IN BRIEF - THE LATEST AIR CARGO INDUSTRY NEWS
FedEx suing U.S. government
A rather unspectacular issue has led to FedEx filing a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Commerce (DoC). The logistics company was recently threatened with fines by the DoC after having erroneously diverted shipments of various Huawei articles from the United Kingdom to the United States. Huawei shipments were at that time on the U.S. embargo list and FedEx states that the diversion of the said shipments was entirely accidental on their part.
The carrier argues in their lawsuit that it is being put under unnecessary pressure when having to adhere to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) presently in force. They claim that these regulations which hold carriers alone as being responsible for shipments they handle, as being a violation of the U.S. constitution’s Fifth Amendment. The lawsuit issued by FedEx lawyers further points out that it is unfair for carriers such as FedEx to have the full responsibility of controlling the actual contents and origin of the goods they transport. So far there has been no actual fine issued by the DoC to FedEx for the above-mentioned transport. In a similar case, FedEx was supposed to deliver Huawei packages from Japan to China. But they ended up in the United States. FedEx apologized, saying the items were misrouted in error.
Swiss WorldCargo approves CSafe RAP
Swiss International Air Lines air cargo arm, Swiss WorldCargo, has now approved the CSafe RAP system for their entire wide-body fleet of aircraft. CSafe RAP is an active temperature.controlled system which is installed in in-flight containers and which is very often used by many other airlines around the world.
Swiss WorldCargo has in the meantime many temperature-controlled units in use and the introduction of the CSafe RAP into containers gives the carrier an added means of offering their clients an additional and updated temperature-sensitive product.
Lynden Air Cargo operates in Papua New Guinea
The Alaska-headquartered carrier started cargo flights with a Hercules freighter out of the capital city of Port Moresby and the 300 km distant city of Lae on behalf of Exxon. For the past several years, Lynden Air Cargo has been involved in Exxon's Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project to construct a gas plant and pipelines on the Pacific island. Lynden's task is to deliver heavyweight construction materials and other equipment. Prior to this assignment Lynden Air Cargo had to earn an FAA airworthiness certificate plus a certificate from the local PNG authorities. “Once we were cleared with the FAA we were only halfway there,” explains Paul Willing, Lynden Air Cargo Vice President of Maintenance. To earn a certificate of airworthiness in PNG, Lynden Air Cargo was required to apply for and receive a U.S. Export Certificate of Airworthiness, deregister the Hercules aircraft, apply for registration and certificate of airworthiness in PNG and demonstrate conformity with PNG requirements. This was all accomplished in record time – 144 days to be exact.
ASL France up for sale?
French logistics and freight forwarding company, Bansard Intenational, which was founded in 1963, is said to be interested in taking over ASL Airlines France. News out of Paris shows that the ASL Aviation Holding has been discussing selling off ASL Airlines France to Bansard as soon as possible. Maybe the above is a move determined by ASL Aviation’s new owners, STAR Capital Partnership. They took over ASL a month or so ago and are said to be busy working on restructuring programmes for the group.
Bansard which has its headquarters in Paris has widespread logistics and cargo forwarding activities in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and the United States. ASL France operates a mixed fleet of twelve B737 freighters of which three are so called Quick Change (QC) versions, carrying passengers by day and cargo by night. It also operates another seven B737s (-700 and -800 series) on passenger services.
Antonov AN-126 destroyed in Libya
June 22nd was a sad day for the world’s Antonov AN-124 fleet of aircraft. There are not so many of these giants and very reliable transporters on the market anymore. Russia’s Volga-Dnepr airlines has the majority of AN-124s in service.
Libyan Air Cargo which is based in Tripoli had a single AN-124 on their register. This aircraft was totally destroyed whilst parked at Tripoli International Airport. Heavy fighting between differing Libyan factions in and around the airport ended in a rocket propelled grenade hitting the AN-124 and the resulting fire ended with the aircraft being a write-off. It is said that the attack was deliberate after Libyan GNA troops suspected it had been used to carry munitions for the opposing LNA faction. A strange claim - seeing that the Libyan AN-124 is said to have been parked at Tripoli since 2014. Libyan Arab Airlines also has Russian made IL-76 freighters on their books, although it is not known where they are based at the moment.
Topping out ceremony in BUD
Budapest’s new dedicated air cargo terminal is almost ready for operations. The so called ‘topping out’ ceremony was recently carried out and the builders have now finished with the external structure of the larger of the two planned warehouses. When completed, both will have a 21,600 square meter area for air cargo handling.
BUD Cargo City managers are striving to put Budapest Airport on the map as being what they term as an ideal air cargo distribution centre for Eastern Europe. The airport handled a total of 146,113 tons of cargo last year. The new cargo terminals are part of a 160-million-euro investment in Budapest (BUD 2020). The cargo investment also includes a new dedicated building for forwarders as well as extended apron positions for the handling of wide-body freighters.
Volga-Dnepr brings Tillich on board
It’s always handy to have someone who knows the area lobbying for you.
Volga-Dnepr Airlines which is busy with expansion plans at Germany’s Leipzig Airport has managed to hire the services of Stanislaw Tillich who was once Prime Minister of the German state of Saxony where Leipzig Airport is situated. Tillich who still has many valuable connections in local and national government circles has been appointed as special consultant to Volga-Dnepr.
In other news Loadstar reports that VD Airlines has now revised its decision not to work anymore with charter brokers. They had previously announced that they would work directly with potential clients. However, this seems not to have paid off and rumours have been circling during the past month or so that Volga-Dnepr Airlines as well as AirBridge Cargo Airlines are fighting to keep their heads above water as revenues continue to decline.
Istanbul-based MNG Airlines is said to be planning to replace their aging Airbus A300F fleet by adding three Airbus A330-200Fs which are soon to be converted from passenger into cargo (P2F) versions. MNG already operates one A330F.
ULS Airlines Cargo, another Turkish cargo operator is also said to be close to signing for two A330-200 P2F aircraft. ULS which operates services for Turkish Airlines Cargo presently have three very old A310 freighters in service.
Taipei-based China Airlines has signaled that they wish to sign up with Boeing for six new B777 freighters. These aircraft, once in service, will replace some of the old B747-400 freighters of which China Airlines still has eighteen in service.
John Mc Donagh