SAA’s three Boeing 737-300 freighters need technical update, says regulator
SAA’s three Boeing 737-300 freighters need technical update, says regulator

South African Airways stops B737 freighter operations
Maintenance compliance requirements have forced Johannesburg-headquartered South African Airlines to temporarily ground their fleet of three B737-300 freighters. Two of the aircraft have been grounded since early February and the third one as of February 20th. The three aircraft are the carrier’s only dedicated freighters. It seems the grounding was enforced because of updates to the aircraft’s Traffic Collision Avoidance Systems (TCAS) not having being installed on time. SAA had applied to South Africa’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for an exemption to operate, but this was turned down by the authorities. The aircraft are expected to be back in service soon and once all updates have been effected. The three freighters operate mainly on domestic South African routes as well as to Nairobi, Dar-es-Salaam, Kinshsa and other eastern and western African regional routes.

Piet De Munter, Director Strategic Development Brussels Airport Company (left) presents the award to Bart Vleugels, Regional Director Customs and Excise Administration – photo: ms
Piet De Munter, Director Strategic Development Brussels Airport Company (left) presents the award to Bart Vleugels, Regional Director Customs and Excise Administration – photo: ms

Brussels Airport hands out cargo operator awards
The Belgian Customs and Excise Administration was one of the winners of the BRUcargo Award at the 11th ceremony of the Brussels Airport Aviation Awards. Of the eleven awards, four are cargo related. The administration received the award for its initiatives and general projects to improve the processes at BRUcargo.
DHL Aviation was given the Network Development Award for the opening of its new hub at the airport as well as the introduction of new routes. Panalpina received the newly introduced Logistics Provider Award for doubling its warehousing infrastructure, the digitalisation of its services and their investments in perishable transport. The Performance Award Cargo Airline was handed to Ethiopian Airlines Cargo, which in 2017 clocked out with exceptional figures in terms of flown tonnage, cargo per flight and growth. The 3,500 staff of Brussels Airlines were collectively given the airport’s 5th Diamond Award for their contribution to the successful development of Brussels Airport.


American Airlines Cargo best International Carrier
The American Airforwarders Association (AfA) which represents the interests of American-based freight forwarders, has named American Airlines as the International Carrier of the Year. The Dallas-based airline received the award at this year’s Air Cargo Conference which was held in Austin, Texas. The AfA gave the award to American Cargo as a recognition for their dedication to customer service, on-time performance, reliability and security. This is the first time that American has received the International Carrier of the Year award from the AfA.
American Airlines Cargo president Rick Elieson commented on receiving the award that: “This award is testament to the hard work and commitment of our team members around the world.”

Tianjin Cargo Airlines getting ready to launch
The first Tianjin, China-based cargo airline, Tianjin Cargo Airlines, took another important step towards starting cargo operations from Tianjin Airport. The Chinese Civil Aviation Administration (CAAC) has approved the carrier’s acquisition of three Boeing 737 freighter aircraft and the commencement of services as of early May this year. The aircraft will be deployed on routes from Tianjin to Shanghai, Xi’an, Chongqing, Shenzhen, Urumqi and other Chinese cities. Tianjin Cargo Airlines are said to have plans to expand their cargo fleet up to 100 aircraft in the coming years. Tianjin Airlines also operates a mixed fleet of almost 100 passenger Airbus and Embraer aircraft on regional routes out of Tianjin.


IAG Cargo reports an 8% increase for 2017
Commercial revenues of 1.084 million euros were earned by IAG Cargo from January to December 2017. This, according to figures released by IAG Cargo, represents an increase of 8%  over the previous year and are based on 2017 so called constant exchange rates. Cargo yields also rose by 2.2% and actual volumes went up by 5.6%. Cargo capacity offered by IAG Cargo was increased throughout the year by almost 5% (4.8%).
Lynne Embleton, IAG Cargo’s CEO seems quite happy with developments for the cargo product and commented: “The market improved throughout the year, culminating in a very strong fourth quarter. We handled large volumes across each of our hubs and demand for our premium products was particularly high.”

UK ban on Bangladesh cargo lifted
It is almost a year ago that the UK authorities imposed a ban on the transport of cargo on direct flights between Bangladesh and the United Kingdom. The ban was imposed after an audit conducted by the UK Department of Transport revealed that cargo screening at Dhaka Airport was far below that what was acceptable for cargo moving into the UK. It was then agreed that Redline Aviation Security, a UK-based company, would be put in charge of evaluating and solving the security measures. It seems that the outcome is that the ban on direct imports has now been lifted but that there is still some work to be done in order to fully rectify the situation. In this respect British and Bangladesh authorities are said to be continuing to work closely together. Before it really comes into effect, Biman Bangladesh Airlines must strive to become a so called third country regulated agent (RA3) before they can restart cargo services to the UK or any European Union country.

CEVA shows far better results for 2017
CEVA Holdings LLC, one of the largest  worldwide supply chain management companies, has reported good results for 2017. Total group revenues reached US$7 billion - this was a 5.4% increase over the previous year. EBITDA (adjusted) amounted to US$280 million for the year, an increase of US$31 million. As was with many other logistics related companies, CEVA also reports strong growth figures during the 4th quarter of 2017. The group was able to show annual cost savings of over US$120 million, much of this was credited to their Excellence Program.
The company seems in good financial shape as operating cash flow at the end of the year amounted to US$209 million, an increase of US$66 million on 2016. Xavier Urbain, CEO of CEVA commented that: “I am pleased to report a strong finish to a good year. Our Excellence Program has delivered important cost savings and has supported much better profits despite market headwinds.”

John Mc Donagh / Marcel Schoeters

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