IN BRIEF, THE LATEST CARGO AIRLINE INDUSTRY NEWS.
September shows slight cargo volume decline
Figures released by WorldACD Market Data show that worldwide air cargo volume actually declined in September on a year-on-year (YoY) basis for the first time since March 2016. The YoY decrease for September was almost 1% (0.9%) and as WorldACD notes this is the first negative growth figure in the past two-and-a-half years.
Some practical factors could explain the slight decline. Such as September 2018 having one Sunday more and one Friday less than September 2017 and Hong Kong and Japan figures having dropped in September due to typhoons, thus maybe explaining an estimated drop of between 1% - 1.5% in cargo volumes for the month.
The positive fact is that despite the small drop in volumes, that airline revenues continued to grow thanks to the rise in yields. Average worldwide yield for September is recorded as being US$1.95/kg, an increase of 11% over September 2017.
Airlines continue to be cautious with predicting year-end results as the fuel price also continues its upwards trend. Today’s fuel costs are now estimated to be 32% higher than those of a year ago. However, by the end of the third quarter 2018 total volumes have increased by almost 3% and yields by just over 14% compared to the first three quarters of 2017.
Saudia Cargo sets up Employee development Agreement
Saudia Airlines Cargo Company has inked an agreement with Gallup Inc., a global management consulting company to develop a system to follow employee performance as well as to study employee performance levels and trends. The three-year agreement between Saudia Cargo and Gallup Inc. is part of Saudia’s Strategy 2020 and they state that it is aimed at enhancing the company’s vision and values in order to try and meet the expectations of its staff as well as doing its utmost to retain those capable staff members who can support the achievement of the airlines’ objectives for the future.
Saudia Airlines Cargo management is placing quite some emphasis on improving staff performance as well as the quality of its service portfolio in order to serve their clients better in the future. They are also planning to enter into new strategic partnerships in order to strengthen their position in the worldwide air cargo logistics arena.
Volga-Dnepr helps out Air Caraibes with AOG service
Russia’s Volga-Dnepr Airlines which operates a fleet of Antonov AN-16 and IL-76 freighters also has its own AOG (Aircraft on Ground) support department which assists other carriers around the world by offering fast and seamless delivery of aircraft engines to airlines which need a fast engine change but do not have the suitable power plant on hand.
The latest urgent transport has recently been effected by Volga-Dnepr using one of their IL 76TD-90 freighters to transport an Airbus A330 engine from Paris Orly to Terceira Island in the Azores where an Air Caraibes A330 passenger aircraft had made an emergency landing due to engine problems. There the new engine was fixed to the wing and the VD IL76 brought the damaged engine back to Orly for maintenance and restoration.
Volga-Dnepr is making a name for itself as a reliable partner and operator of AOG services for airlines. Their AN-124s and IL76s can easily load and unload today’s large and bulky aircraft engines and offer quick delivery at short notice.
Virgin Cargo ups South Africa capacity
UK-based Virgin Atlantic Cargo has announced that it now offers a twice daily Boeing 787-9 flight between London Heathrow Airport and Johannesburg, South Africa, thereby effectively doubling their cargo capacity on the route. The airline sees a continued strong cargo capacity demand on the route and states that the addition of a second daily service is also of benefit for their U.S. customers who now have a better access to additional capacity to South Africa via Virgin’s London hub. U.S.-South Africa volume says Virgin, have grown by 8% year-on-year and exports to the U.S. through London have also risen. These include pre-packed vegetables, fruits, salads and stone fruits along with other commodities such as mining equipment and computer parts.
ABC joins IATP
Moscow-based AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC) has joined IATP, the International Airlines Technical Pool. IATP is a global association with 114 airline members as well as 36 service providers and original equipment manufacturers (OEM).
The ABC technical management was given their official membership certificate at this year’s 118th IATP Conference which was held in October in Indonesia. The IATP members meet twice a year to discuss maintenance issues and industry trends as well as networking together. Sergey Lazarev, General Director of AirBridgeCargo Airlines stated that: “it is a great honour and achievement to join IATP, one of the industry’s oldest associations with more than a 50-year history. With our vast experience in oversize cargo transportation, extensive route network and qualified team, and stocks of spare parts in several stations, we would be able to support our partners in any AOG situation.”
Atlas Air records strong third quarter
Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (AAWW) ended the third-quarter 2018 with a net income totaling US$71.1 million. This is a huge jump from the 2017 third quarter net income of US$24.2 million. The company stated that they also expect record earnings for the last quarter of this year. Third quarter revenues rose by almost 23% to US$656.6 million and Atlas CEO, Bill Flynn is reported as having stated that “neither we or our customers have seen a material impact on air freight demand.”
He was referring to the so-called trade war between the United States and China and he still expects air cargo to grow at a rate of 4% per annum. Atlas is confident that their expectations for the peak season will be fulfilled.
America Cargo has bumper 2nd quarter
Dallas/Fort Worth-based American Airlines Cargo is also experiencing record results for their 2nd quarter 2018. They previously reported having moved 158,000 tons of freight in that period which totaled 10% over Q2 of 2017. The carrier states that September figures were far better that many years previously and that new routes, strategic capacity planning and team work were the main contributors to the air cargo success for the carrier in September.
John Mc Donagh