IN BRIEF, THE LATEST CARGO AIRLINE INDUSTRY NEWS.
Robert van de Weg rejoins Volga-Dnepr Group
Having left the Volga-Dnepr Group in 2017 in order to pursue other interests, Robert van de Weg is now back on seat with the company in the position of Vice President for Sales and Marketing. In a release from the VD-Group it is stated that: “His responsibilities cover the commercial activities of all the Group’s airlines, namely AirBridgeCargo Airlines, Volga-Dnepr Airlines and Atran Airlines, with responsibility to strengthen and develop the Group’s ‚cargo supermarket strategy, which is based on using the synergies of its scheduled and charter businesses to provide unique customer benefits.“
Robert, who will be based in London, UK, stated “It is my pleasure to be part of Volga-Dnepr Group’s international team of airfreight professionals. My decision to rejoin the Group stems from us both taking a well-considered and balanced view of what we want to achieve.“
Dutch aviation industry scorns government’s ‘locking up’ of AMS
The Dutch aviation sector, supported by the logistics and travel industry, seems to be bewildered over the recent cabinet decision to ‘lock up’ Schiphol Airport until 2020. They are angry about the fact that the government has not waited for the independent figures on nuisance control which should be provided this summer. Hopes had been high that these would allow to raise the present overall limitation of 500,000 movements a year. “Locking up the aviation sector in the Netherlands is both premature and careless,“ the aviation sector says. “The surrounding countries will certainly welcome the Dutch passengers and air cargo with open arms.“ The complaining parties also point to a passage in the coalition agreement stating that the sector would be able to create space for the growth of the number of flights by deploying more eco-friendly and intelligent aircraft.
AirBridgeCargo starts Rickenbacker operations
Rickenbacker International Airport situated in the U.S. city of Columbus, Ohio, is getting a new top all cargo airline as a scheduled service. AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC) the Russian based all cargo carrier started operations to Rickenbacker as of 5. April.Rickenbacker which was founded back in 1942 as was then primarily used as an army airfield, has positioned itself during the past years as a “friendly and dedicated cargo airport.“ ABC will operate a weekly service into Rickenbacker from their global hub in Moscow on Thursdays and return the same day to Moscow with an intermediate stop in Liege, Belgium. One of the reasons for ABC to chose Rickenbacker was its close proximity to various distribution centres in the area and its good ground handling infrastructure. ABC now joins quite an impressive list of cargo operators who serve Rickenbacker. These include Cargolux, Cathay Pacific Cargo and Emirates SkyCargo.
DHL to charter in B737 freighter
DHL Aviation South Africa, the mother company of DHL Express operations in the country, has made a deal with Johannesburg based Safair to use the company’s sole Boeing 737-400 freighter for their express operations to Zimbabwe and Zambia. The aircraft is planned to operate five weekly rotations from Johannesburg to Harare and onto Lusaka. The B737F which has payload of around 21 tons offers more capacity than the ATR 72-200 freighter which has been used on this route until now. This new variant will offer DHL Express faster loading and unloading times as well as eleven pallet positions on the main deck. This will be the first time that DHL will operate with a B737-400 freighter in South Africa.
Latam Cargo moves two weekly flights from AMS to BRU
As of 5. April Latam Cargo has moved two weekly flights from AMS to BRU. This move is another consequence of the slot restriction problem in Amsterdam. A B767 freighter coming from Santiago de Chile to Brussels will position on Thursdays from Brussels to Sao Paulo and on Sundays from Brussels, via Frankfurt to Santiago. For Brussels Airport this is the first longed-for connection to South America. Latam’s GSA in Brussels is Air Logistics. The aircraft carry between 40-45 tonnes per flight, thereby adding a additional 180 tonnes per week to the airport’s cargo volume.
FedEx wants faster delivery for B777Fs
Memphis based FedEx Express which presently operates a fleet of almost 370 aircraft, says that it has agreed with Boeing for a speed up of deliveries for their Boeing 777 freighter fleet. This applies to four B777Fs which are on order for delivery during 2020 and 2022. It has been agreed that two of the 2021 deliveries will be brought forward to 2020, one from 2021 to 2019 and one from 2022 to 2020. FedEx needs the aircraft faster due to the increased demand for capacity on routes served by the carrier.
FedEx already operates thirty-four B777Fs and has a total of a further thirteen of the type on order for delivery between 2018 and 2022. On top of this the parcels giant has also sixty-one smaller B767-300 series freighters on order from Boeing with deliveries between 2018 and 2022. FedEx already have fifty-four of the B767Fs in service.
Atlas Air is said to be acquiring a further six B747-400 freighters in the very near future in order to combat capacity restraints in their present ACMI and normal freighter operations. The carrier presently operates 38 B747Fs along with 38 B767Fs.
Brazilian carrier Azul Air which is based in Viracopas, will take delivery of the first of two B737-400 converted freighters in the near future. Both are meant to be delivered by the end of this year.
Caracas based Venescar International which operates on regional routes from Caracas is reinstating a pair of parked B737-400 freighters into commercial service for DHL. The carrier has three freighters on their books - the two B737-400Fs and a single ATR 42-300F.
John Mc Donagh / Marcel Schoeters