IN BRIEF - THE LATEST AIR CARGO INDUSTRY NEWS
Kalitta Air gets more time on AMS slot issue
Detroit-based Kalitta Air has been granted an extension by the U.S. Department of Transport (DOT) on their claim against the Netherlands for what they term as unfair handling by the Dutch authorities with regards to slot allocations for Kalitta operations into Amsterdam.
The carrier has received a 30 day extension from the DOT in order to try and come up with a solution. The new deadline is now 1. May 2019.
At the end of January Kalitta Air filed a complaint with the DOT that the Airport Coordination Netherlands (ACNL), Amsterdam Airport and the Dutch government have jointly discriminated against Kalitta by reducing their available slots at the airport. In a statement the DOT says that they hope a common solution can be found in the coming weeks and therefore they have decided to grant the extension period.
ABC launches ‘abc premium’
Moscow-based AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC) launched their new ‘abc premium’ product earlier this month. The new product is geared towards serving clients who seek guaranteed capacity and prioritization on specific flights on the carrier’s international network. The carrier expects abc premium to be used mainly by customers who ship time-sensitive products such as vaccines, pharmaceuticals and urgent components for aircraft servicing or the automobile industry.
The carrier also announced that they have signed a leasing agreement with Sonoco ThermoSafe for the use of Sonoco’s PharmaPort 360 temperature-controlled containers. The introduction of the Sonoco containers will according to the carrier enhance their ‘abc pharma’ product even further. The PharmaPort 360 can also easily be loaded onto standard aircraft pallets and has a built in GPS tracking and monitoring system.
A 40 ton, single eight meter long piece of machinery which was urgently needed for a ship moored in Singapore, was flown by ABC from Frankfurt to Singapore. The shipment which was loaded onto one of ABC’s B747Fs was handled by the carrier’s specialized ‘abcXL’ team who managed the loading with the help of a special 110 ton capacity crane.
Antonov Airlines celebrates 30 years
We reported last week on the Antonov Airlines book which was recently published in time for their 30th anniversary. The carrier is now officially in the middle of their 30th anniversary celebrations and according to their Managing Director, Graham Witton, can look back over the past 30 years on the many differing projects they have been able to transport on their fleet of AN-124 freighters as well as the single AN-225 Myriya super transporter.
Founded back in 1989, Antonov Airlines has since then moved almost all types of outsized cargo which can fit weight and volume-wise into the Antonov fleet. Their heaviest load was an almost 188 ton generator which was uplifted in 2009 from Frankfurt, Germany to Yerevan, Armenia. To date, this is the heaviest single shipment ever flown.
Virgin Cargo reports an ‘outstanding’ 2018
Dominic Kennedy, Managing Director Cargo at Virgin Atlantic, is very happy with the 2018 cargo results. In a release on 10 April the carrier announced that they achieved the strongest revenue performance of the past five years, where revenues grew by 13% to UKP222 million. Annual volumes rose by 6% to 244.000 tons, the best growth rate since 2010.
The transport of pharma products showed a noticeable 50% increase over 2017 and the carrier states that tonnages from the UK and the USA achieved new records. Mr Kennedy stated that: “2018 was an amazing year for us in terms of growth. We achieved particularly strong growth from June onwards, resulting in the best Q4 performance in our 34-year history, with positive contributions from across our network and partnerships.“
Southern Air to operate Amazon B737Fs
Cincinnati-based Southern Air, a 100% Atlas Air subsidiary is going to operate B737-800 freighter services for Amazon. Amazon will lease five B737-800Fs from GECAS and then place them on sublease with Southern Air. The aircraft are presently being converted from passenger configuration in Jinan, China and the first one is expected to be delivered to the U.S. shortly. The lease contract will run for a period of seven years with an option for an extension to ten years. Amazon is also said to be holding an option for an additional fifteen B737-800Fs, which if taken could all be in service with Southern Air by 2021.
Sources say that Amazon’s holding in Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (AAWW) may well be increased from the agreed 30% to 39.9%. Southern Air also operates six B777Fs and six B737-400Fs for DHL Express and Atlas runs a total of twenty 767-300Fs for Amazon.
John Mc Donagh