IN BRIEF - THE LATEST AIR CARGO INDUSTRY NEWS
Atlas Air loses B767F
On Saturday February 23rd, U.S. freight carrier Atlas Air lost a B767-300 freighter which was operating from Miami to Houston on behalf of Amazon Prime. The aircraft with registration N1217A was on final approach to Houston Airport when radio contact was lost. There was no warning from the crew and normal radio contact was being held until broken off at 12:40 hours local time. Other aircraft in the vicinity could not see the freighter either.
Tragically the aircraft went down in Trinity Bay near Anahuac, Texas and so far only one of the three crew members bodies has been located. Local police state that the crash scene extends over a distance of three miles in shallow water. Radar vectors showed the aircraft at a height of 6,300 feet before disappearing from screens. An immediate investigation has been opened by the U.S. National Transport Safety Board (NTSB).
FedEx gets new COO
In what many in the industry saw as a surprise move, FedEx Corp’s COO, David Bronczek, who had taken up the position just some weeks back, suddenly resigned. Bronczek who has been a FedEx employee since 1976 is said to have made his decision for personal reasons.
FedEx has now appointed Raj Subramaniam who will take up the President & COO position as of March 1. He is currently President and CEO of FedEx Express and in his new position as number two in the company is seen to be in line to take over from top man Fred Smith when he retires. Mr Subramaniam has been with FedEx for 27 years and before leading the express division he was chief marketing and communications officer for the company.
AirBridgeCargo and Jettainer ink new lease agreement
Moscow-based AirBridgeCargo Airlines and Frankfurt-based ULD management specialists Jettainer ‘have inked a new lease agreement for the provision of ULDs on short term requirement for transportation of special cargo.’
The carrier stated on signing the new lease agreement that with the increased demand for the safe and intact delivery of cargo shipments which require compliance with certain environmental and other special conditions, that they will now have full access to a broad fleet of ULDs which includes car racks, horse stall and other containers and pallets to enhance their dedicated services. ABC’s General Director Sergey Lazarev stated that: “Being determined to move forward with strengthening our specialist services for transportation of live animals and automotive equipment of different scales and complexities, we are delighted to partner with Jettainer.”
Vancouver to get new cargo facility
A new plan has been put into place for the development of a 44-acre area at Vancouver Airport (YVR) which will eventually be turned into a brand-new cargo and logistics facility. Negotiations are said to be ongoing between the airport officials and those yet unnamed companies which would be entrusted with erecting the new cargo area. They do admit however that the planning is to move ahead on the new project by the end of this year.
There seems to be one possible hitch to the project and that is the question as to how residents of the town of Burkeville, which is situated near to the proposed site, will react to the airport’s plans. Present discussions with the community are centered around how best to create a suitable buffer zone between the new cargo area and the town itself.
Vancouver Airport urgently needs new cargo facilities because volumes have increased considerably during the past years. Almost 340,000 tons of air cargo moved through the airport in 2018, which was an 8 percent increase over 2017. The present cargo area which is spread over 23 acres is fast becoming overloaded.
ACC FRA changes top management
The Air Cargo Community Frankfurt (ACC FRA) whose members consist of carriers, freight agents, handling agents and other service providers at FRA and who together bundle their joint know-how in order to further promote Frankfurt as a leading air cargo airport have in the meantime more than 50 members on their books.
The community recently appointed Lufthansa manager Harald Gloy as their new Chairman of the Board. 46-year-old Gloy will replace Soeren Stark as chairman. Stark had to relinquish his position as he has moved to Hamburg to head the Lufthansa Technik Executive Board.
The Air Cargo community members are presently working on what they term as a new Air Cargo Digitisation Catalayst (ACDC) which will be a platform for members to exchange ideas on enhancing digitisation procedures for air freight handling.
China Southern ups cargo and passengers in 2018
Guangzhou, China-based China Southern Airlines which is Asia’s largest airline with a fleet of 820 passenger and freighter aircraft, has announced that 2018 was a bumper year with both passenger and cargo figures rising considerably.
The carrier flew a total of 139.89 million passengers in 2018, an increase of almost 11 percent on the previous year. Air cargo also enjoyed an increase of 3,2 percent with a total of 1,726 million tons being moved with the fleet. The carrier operates a mixed passenger fleet ranging from small to mid-size jets up to larger A380, B787 and B777 long-range variants which can carry considerable cargo in their belly holds. The freighter fleet is made up of twelve B777Fs and two B747Fs. China Southern operates over 3,000 daily flights to 224 destinations in 40 countries.
Zeitfracht take holding in Blue Air
The Berlin-based Zeitfracht Group which among others operates in the air freight and logistics sector has now confirmed having taken a ten percent holding in Rumania’s Blue Air. The carrier operates a fleet of twenty-six Boeing 737 passenger aircraft to almost sixty destinations within Rumania and other European cities. The deal between Blue Air and Zeitfracht is said to have been agreed at the end of 2018 but it is only lately that the German aviation authorities gave their green light to Zeitfracht.
Zeitfracht is also the owner of Germany’s Leisure Cargo group which sells air freight capacity for a number of passenger airlines in Europe. It remains to be seen how Zeitfracht will integrate cargo services on the Blue Air fleet of aircraft.
On February 20th it was also announced that the Zeitfracht group will take over the German regional airline Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter LGW from Eurowings. In a release the logistics company said that LGW’s fleet of Bombardier Q400 aircraft will continue to operate for Eurowings. LGW Walter was previously part of the now defunct Air Berlin and after the bankruptcy was taken over by the Lufthansa Group which utilized the aircraft for Eurowings regional services. It was further stated that no jobs will be lost by the takeover. The sale price was not disclosed.
John Mc Donagh