen ordered B747-8 freighters. The aircraft has been introduced into UPS regular services.
Royal Air Maroc has taken a passenger B767-300ER out of their fleet and have transferred it to ST Aero in Paya Lebar, Singapore, for conversion into a full freighter. The conversion will be overseen by Boeing.
Air Century, which is based in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, has taken delivery of its first freighter. The aircraft is an ATR72-200F. The carrier which also operates passenger services with Saab, Jetstream and Gulfstream aircraft is expected to receive a second ATR freighter in the near future.
John Mc Donagh