IN BRIEF, THE LATEST CARGO AIRLINE INDUSTRY NEWS.
Indian carriers fined over price-fixing of freight charges
The Competition Commission of India (CCI), the country's antitrust body, has fined three Indian carriers Rs54.36 crore (US$8.4 million) for unfair business practices with respect to fixing and revising fuel surcharges (FSC) as part of total freight charges.
In addition, the watchdog has directed the three airlines to "cease and desist" from anti-competitive practices.
A fine of Rs 39.81 crore (US$6.1 million) has been imposed on Jet Airways while the penalties on InterGlobe Aviation and SpiceJet are Rs 9.45 crore and Rs 5.10 crore, respectively. InterGlobe Aviation is the parent of no-frills carrier IndiGo.
The CCI said in a statement that the FSC constitutes about 20-30% of cargo revenue and the penalty was imposed by the Commission "at the rate of 3% of their average relevant turnover of the last three financial years."
The fines were imposed following a complaint filed by the Express Industry Council of India against the airlines alleging cartel activities.
According to the regulator, the airlines acted in a concerted manner in fixing and revising the FSC rates in violation of competition norms that prohibit anti-competitive agreements, including cartels.
DHL consolidates in Vienna
The logistics unit of mail giant Deutsche Post plans to build and operate a 60,000 square meter facility in the vicinity of Vienna Airport. The contract signing ceremony for the “DHL Campus Vienna Airport” named project took place today (3/12).
In a release, DHL speaks of a “key role” their upcoming facility will play as central gateway for traffic flows to and from Eastern Europe either by air, road or boat. Their “Campus” distribution center will be run by the two DHL divisions Global Forwarding and Freight. “The site is in proximity to Vienna airport and as such strategically well-located, providing us with low-threshold access to Eastern European markets and Germany. Through this project, we will establish an important new logistics hub together, creating a gateway into and out of the east and enabling us to further grow our volumes,” illustrates Uwe Brinks, CEO of DHL Freight.
Both divisions will each build a warehouse including office buildings on the new site, connecting them to the airport and linking them to its infrastructure.
To date, DHL Global Forwarding and DHL Freight managed their business from three locations in Vienna, which are now being merged on the new campus. This results in significant efficiency gains, especially in terms of turnaround times and handling costs.
The new site will have a higher number of docks and will also have cross-docks for the first time. The property borders the A4 freeway, which connects the Austrian capital’s airport with downtown Vienna.
Atlas Air posts a good 2017 profit
New York (Purchase) based Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings has announced a net profit of US$223.5 million for 2017. This is five times the 2016 net profit of US$ 41.5 million. A good year all round for Atlas which also reports that volumes rose by 20% and full year revenues by 17%. As was with many other carriers, the fourth quarter was extremely good and Atlas also profited there with a US$81 million extra which came from a total US$130 million benefit related to the US tax reform legislation passed in December of last year.
Total revenues generated were US$ 2.2 billion with total expenses coming out at US$1.9 billion. ACMI revenues for the carrier increased throughout the year especially due to the fourth quarter increase in block-hours flown on ACMI basis.
First Air gets ATR42 freighter
Canadian operator First Air which has a fleet of seventeen aircraft has just added its first ATR42 dedicated freighter to the fleet. The aircraft which is an ATR42-300 Class C aircraft operated its first commercial service on February 22nd. The aircraft which has long been in service with First Air as a so-called Quick Change (QC) passenger/cargo variant was converted to a full freighter at Ottawa Airport. First also still operates a further three ATR42-300QCs, but it is not known whether there are plans to convert anymore of these into freighters. Apart from ATR42F, the carrier also operates three B737-400 freighters throughout Canada.
WFS kicks off 2018 with new business
Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) North American operations have got off to a good start in 2018 by gaining new and managing to renew cargo handling, ramp and passenger services contracts at eight stations within the U.S. DHL Air extended their present contracts with WFS in Kansa City and St Louis and the handler won the freighter handling contract for Turkish Airlines in Houston. Other new cargo handling contracts signed were with Are Lingus in Seattle, and Ethiopian Airlines in Miami. WFS also hooked in three new ramp handling contracts in New York - Newark, with Austrian Airlines, Swiss International and Primera Air. There was also a new three year contract signed with Lufthansa in Canada for freight handling. Ray Jetha, WFS’ SVP, Sales and Business Development stated that; “2017 was a very positive year for our stations in the U.S. and it is pleasing to see this continuing since the start of 2018.”
Kerr takes over at CargoLogicAir
The long announced decision that David Kerr would take over at UK-based CargoLogicAir, has come about. David has officially taken over as CEO from Dmitry Grishin who was responsible for the successful launch of the Volga-Dnepr daughter company and who also was instrumental for the set-up of today’s network for the carrier. In an announcement the airlines states that “Mr Kerr’s key responsibilities will lie in developing CargoLogicAir into a leadership position in the air cargo market through further fleet expansion and network development.”
CargoLogicAir is presently the only British cargo airline which offers flights from the UK to various destinations around the globe. The question has been raised as to how CargoLogicAir will cope in the future as a UK registered carrier once the Brexit becomes official.
time:matters gets ISO 14001 certification
Frankfurt-based time:matters which is a worldwide leader in the transport of Special Speed Logistics, has announced that they have been awarded ISO 14001 environmental certification. time:matters parent company, Lufthansa Cargo already has ISO 14001 certification since 2008. The certification which came into effect at the end of February confirms that time:matters has introduced an environmental management system for its core-competencies - the provision of consulting services and the development and realisation of transport services and logistics solutions for time-critical national and international shipments. The company also has announced that it will start trials in March with electric vehicles at Frankfurt Airport, where their staff are constantly on the move on the airport tarmac to escort shipments to ensure proper loading onto aircraft. The trials will start by using BMW i3 automobiles.
TIACA ties in with China
The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) wishes to strengthen their ties with the air cargo community in China. To this effect, TIACA’s Secretary General, Vladimir Zubkov will join supply chain leaders in China at this year’s Third China Air Logistics Development Conference being held in Zhengzhou from 28-29 March. Mr Zubkov wants TIACA to become closer to the Chinese forwarders and stated that: “I consider this event as a very important step in establishing a stronger TIACA presence in China, which is developing excellent infrastructure, and has been steadily promoting modern methods and technology for air cargo movement.” In other Asian news, TIACA confirms that it has formed a strategic partnership with Hong Kong-based Neutral Air Partner, an air cargo solutions network company. Both have joined forces to work together on events, networking opportunities and training programmes.
Kale Logistics signs MoU with Cargonaut
At this year’s Indian Air Cargo Conference held recently in Mumbai, Hong Kong-headquartered Kale Logistics and Amsterdam-based Cargonaut Netherlands have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to form an air cargo digital corridor between India and the Netherlands. This, both parties claim, will be the first of its kind and Kale India and Cargonaut are being supported in the project by Mumbai Airport and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. The main aim of this new joint-venture is to enhance shipment visibility and optimise the flow of cargo data between both countries. This, at the end of the day, should enable both countries to give a far better data exchange on the movement of air cargo shipments.
John Mc Donagh / Nol van Fenema