IN BRIEF, THE LATEST CARGO AIRLINE INDUSTRY NEWS.
Henan Cargo Airlines service put off until 2019
The Zhengzhou, China-based freighter operator, Henan Cargo Airlines, which is a joint-venture operation planned by Cargolux, the Henan Civil Aviation and Investment Co. (HNCA), Xinggang Investment Group and Henan Airport Group, is facing a further start-up setback, CEO Richard Forson told The Loadstar.
The carrier was meant to take to the skies by latest the end of this year. This has now been put back to at least Q3 of 2019. Reports from Luxembourg state that due to unexpected delays in the certification process that it is expected that the first quarter of next year is more realistic. This is nothing new in China, where certification for domestic or international carriers can turn out to be a lengthy process. Whether a Q3 start-up is realistic, remains to be seen. Henan Cargo Airlines is the new name given to the original Cargolux China plans which were formed in 2017 with Cargolux holding a 25% share in the joint-venture.
March air cargo volumes only slightly increased y-o-y
The upward trend in air cargo volumes continues, although as WorldACD Market Data figures show, somewhat dampened in March of this year. Worldwide cargo volumes in the last month of Q1 were just 0.9% above those of March 2017. The WorldACD data shows us that the first quarter 2018 recorded a volume increase of 4.8%. Growth in January was strong, February rather modest and March quite weak. Export volumes in Central and South America showed a 12% increase, whereby African exports dropped by 3.3%. Import volumes in Europe went up by 7% whereas those in the Middle East and South Asia were merely 0,6% higher. Market leaders in terms of growth in Q1 are shown as Turkey (+20.6%), Japan (+17.8%) and Ecuador (+12.2%).
WorldACD indicates that the yield picture was however somewhat different. Here they show an interesting picture whereby Q1 yields y-o-y when measured in USD show an increase of 18.6%. However, when measured in euros, this is only +2,7%. This pattern is similar when USD yields are compared with most other major currencies. Fact is that high USD yields are only a result of the loss that the US$ has faced in Q1 against other currencies on the international currency exchange market. One also has to take into account the continued rise in jet fuel prices which have more or less doubled during the past 24 months.
Cargo grounded through strike of Brussels Airlines’ pilots
Hit by the walkout of the airlines’ pilots are 278 flights this Monday and 279 flights next Wednesday respectively.
Cancelled are the company’s long-haul services to Africa, India and the U.S., i.e. the routes that contribute most to the Belgian carrier’s cargo revenue. According to a company’s spokeswoman cargo consignments bound to these regions will remain at Brussels Airport till further notice during the walkout of the pilots. The company’s chairman Viscount Etienne Davignon has criticised the actions pointing out that, with a loss of €26 million since the beginning of this year there is little to no room for costly concessions to the cockpit personnel. Since last year, Brussels Airlines is a member of the Lufthansa Group, with LH holding 100 percent of the shares.
DoKaSch appoints new CEO for the Americas
Frankfurt based DoKaSch Temperature Solutions which produces the now well-known Opticooler containers for the transport by air of temperature sensitive goods, is expanding its operations within the USA and is busy with setting up a new structure in the area. The DoKaSch Americas Inc., will have its main base in San Francisco and has appointed Douglas Wettergren to act as the company CEO in the Americas. His main responsibility will be to guide the sales and business development for the DoKaSch Opticooler product throughout the Americas. The company has based various Opticoolers at designated locations throughout the U.S. which they say are optimal locations for providing them speedily to clients.
Wettergren is well known in the industry and also serves on the Bio Supply Management Alliance (BSMA) Steering Committee as well as being an Advisory Board Member for IQPC in Chicago and Boston. Wettergren commented that: “I see many opportunities for Opticoolers in the U.S. and beyond.”
Hactl gets environmental accolade
Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (Hactl) was recently awarded the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) Environmental Management Recognition Scheme Grand Award. The recognition was for Hactl’s efforts in reducing waste at the airport. Hactl received full marks from the commission during site visits and on-site assessments during August 2017 and two further visits in November and February.
The lists and assessments show that Hactl has recycled or reused 95% of plastic waste, 97% of paper waste and 68% of wood used in unit build up processes.
In other news, Hactl has been appointed as handling agent in HKG for U.S.-based freighter operator Western Global Airlines. The carrier will start a twice-weekly scheduled operations into HKG from los Angeles on behalf of U.S. forwarder Flexport. The service is expected to increase to three flights per week as of September.
Will new Belgian start-up serve the U.S.?
A new Belgian cargo carrier named Air Cargo Europe (ACE) with its base in Liege is looking at offering regular cargo flights into the United States.
The carrier which has strong connections with Tel Aviv-based CAL Cargo Airlines, has submitted an application to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for a so-called exemption authority and a foreign air carrier permit. The carrier also states that it has an application currently running with the Belgian authorities for its own Operating License (OL) and Air Operators Certificate (AOC).
ACE has stated that once all licenses are in place, that it initially plans to offer other carriers its services from Liege under ACMI conditions to points within the United States. These, they say, include Atlanta and New York’s JFK airports. Own scheduled cargo operations would then start at a later date.
ECS gets Ukraine International contract for India
ECS Globe Air Cargo India has been awarded an exclusive GSSA contract for Ukraine International Airlines services in India.
ECS India which is based in New Delhi, has of May 1 taken up the GSSA role for Ukraine International throughout the Indian sub-continent. The carrier has initiated direct flights from Delhi as of May this year. These are three weekly operations to and from Kiev with a fourth frequency which will start as of June 7. this year. The UIA flights are all operated with passenger B767-300ER equipment which offer ample belly space for Indian exporters. ECS Globe Air Cargo India states that they aim to move around 2,000 tons per annum on the UIA flights. Main commodities will be pharma goods, leatherwear, machine parts and chemicals. UIA offers almost 40 onward destinations from Kiev to airports in Europe, Asia, Africa, America and the Middle East. The ECS group also represents UIA in other major destinations within their network.
IAG Cargo reports a “buoyant premium market” in Q1
Lynne Embleton, IAG Cargo’s CEO recently stated that “we’ve experienced good market conditions across at the majority of our regions, with Europe and Asia Pacific - and particularly India - leading the way.” This was stated when IAG Cargo issued their Q1 2018 results which show that the Group notched up €276 million in revenues during the first quarter of this year. This, they state, is an increase of 10.9% over the same period in 2017. Furthermore, yield for the quarter increased by 11.8% at constant exchange rates, but actual volumes fell by a marginal 0.7%. Capacity on offer during Q1 2018 was almost 4% up on the same period last year.
IAG Cargo claims that their pharma product, Constant Climate, has grown considerably as well as their “Critical” - must fly service which has registered more than 4,000 shipments since its introduction into IAG Cargo’s portfolio. New routes such as Madrid to San Francisco and London Gatwick to Toronto have added extra revenue. A new Heathrow to Nashville operation took to the skies on 4. May and Dublin - Seattle will be inaugurated on May 18.
John Mc Donagh / Marcel Schoeters