Silk Way wants Boeing to keep 747F line open
In a report published in the 8. February issue of aero it is stated that Baku, Azerbaijan-based Silk Way Airlines is trying to convince Boeing to keep the B747-8F production line open. Silk Way already operates five B747-8Fs and has a further two on order. Azal Azerbaijan Airlines President Jahangir Asgarov, which is a main shareholder in Silk Way is quoted as saying that the company will need more of the type. Press reports in Baku claim that the carrier will need at least a further 20 B747-8Fs until 2028. Other reports say that Boeing’s chief for civil aviation, Kevin McAllister will visit Baku this week to discuss the matter. 


Ethiopian opens new Bahar Dar -  Liege service
Addis Ababa-headquartered Ethiopian Airlines has initiated a new non-stop long-haul cargo operation between the Ethiopian city of Bahar Dar and Liege, Belgium. The flight from Bahar Dar, which is situated in the north western corner of Ethiopia, is geared towards the carriage of fresh cut flowers and other horticultural products. This area is well known for such products and the direct flight to Liege ensures that the temperature sensitive cargo does not have to go in transport via Addis. Ethiopian Airlines Cargo has daily flights to both Liege and Brussels, flying just over 130 tonnes of fresh flowers per week on this route. The carrier has the most modern long-haul fleet of aircraft of all African-based airlines. These are a mix of Airbus A350 and Boeing 777 /787 passenger versions as well as B777 freighters. 

Luxembourg did not quite reach 1 million tonnes in 2017
For the first time in its history, Luxembourg Airport has handled more than 900,000 tonnes of cargo in one year. This was the case in 2017, with a total of 938,000 tonnes having passed through the airport’s handling facilities. Compared to 2016, this is a 14% increase and brings Luxembourg into the ranking of Europe’s sixth largest cargo airport.
This is good news for LUX as it has taken the airport 10 years to break the 2007 record when they handled 896,000 tonnes. The financial crisis of 2008 showed volumes declining and these only started to pick up again as of 2013, Cargolux is of course still the main cargo carrier at Findel Airport and their up to 15 weekly services to Zhengzhou, China, have contributed a lot to the increase in tonnage. Emirates, with its new cooperation with Cargolux started in June of 2017 with regular B777F flights to and from Dubai. An important part of the LUX cargo increase also lies with Qatar Airways Cargo who have increased their weekly freighter operations from 15 to 27 during 2017. Silk Way West Airlines, Atlas Air and China Airlines also remain as regular users of Luxembourg.


CAL aims for European AOC
Tel Aviv based CAL Cargo Air Lines which also has a large hub in Liege, has stated that they will go ahead with plans to secure a European Aircraft Operator Certificate (AOC). In order to ensure that the application is taken seriously by the EU authorities, CAL will set up a company named ACE Air Cargo Europe. The base will be in Liege. This would then be a Belgian-based carrier and CAL plans to transfer one of their B747-400Fs under the new AOC. CAL presently operates four B747 freighters, but until now it is planned that only one will come under the new registration. It could be that further freighters are acquired and that they will then be registered under the new European AOC.


ASL Switzerland disappears from the scene
ASL Switzerland, which in early years was known as Farnair, a UK-based regional cargo carrier, has ceased operations and  remains assets will be taken over by ASL Ireland. It was in 2014 that Farnair was integrated into ASL Switzerland. At that time the management was convinced that Farnair would continue to operate as an independent carrier. This has not materialised and the last flight was operated at the end of 2017. ASL Switzerland had been operating flights for the Swiss army Kfor - unit based in the Kosovo. They recently lost this contract to competitor Skywork Airlines. ASL Switzerland’s remaining ATR-42 freighter has been placed in storage and other activities are now in ASL Ireland hands.

Game over for ASL Switzerland
Game over for ASL Switzerland

TIACA has vision for modern & unified industry
The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) has come up with a new vision for the organisation which is aimed at boosting training, consultancy and the initiation of a larger global footprint with local focus for its members.
TIACA’s management have been insisting for some time now on more local involvement from their members as well as a better international awareness on the problems facing the air cargo industry. The association states in their recent press release that: “a new focus is being aimed for to ensure a forward-looking approach to representing, supporting, and informing every element of an efficient, modern, and unified air cargo industry.” Any organisation is only as good as the support it gets from its members. Hopefully TIACA’s members will take up the challenge and support the new direction!

CAL 747-8F flying under the new European AOC soon ?
CAL 747-8F flying under the new European AOC soon ?

China-EU trade lane gives Schiphol a boost
A pilot programme supported by the World Customs Organisation (WCO) has started at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport which is aimed at reducing lead times and costs as well as streamlining the overall supply chain. The project is a cooperation model between Customs authorities in China and the EU.
It has been named ‘Smart and Secure Trade Lanes (SSTL)’ and which will hopefully lead to considerable reductions in lead times and Customs procedures as well as increasing security in the supply chain between both areas. This can only be achieved by a close data sharing system between Chinese and EU Customs authorities. So far, Schiphol is the only European airport which has been chosen to take part in the pilot project. Whether others will follow, remains to be seen. Not an easy task, considering the multitude of various Customs procedures which have to be taken into consideration. However, all parties state that “it has already resulted in reduced clearance times and increased predictability in the maritime supply chain.” So, they see no reason why this will not or cannot apply to the air freight supply chain as well.

DoKaSch supplies Ethiopian Airlines with Opticoolers
The provider of climate-controlled solutions for air cargo operators, DoKaSch, has added Ethiopian Airlines Cargo as their latest customer for the Opticooler containers. Ethiopian Cargo runs many flights into Europe which mainly carry perishable and temperature-sensitive products. They have recently opened a new cargo terminal in Addis Ababa which also has temperature controlled storage facilities for pharmaceuticals and other cargo. DoKaSch’s Opticooler is equipped with a battery powered cooling compressor as well as heaters with a self-regulating temperature control system,

John Mc Donagh

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