IN BRIEF, THE LATEST CARGO AIRLINE INDUSTRY NEWS.
TIACA worries about lack of truck drivers
The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) has voiced concerns about the impact on the air freight industry due to the lack of truck drivers to move goods to and from the airports. In a recent newsletter TIACA member Denis Choumert of the European Shippers Council said that the organisation is looking closely at the impact on the air cargo supply chain when the road haulage industry cannot supply enough drivers to carry air freight quick enough. Mr Choumert highlights the fact that this can and already does mean that shipments are missing flights and delays to consignment delivery.
He states that this is not a new problem, ‘but one which is spreading to other logistics sectors making the whole supply chain vulnerable.’ It is said that it becomes more and more difficult to attract new and younger drivers to the business due to extremely long hours and salaries which are often way below that of other jobs they can take up. He goes further to suggest that TIACA which has representatives from all sectors of the air freight supply chain, is now in a good position to take this seriously and use their influence to see that changes come about.
Cargolux carries expensive horses
The Luxembourg based all cargo carrier is no stranger to the carriage of live animals around the world. This especially applies to horse transport, where Cargolux carries up to 3,000 thoroughbred horses annually.
A week or so ago Cargolux flew a shipment of very valuable race horses from Luxembourg to Jakarta for participation in the Asian games which are held from August 18th to September 2nd. In a part charter operation, the airline made special planning for the highly sensitive animal transport. CV uses specially designed HMC horse stalls which accommodate three horses per box. A unique ‘double layer pallet base’ reduces motion feeling for the horses, something which is beneficial for them in bad weather and during take-off and landing cycles. Cargolux can accommodate between 84 to 90 horses on their B747 freighters, depending on whether they use the -400F or -8F series aircraft.
ACS reports good first half year
UK-based Air Charter Services (ACS) which runs 22 offices worldwide and employs just over 400 staff, has announced that their 2018 first half-year results have shown that revenues rose by 23% to UKP 240.5 million. This is UKP 45.3 million more that the same period in 2017.
Cargo flights sold by ACS increased by 21% and ACS’s onboard courier division also noted a 21% rise in jobs carried out in the first half-year. The private passenger jet division has increased their revenues by 32% and 25% for the commercial jet department. CEO Justin Bowman stated that “there is an exciting second half of the year in store here, with some brilliant new technologies that we are working on - including an improved OBC tracking system - as well as a focus on further improvements in customer service.”
Air Belgium plans China in Q4
Things seem to be going well for the new Belgian start-up carrier, Air Belgium. The Charleroi – Brussels-based airline is now operating three flights a week to Hong Kong with their Airbus A340 aircraft. There are firm plans to initiate flights to China during the final quarter of this year. Airports being targeted are Zhengzhou as of September, Wuhan as of October and Taiyuan starting in November. It is said that the carrier is also close to finalising an interline deal with so far unnamed Asian carriers.
Air Belgium has three Airbus A340’s under registration, one of which is presently wet-leased to Air France, but which would re-enter the fleet once more destinations are added. The carriage of air freight is also expected to be high on Air Belgium's list of priorities on the Chinese routes.
V-D Group partners with Henan
Moscow based Volga-Dnepr Group, China’s Henan Airport Group and Zhongyuan Asset Management have signed a framework agreement covering a long-term strategic cooperation. The aim, according to Volga-Dnepr Group President, Alexey Isaikin, is to create a trans-Siberian air bridge by using the Chinese airport of Zhengzhou as a bridgehead. AirBridgeCargo Airlines, part of the Volga-Dnepr Group of companies, already operates daily B747F flights between Zhengzhou and their Moscow Sheremetyevo main hub.
In other news Volga-Dnepr announced that Konstantin Vekshin has been appointed as Executive President, Charter Cargo Operations for Volga-Dnepr Airlines. Mr Vekshin who has been with the Volga-Dnepr since 1997 will be tasked with achieving the airline’s strategic objectives, managing its international operating bases and regional sales offices as well as building up a multinational management team for charter operations. He will be based in London.
ABC carries 500th jet engine
Transporting aircraft engines around the world has become a common issue during the past decade. However, as each new aircraft is designed and built, it seems that the engines get bigger and bigger. Massive turbine which can ensure safe two-engined operations for new long haul aircraft are being designed and built at a steady pace.
The need for air transport for new and engines needing fast repair and maintenance has turned into a lucrative business for Moscow-based AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC). In this respect the carrier has what they call their own abcXL product and team which are dealing solely with this type of transport. In the meantime, ABC has just moved their 500th aircraft engine during 2018. They have also developed a modern 3D software tool which enables a faster and safer loading and unloading of these highly valuable engines. The above figure will increase considerably by the end of the year and so far, ABC has increased their transport of aircraft engines by 50%.
John Mc Donagh