IN BRIEF, THE LATEST CARGO AIRLINE INDUSTRY NEWS.
Demand and yields up in April
No end in sight with the continued air cargo growth pattern. April figures released by IATA and WorldACD indicate that yields for the month rose by a further 2% to average in at US$1.93/kg. This shows that average overall yields are now coming in at 16% higher than April of last year.
Freight Tonne Kilometers (FTKs) went up by just over 4% in April compared to the previous year and freight capacity on offer rose by 5.1%. This, states IATA, was the second time in 21 months that capacity growth outstripped demand growth. IATA is cautiously optimistic that general growth for 2018 will be in the region of 4%. Regional performance figures were up all round with volumes on U.S. carriers increasing by 3.2% and that of Europe-based carriers rose by 2.4%. Middle Eastern airlines volumes in April topped all others and went up by 7.3%, whereas airlines from Asia-Pacific showed a 3.9% volume growth. A 10.6% volume increase was recorded by Latin American airlines although their capacity on offer declined by 4.6%. And, even African carriers who had a decrease in March of 3.4% showed volumes up by 5.6% in April.
AF-KL-MP launch RAP container
Air France-KLM-Martinair Cargo (AFKLMP) have joined up with CSafe Global to launch the company’s new RAP e-container. CSafe Global claim that this is the strongest container now on the market for transporting pharmaceutical goods. This new electrical container is said to be especially good when being used in areas where extreme temperatures are experienced and it has a newly developed battery system. AFKLMP’s Head of Product and Development Pharma, Fabrice Panza, states that it will be especially of use to them on extra long-range routes. CSafe’s Strategic Sales Director, Sebastian Berrous states: “the industry has identified lanes where efficiencies can be achieved by utilizing RAPs versus multiple RKNs.” He further states that the CSafe RAP gives expanded cargo capacity whereby up to 5 Euro pallets or 4 U.S. pallets can be loaded with temperature sensitive goods.
Russia & USA in clinch on cargo overflights
Further strife is being experienced between the United States and Russia on the so-called overflight rights for cargo carriers. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has told Russian carriers Aeroflot, AirBridgeCargo and Yakutsk-based Yakutia Airlines that they must file their schedules with the DOT of their all cargo and/or mixed cargo operations for flights which overfly the United States.
A tit-for-tat situation which follows on Russia’s recent operational restrictions imposed on American cargo airlines operations overflying Russian airspace. The three Russian carriers had been given a deadline until the end of May to file their schedules and the DOT states that they will evaluate whether these flights are being operated according to law and “whether they do not adversely affect public interest.” Whatever that might mean!
American carriers are complaining that they presently have disruptions to their all-cargo services between Europe and Asia as although they have not banned flights, the Russian authorities are playing games by forcing U.S. carriers to take different easterly routings which upset schedules and entail extra costs.
Aviation sabre rattling!
Fraport continues on growth path
On May 29th, Fraport, Germany’s largest airport operator, held their Annual General Meeting and presented their consolidated 2017 fiscal year results. The heading read as follows: “Outlook for fiscal year fulfilled - International business expansion achieves important milestones - Frankfurt Airport records strong growth - More efficient security screening processes required.”
The strong traffic growth ensured that revenues and adjusted earnings reached record levels – CEO Stefan Schulte noted. Total Group revenues reached €2.93 billion, an increase of 13.5% on the 2016 figures. Frankfurt Airport recorded a total of 64.5 million passengers, 6.1% up on the previous year. The negative point here was that security screening came under tremendous pressure and something has to be done fast in order to streamline passenger security as massive delays have recently been recorded with passengers missing flights and standing in line for up to two hours. On this issue Fraport has put the ball in the German Ministry of the Interior’s court, claiming they have to come up with a better system. All of the Group’s companies performed well, although in their press release there was no specific mention of the cargo results.
One would have thought that Germany’s number one air cargo turnover point would show the cargo turnover. A lack of interest for this product segment? We hope not.
Henrik Ambak elected as Cargo IQ vice
Cargo IQ’s new Vice Chairman is Henrik Ambak who is Senior Vice President, Cargo Operations Worldwide, Emirates SkyCargo. Henrik, who spent many years with Cargolux before joining Emirates in 2014 brings more than three decades of air cargo experience with him.
Emirates SkyCargo, along with Qatar Airways Cargo were recently awarded Cargo IQ Certification through Cargo IQ’s new Audit Scheme which is run by independent auditors.
Mr Ambak commented on his election that: “the Cargo IQ journey of close industry collaboration has rendered air cargo as the only mode of transport with a standard cross-industry quality management and measurement approach.”
The Cargo IQ Board also welcomes two new members. Nadeem Sultan, Vice President Global Cargo Operations at Qatar Airways Cargo and Hendrik Leyssens, Head of Global Cargo Operations at Swissport.
Royal Brunei and ECS team up
The Paris-based ECS Group has announced that they have teamed up with Royal Brunei Airlines in order to pool synergies in European as well as North and South Asia cargo sales. The three-year contract with Royal Brunei is aimed at ECS supporting the carrier as its General Sales & Service Agent in the above-mentioned areas.
In Europe, Royal Brunei serves London Heathrow with a daily flight which will be upgraded to a non-stop flight as of end October 2018. The Brunei International Airport-based carrier also serves various destinations in the Middle and Far East. Long-haul stretches are operated with Boeing 787 aircraft and inner-Asia with a fleet of passenger Airbus A320s.
WFS wins five new U.S. contracts
Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) which is said to be up for sale has signed new handling contracts with five major airlines who operate in the USA. The new contracts are all for passenger, ramp and cargo handling services. In Dallas / Fort Worth WFS has signed contract with Iceland’s WOW Air for the handling of their three weekly A330 Dallas - Keflavik flights. They also handle the carrier in New York Newark and New York JFK. SN Brussels handling in New York JFK has also been taken over by WFS as of 1. June and also in June a new three-year contract with Emirates will start for the handling of the carrier’s daily A380 flights from Los Angeles to Dubai.
Also, in Los Angeles, Taipei-based EVA Air will be handled by WFS. The carrier operates 21 flights per week between LAX and TPE. Ethiopian Airlines has signed up for three years with WFS for passenger handling of the carrier’s three weekly flights to Addis Ababa.
AA launches cargo services to/from Cuba
The Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier is the first U.S. passenger airline to offer the market scheduled cargo services between the U.S. and Cuba. To start with, the volumes are limited, consisting of mail consignments, smaller parcels and express shipments. Currently, American Airlines operates one flight per day between Charlotte (CLT), North Carolina and Havana (HAV) and four daily flights between Miami (MIA) and the Cuban capital, which will be upped to five daily services in October. The MIA-HAV flights are operated with Boeing 737-800 passenger aircraft while an Airbus A319 is serving the CLT-HAV sector.
“As the leading U.S. carrier to Cuba we are excited to launch cargo service to the island,” said David Vance, American's vice president – Cargo Operations. “Our teams on the ground in the U.S. and in Cuba have worked hard to make this a reality.”
AA claims being the number one U.S. carrier in Cuba, operating eight daily flights out of Miami to five different Cuban destinations, in addition to Havana also to Holguin (HOG), Santa Clara (SNU), Varadero (VRA) and Camagüey (CMW). This is complemented by the daily CLT-HAV service.
In a release, AA point out that the airline has served Cuba since 1991 – with charter service for more than 25 years and with scheduled service since September 2016.
John Mc Donagh
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