IN BRIEF - THE LATEST AIR CARGO INDUSTRY NEWS
Unilode and Nordisk join on digital tags
Zurich-based Unilode Aviation Solutions a main provider of Unit Load Device (ULDs) management and repair solutions has teamed up with Nordisk Aviation Products and have together developed what they term as an ‘integrated pallet edge rail solution for digital tags.’
Nordisk is one of the leading manufacturers of ULDs and aircraft pallets. In a statement issued last week they said that their existing pallets, including heavy duty pallets, will be retrofitted with digital tags which will enable tracking as well as shock and temperature measurement. Nordisk President Richard Betts commented that: “the integrated x-rail digital solution for Unilode has been developed in good cooperation over the past few months.” Unilode’s CEO, Benoit Dumont stated that: “it is our clear ambition to bring the aviation industry to the next level of efficiency and supply chain transparency with digital ULDs.”
Cargolux to get 3 additional B747-400Fs
The all-cargo carrier Cargolux which has its main base in Luxembourg has announced that they will place a further three Boeing 747-400Fs into their fleet by mid-2019. The aircraft it seems are not meant to offer the market additional cargo capacity. They will for a period of time replace other B747Fs from the CV fleet which will undergo lengthy D-checks during the coming months. These will include checks on the B747-8F fleet as well as the B747-400F aircraft. Normal D-checks for an aircraft of this size take up to two months to complete. It was not stated as to how long Cargolux will keep the additional leased three B747-400Fs in service.
The carrier also announced that the planned relocation flight of the two beluga whales from Shanghai to Keflavik in Iceland has been postponed. The flight has been put back due to the fact that weather conditions in Iceland have made it very difficult to move the whales on their final leg from the mainland to the island of Heimaey.
Saudia Cargo gains GACAR 151 - joins Skyteam Cargo
The Saudia General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has approved Saudia Airlines Cargo company’s completion for all technical and operational standards achieving high levels of compliance with the global rules and regulations of aviation security and safety by providing it with the operating license for ground handling service providers (GACAR 151). Saudia Cargo’s CEO, Omar Hariri commented that: “this license will further enhance Saudia Cargo’s ground handling capabilities and opportunities, thus increasing the logistical income into the Saudia economy.”
Saudia Cargo has also announced that they have become a member of SkyTeam Cargo as of April 15th. The all-cargo fleet now consists of four B777Fs, two B747-8Fs and two B747-400 freighters.
Atran Airlines opens new route
Moscow-based air express carrier Atran Airlines which is part of the Volga-Dnepr Group of carriers, has started a new service from Xi’an, China to Moscow using their B737-400SF freighters. The service is expected to be upgraded to a B737-800F which is capable of carrying up to 23 tons of cargo on each sector.
The carrier stated that the first flight was conducted in cooperation with Russian Post. The new service is geared towards the uplift of e-commerce shipments from northern China to Russia. The e-commerce market in Russia is expected to grow at 15% over the next few years and Atran Airlines will work closely with China Post and Russian Post in order to serve this booming market sector in the future.
Turkish Cargo ups February volumes
Turkish Cargo, the air freight arm of Turkish Airlines upped their cargo and mail traffic by almost 1.4% in February compared to the previous month. The carrier flew a total of 99.112 tons and in a recent statement say that they have increased their market share in the first two months of this year in comparison to January / February of 2018.
In global air cargo rankings Turkish Cargo now holds the 7th position, having risen from being number twelve two years ago.
ABC nominates WFS for Liege partnership
AirBridgeCargo Airlines has made it known that they have chosen Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) as their strategic partner at Belgium’s Liege Airport (LGG). The Moscow-based all cargo carrier is busy with the planning of the first phase of a new dedicated cargo area at LGG which is expected to open by the end of this year.
The new warehouse project to accommodate ABC’s increased services to Liege has been split into two phases for completion by the end of this year and mid-2010 respectively.
The first part which will have a total handling area of 12,500 sqm should be in service by November this year. The carrier plans to increase their present eight weekly flights through LGG to a total of thirty per week by mid-2020. This would place Liege Airport in the top league of cargo handling airports in Europe.
Qantas Freight upgrades to B747-8F
Australian carrier Qantas whose Qantas Freight arm operates long-haul cargo services with two leased B747-400 freighters has announced that they will upgrade their service by replacing these two aircraft with two B747-8Fs which offer a higher payload and better operating range. The B747-44Fs are on lease from U.S.-based Atlas Air and the replacement B747-8Fs will also be leased and operated by Atlas Air crews on Qantas Freight’s transpacific routes which link Australia and Asia to destinations within the United States.
QF freight also operate a single B767-300 freighter along with five B737-300Fs which serve regional and domestic Australian routes. These are supported by five smaller Bae 146 cargo aircraft which are wet leased from Australian operator JetEx.
CEVA starts China-Europe rail service
CEVA Logistics North Asia has now started a block train service from China to Europe. This follows on their recent decision to operate a regular full truck service from China to Europe.
The rail service originates in the southeast Chinese city of Xiamen which is also well known for its air-sea cargo movements and ends up in the German city of Duisburg. The rail service carries quite a large amount of sea freight which is consolidated from other Asian countries in Xiamen. CEVA states that the total journey time is expected to be between 16-17 days and that they plan to increase the number of movements once demand for the service increases.
John Mc Donagh