IN BRIEF, THE LATEST CARGO AIRLINE INDUSTRY NEWS.
SoftBank sells its Flipkart stake to Walmart
Ending the uncertainty about Walmart’s acquisition of a 77% stake in Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart, Japan’s SoftBank said this week it is selling its roughly 20% stake in Flipkart to Walmart (CFG reported).
Despite Walmart’s official announcement last week that it had acquired a majority stake in Flipkart for US$16 billion, press reports in India shortly after the announcement revealed that SoftBank was undecided on selling its Flipkart shares due to tax implications and also because it saw a further increase in valuation for Flipkart. SoftBank did not disclose terms of the sale but earlier this month CEO Masayoshi Son said its investment in the Indian firm was worth around US$4 billion. The Vision Fund invested US$2.5 billion in Flipkart in August last year after a failed attempt to orchestrate a merger with Snapdeal, which was its first bet in the Indian online retail space in 2014. With the SoftBank decision to sell its stake, Chinese Tencent Holdings, New York-based Tiger Global Management and Microsoft Corp, will remain minority shareholders in Flipkart. Walmart’s buyout of Flipkart is expected to close by the year-end.
Fraport shows positive April figures
After publishing good results for the first quarter of this year, Fraport, Germany’s largest airport operator, has also stated that April results show that the strong growth is continuing. This applies to increases in passengers and air cargo handled as well as good results for the company’s international Group airports.
Cargo throughput in April was 189,634 metric tons, which was an increase of 2,3% on April of last year. The cargo handling upward trend shown during the first three months continued until the end of April. It is expected that the May cargo handling tonnages will also be good. Frankfurt Airport saw actual aircraft movements rising by 8,4% during April to 42,922 takeoffs and landings. The airports in the Group’s international portfolio generally performed well, also including the results of the Greek airports which increased by 10,6%.
Volga-Dnepr certified for line maintenance in Liege
Volga-Dnepr Technics Moscow (VDTM) which is a part of the Volga-Dnepr Group has gained certification as a line maintenance station in Liege, Belgium. The certification allows VDTM, which is one of Russia’s largest MRO outfits, to carry out scheduled maintenance for Boeing 747-400 and 747-8 aircraft as well as on Boeing 737’s from the -300 / 400 / 500 series. The company states that the Liege station will also provide MRO services for Volga-Dnepr daughter company, Atran Airlines which operates a fleet of B737 freighter aircraft.
VDTM also carries out the maintenance on AirBridgeCargo’s fleet of 18 Boeing 747 freighters. They also state that the Liege base will develop a future range of additional line maintenance services which will include engine washing for aircraft types where VDTM has certification.
DHL Global Forwarding voted as LH Cargo’s Top Customer
The “Planet Award of Excellence” has been annually awarded to Lufthansa Cargo clients for the past sixteen years. This year, for the fifth time, Deutsche Post DHL Group, which have their main base in Bonn, Germany - took the award for the fifth time.
Lufthansa Cargo runs a Global Partnership Program which is the base for promoting growth between the German cargo carrier and their largest clients. Almost half of LH Cargo’s revenues come from this base which consists of eleven Global Partners. These also include such big names as DB Schenker, CEVA, Hellmann and Kuehne + Nagel. Tobias Meyer, DHL Global Forwarding’s COO commented on receiving the award that “we are very pleased to receive this award again. Our customers in particular benefit from the excellent cooperation with Lufthansa Cargo, which has been outstanding for many years.”
Hactl wins Air Cargo Handling Agent award
They did it again! Hactl, Hong Kong’s largest independent air cargo handling agent, was given the “Air Cargo Handling Agent of the Year” award at this year’s World Air cargo Awards ceremony in Shanghai. Hactl has taken the award six times since the ceremony was started twelve years ago.
Hactl has been in service for just on 40 years and since moving from Kai Tak Airport to Chek Lap Kok Airport, has continually expanded their handling portfolio considerably. Wilson Kwong, Hactl Chief Executive took the award in Shanghai at this year’s Air Cargo China exhibition and stated that: “while Hactl is honoured to have been consistently recognised by the industry and its customers, we never take these for granted, and these in turn motivate us to do even better.”
In other news, Hacis (Hong Kong Air Cargo Industry Services Limited), which is the value-added logistics arm of Hactl, has signed a strategic partnership agreement with Chu Kong Shipping Enterprises (CKS) covering the development of joint logistics activities in the western Pearl River Delta (PRD). One of the first projects on hand is the setting up of an inland cargo depot in the Zhuhai Free Trade Zone.
CEVA reports a good Q1
CEVA Logistics AG which has its headquarters in Hoofddorp near Amsterdam and employs over 42,000 staff worldwide, has announced good results for the first quarter of this year. CEVA’s main shareholder is Apollo Global Management, a U.S.-based equity house and CEVA’s air freight division claims to offer worldwide tailor made solutions for the air cargo industry.
The Group results for Q1 show that revenues generated were increased by 5.4% (constant currency margins) compared to last year and that adjusted EBITDA was increased by US$12 million to US$66 million. They state that EBITDA margins in both Contract Logistics and Freight Management improved well. Air freight revenues increased y-o-y by an amazing 21.8%, but volume growth in this sector was 1.6% lower. However, good yields compensated for this as net revenue per ton increased by 17.1% which the company states were achieved by an active margin management and better sales activities.
jettainer pushes Blockchain technology
The Frankfurt, Germany-based ULD management and repair specialist, jettainer hosted what they term as Think-A-Thon during this year’s Air Cargo China exhibition in Shanghai. They used the services of 25 Chinese logistics students who are studying at Shanghai’s Tongji University to look at new applications in global supply chains. The session was guided by jettainer managers.
The students were divided into various groups that dealt with blockchain in logistics ideas and came together on the last day of the session to combine their various findings and ideas. One of the most important ideas which came up was that a blockchain-compatible database for ULD tracking should be developed in the very near future. The advantage of this they say would be that information flows from ground handlers, forwarders and airlines could be consolidated into one database, thereby making it easier to give faster reaction times on damages and enable a better insight into how to avoid damages in the future.
John Mc Donagh / Nol van Fenema