IN BRIEF, THE LATEST CARGO AIRLINE INDUSTRY NEWS.
Silk Way West lands Boeing Jumbo at Rostock-Laage
This was a first for the airport located near the Baltic Sea in Eastern Germany. The recently conducted charter flight commissioned by DB Schenker and operated by Azeri Silk Way West Airlines flew 115 pallets of cellulose weighing 48 tons from Rostock to a client in Mumbai.
“We are very happy that DB Schenker placed their confidence in our company, awarding the contract to us. Furthermore, we are proud to be the first carrier operating a Boeing 747-400 freighter at Rostock Airport,” the President and CEO of Silk Way West Airlines Wolfgang Meier told CargoForwarder Global on the occasion.
Local DB Schenker branch manager Gunnar Scholtz stated that the project has proven the ability of the airport operator to handle jumbo-sized air freight according to international standards. “We expect further transports of this size to follow,” he announced to the delight of managing director Doerte Hausmann of Rostock-Laage airport. In her welcome address she emphasized the contentment of her company with the entire project. “We are very cargo minded, possess a 24/7 operating permit and we are extremely flexible to carry out special charters like the one jointly done by DB Schenker and Silk Way West Airlines.”
SpiceJet start Kabul cargo service
We reported earlier on Indian carrier SpiceJet’s plans to get domestic and maybe international air cargo services up and running. They have made it known that their subsidiary, SpiceXpress commenced with a Delhi to Kabul B737-700 freighter service on October 15th. The new service comes into effect after successful negotiations held between SpiceJet and the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI). Main commodities will be carpets and perishables and the carrier claims that they will carry up to 1,500 tons per month on the new route.
In September SpiceXpress also started services from Delhi to Bengaluru, Guwahati and Hong Kong.
Dnata expands Heathrow cargo ops
Dnata which has established itself in the UK as a serious airport ground handler has been expanding its cargo handling portfolio over the past few years. The company has decided to invest in a brand-new warehouse at London’s Heathrow Airport after planning permission was granted by the authorities.
The new facility will offer clients a total of 23,300 square metres of handling space and will be dubbed as Dnata City East. The building will be erected off-airport and just opposite the present Heathrow Cargo Terminal on the airport perimeter road. As such, it will be very near the airport aprons and will be one of the biggest off-airport cargo facilities. It is being built on land which is said to be owned by Aberdeen Standard Investments, a company which in the past few years has invested heavily at Heathrow.
Cologne-Bonn Airport expects positive 2018
The CGN management are estimating that by the end of December 13 million passengers will have passed through the airport. This represents a plus of 5% over 2017 they say. Also, cargo figures for the year end are expected to be good. The prognosis is for 870,000 tons or 4% up on the previous year. Cargo volumes reached 631,000 tons by the end of the third quarter - also 4% up on 2017. The year-end profit is estimated to be only one million euros compared to 3.8 million in 2017. The drop in the profit figure lies also with the extensive costs incurred this year for various airport maintenance issues. There are a total of 14,800 staff employed at the airport of which three-quarters are employed by the ten largest companies situated there. The job split shows 55% in passenger related area and 455 in air cargo positions.
Thai extends WFS in France
Thai Airways have announced that they will further extend their present cargo handling contract with Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) in France. The agreement which covers the handling of cargo, mail and express across France first started 35 years or so ago. The agreement also sees WFS providing cargo security services and trucking operations between French regional airports and Paris CDF. Thai operates a daily Airbus A380 flight from CDG to BKK.
Hellmann under new management
Hellmann Worldwide Logistics, The Hamburg, Germany based logistics company is to get a new CEO as of 1. December 2018. Reiner Heiken will take up the position and will leave DB Schenker where he has been European Regional Chief Executive since 2016. Before joining Schenker Mr Heiken spent almost twenty years with Kuehne + Nagel.
This move is the result of a total management shake-up at Hellmann which was originally founded as a family concern and has developed into one of the world’s leading logistics players. The present acting CEO, Thomas Knecht will step down once Mr Heiken takes up the reins. The same applies for Jost Hellmann, who for age reasons will give up his chief commercial officer position. In early August of this year Hellmann appointed Michael North as their new chief financial officer (CFO). North previously held the CFO position at Nordzucker, Germany’s large sugar refinery.
As of 2019 the Hellmann board of directors will be made up entirely of external managers with no family members involved anymore. Klaus and Jost Hellmann will however continue to support the new management where necessary.
Ground handlers need a better profile
The Airport Services Association (ASA) which represents airport ground handlers interests across five continents, states in their latest bulletin that they are disappointed that the general public is more or less totally unwary of the role that ground handlers play and what they actually do.
Not really a worrying issue, but food for thought as without the handlers nothing would happen and the traveling public would not be traveling. ASA would like to see ground handlers getting a public profile as most travelers seem to think that the airports and the airlines are responsible for ground operations, be they passenger or cargo. ASA states that by 2020 over 70% of all airport handling will be effected by independent ground service companies. These in turn shoulder most of the responsibility. It’s time that their voice be heard says ASA and pleads with the handlers to join forces and make their voice heard publicly in respect of industry matters and important technical policies.
Will the public take heed?
FLEET & ROUTE NEWS
UK-based JOTA Aviation has started dedicated freighter operations from their base at London Southend regional airport using a fleet of four ex-ASL Airlines BAe146-300Fs.
Bratislava, Slovakia-based Air Cargo Global (ACG) has started operations again by putting two of their three B747-400Fs back in the air. Operations had been suspended during the summer months but could be resumed thanks to a new investor that injected cash into the airline, enabling ACG to settle landing fees at some airports by monthly installments which are currently due. One aircraft is said to be operating for Silk Way West Airlines and the other will operate charters out of Sharjah.
Royal Air Maroc (RAM) has phased out their last remaining Boeing 747-400 aircraft from passenger operations. The last flight was operated in mid-September from Montreal to Casablanca. The aircraft is now in storage. The Moroccan carrier still operates a more modern B747-8 aircraft for government VIP flights.
Baku, Azerbaijan-based Silk Way West Airlines has started a service from Baku to the Chinese city of Tianjin. The twice weekly service to the northern Chinese city operates on Fridays and Sundays.
John Mc Donagh / Heiner Siegmund