IN BRIEF, THE LATEST CARGO AIRLINE INDUSTRY NEWS.
Canada allows Egyptair to carry belly cargo again
The Canadian government has lifted the ban on the carriage of belly cargo into Canada by Egypt’s national carrier, Egyptair. The ban, which came into effect in 2015, meant that Egyptair was not allowed to transport cargo on their three weekly flights from Cairo to Toronto. The Canadian authorities took the decision not to allow Egyptair to carry inbound shipments after an incident in 2015 where Russian carrier MetroJet suffered the loss of one of their Airbus A321 aircraft over the Sinai Peninsula with the loss of all on board. Investigations showed that there had been a bomb placed on board.
The ban has been lifted after thorough investigations by the Egyptian authorities into Egyptair’s security and cargo screening at Cairo Airport. The controls have convinced Canadian officials that all is in order. Egyptair was hit hard with the ban as the country exports large quantities of agricultural goods to Canada. The Boeing 777, which is used on the route, offers ample belly capacity.
Uncertainty prevails in debate on AMS local rule
Rumour has it that the longed for local rule for slot allocation at Amsterdam-Schiphol Airport is dying. The cargo stakeholders hope that another meeting with the government will clarify the matter. The boat was rocked by local trade paper Nieuwsblad Transport, which claimed that local slot coordinator ACNL considered the implementation ‘impracticable’. According to NT, ACNL director Caroline Ditvoorst put the ball in the government’s court. One of the stumbling blocks is said to be whether carriers that were granted ad-hoc slots, would be able to claim these as historic rights for the next season. As most of the information seems to be coming through the grapevine, the stakeholders prefer to remain tight-lipped. “To date we see no reason to comment on the situation”, says Ben Radstaak, Managing Director of Air Cargo Netherlands. Amsterdam Airport says that they do not know of any new development in the matter.
A clearer light on the situation is expected during the coming days, when the shareholders will meet with the responsible Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. Rogier Spoel, air cargo advisor of the Dutch shipper’s umbrella organisation evofenedex, admits that the issue is quite complicated. “The ball is indeed in the Ministry’s court, but apparently they require more time,” he said.
Volga-Dnepr appoints Fleet Development Director
As the company grows, so does the fleet. The Volga-Dnepr Group has an impressive fleet of Antonov, Ilyushin and Boeing freighter aircraft. Keeping up with the times and taking timely steps for fleet organisation and replacement is now a major priority for the Russian carrier.
In this respect, they have appointed Paul Nolan to the position of Fleet Development Director. He took up his position as of May 1st and is based in Volga-Dnepr’s London-Stansted offices. Mr Nolan has been active in aviation for the past 30 years where he most recently spent 15 years as Senior Vice President, Aircraft Asset Management, for DVB Bank SE, a company which deals in financing international transportation companies. In the Volga-Dnepr statement it is said that Mr Nolan ‘will be responsible for the efficient fleet development of the Volga-Dnepr Group’s cargo airlines in accordance with their adopted strategies and customers.’
Macquarie to sell BRU Airport stake
The Australian venture capital group Macquarie is ready to sell its 36% stake in Brussels Airport company. BAC’s enterprise value is estimated at over €6 billion, inclusive of a net debt of €1.7 billion. In 2017, BAC had a GOP of €307 million. According to the Belgian financial daily De Tijd, chances are high that the interest in the Macquarie share will be great.
Since 2013 the shareholders were able to cash some €350 million in dividends. Still, according to the daily there is quite some interest from foreign pension and infrastructure funds, including some from China. Apart from Macquarie the BAC shares are held by Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTTP 39%) and the Belgian federal state (25% + one share). OTTP is said to have a right of pre-emption for the Macquarie shares
time:matters growth for 2017 up 55%
The Germany-based urgent transport and complex logistics solutions company, time:matters which in the meantime employs more than 200 staff, has published their 2017 results which show that they record a 55% year-on-year increase in revenues generated. Much of the increased revenue is due to the vast increase in the transport of high-tech and automotive components.
time:matters who brand themselves as the Experts for High Performance and Special Speed Logistics, report sales in 2017 of €108 million (+55%). The company expanded outside of Europe during 2017 by opening a station in Tel Aviv. This new station also offered clients the regular Sameday Service which has become well known in Europe. The digitization process was pushed forward by time:matters last year with the introduction of the company’s time:matters airdates global platform which gave a far better process on the On-Board Courier Service programme. The company who works closely with over 500 courier partners and airlines offers more than 3,000 daily connections to more than 500 destinations in 100 countries.
Jettainer tests next generation digital container
Frankfurt-based Jettainer, one of the leading ULD management companies, has started testing their “enhanced digital containers.” Jettainer has together with Lufthansa Industry Solutions IT experts revamped their original containers by adding new functions which focus on registering and recording shocks and damage as well as temperature changes. Jettainer will initially equip 100 ULD’s with the new updated devices and test them over a period of time to determine whether further adjustments may be needed as well as to verify data quality and long-term functionality. One of the main aims is to gain reliable information on ULD damage. This way maintenance and repair work can be planned better in order to increase overall efficiency.
AF in turbulence
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire fears that Air France could bite the dust. “Should the enterprise fail to achieve a financial turnaround and not become competitive, reaching the level of Lufthansa and other airlines, Air France will disappear from the sky,” said the politician amid ongoing strikes by unions over payment issues and working conditions. The management must take urgent action to end the paralysis and make the airline afloat again, demanded Le Maire over the weekend in a public statement. He warned all participants that his government, that still holds 14 percent of AF’s stakes, is not willing to shoulder the carrier’s losses any longer. In his address, Le Maire demanded from the management and the unions to get back to the table and start finding solutions suiting both sides, enabling AF a promising economic perspective.
Since weeks, the Paris-headquartered airline is hit by strike actions, costing AF more than €300m so far. Talks were suspended after a management offer was turned down by a broad majority of the employees in a vote as being too insufficient, falling far behind the demands of the unions. As reaction, AF CEO Jean-Marc Janaillac stepped down from his post last Friday. An interim successor shall be announced in the company’s Annual General Meeting on 15th May, stated the airline.
Meanwhile, the unions continue their walkout today (7 May) and also tomorrow with no settlement in sight.
John Mc Donagh / Marcel Schoeters