IN BRIEF - THE LATEST AIR CARGO INDUSTRY NEWS
EL AL ceases B747F operations
EL AL Israel Airlines which has been operating B747-400 freighter services since 2010 has decided to phase out the aircraft and to compensate have formed a partnership with AirBridgeCargo Airlines and ASL Airlines.
The company reports that during the nine years of their B747F operations that they have flown a total of 275,000 tons - which gave an average utilization of around 2,500 tons per month. The last flight was between Liege and Tel Aviv where the aircraft was then handed back to the lessor. The new partnership with ASL and AirBridgeCargo was celebrated at a special event held recently at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport attended among others by the Russian Ambassador to Israel, ABC’s CEO Sergey Lazarev and EL AL Chairman Eli Defes. It has not yet been revealed as to which routes will be operated for EL AL in the new partnership although it is reported that the carrier would like to introduce services to Moscow, using ABC aircraft.
Cargolux ups Xiamen flights
The Luxembourg-based all cargo carrier, Cargolux, has announced that as of 1. July, they have added a third weekly B747F service to the Chinese city of Xiamen. The aircraft departs Luxembourg on Monday mornings and arrives in Xiamen early Tuesday morning. The return flight is routed across the Pacific to Los Angeles before returning to Luxembourg.
CV has been operating regular services to Xiamen since 2006 and the third frequency provides the only direct freighter flight between Xiamen and the USA. On this sector to Los Angeles the aircraft will mainly carry garments and electronic goods.
SEKO opens additional Chicago gateway
Illinois, USA-headquartered SEKO Logistics has tripled the size of their Chicago hub by adding a third new facility with the acquisition of GoodShip International, a Chicago-based customs broker and freight forwarder.
GoodShip was acquired earlier this year along with Omni-Channel Logistics, another Chicago-based operator. SEKO has announced that the new facility created by the takeover will be used as a cross border e-commerce parcel processing hub which is needed in order to cater for their fast growing domestic, international and return parcels solutions. The new facility created offers just over 10,000 square meters of handling space and has a total of 17 dock and ramp doors as well as a pallet racking storage system.
Ethiopian Cargo starts to Chongqing
Addis Ababa-based Ethiopian Cargo which has established itself over the past few years as Africa’s number one passenger and cargo airline, has now added a new Boeing 777F service to the large Chinese city of Chongqing.
The return flight from Chongqing routes via Shanghai and Delhi to Addis Ababa. From there it continues onto Lagos, Sao Paulo, Quito and Miami. This new service gives Chinese exporters access to African, South American and North American markets via Addis Ababa.
Ethiopian Cargo continues to expand their freighter operations as part of the carrier’s Vision 2025 planning. The aim is to have nineteen dedicated freighters in operation by then, serving almost 60 destinations around the world.
Rhenus joins with Wings for Aid
Germany-based Rhenus Air & Ocean have joined forces with Dutch start-up humanitarian organization Wings for Aid, with the aim of setting up a strategic alliance for the so called ‘last mile’ delivery of relief goods into areas which have been hit by disasters.
At the signing of the agreement earlier this month both parties stressed the logistical problems involved in bridging the ‘last mile’ in many of the outlying areas which have been hit with such disasters. Rhenus and Wings for Aid estimate that there are up to 100 million people in disaster areas in need of emergency aid each year. Of these, around 20 percent are extremely hard to reach, and this is where both companies will work closely together.
Work for Aid uses a fleet of unmanned small airplanes which are fitted with smart technology to allow ‘self-landing’ of cargo containing emergency aid items such as medicines into remote areas. Rhenus Air & Ocean will take care of the logistics necessary in order to set up the delivery system needed to ensure fast delivery anywhere in the world.
Cool Chain readies for 7th Pharma Conference
The 7th Pharma & Biosciences Conference will be held in Paris from 23rd - 24th September this year. The Cool Chain Association (CCA) Airfreight Pharma Conference which will also be part of the venue is presently setting up their final programme for the event. There will be much emphasis on collaborative solutions to the final mile challenges, CCA spokesmen say.
CCA Chairman Stavros Evangelakakis, who is also Global Product Manager for Cargolux, is hoping for a good turnout at this year’s event. He states that: “Cool Chain partners are seeking new ways whereby stakeholder collaboration delivers a cost-effective, and high-quality service in a rapidly changing pharma landscape.”
There will be an interesting list of panelists at the Pharma Conference who will debate how best to embrace new innovations and technology to help keep ahead of the problems the industry will experience in the ever-changing pharma handling scene.
Swissport pushes pharma handling ahead at BRU
Ground handler Swissport aims to take its cargo service delivery at Belgium’s Zaventem Airport to the next level by operating a state-of-the-art cargo facility. The premises will consist of a 25,000 sqm warehouse, a four-story office building for Swissport and its customers and dedicated pharma space of 2,620 sqm. Additional-ly, a 1,000 sqm cooling facility (+2° to +8°C) will be available for customers. With its new end-to-end cool chain, Swissport intends to further grow its share in the phar-ma air transport business in Brussels as well as worldwide, reads their press re-lease. “Our new warehouse and the state-of-the-art Swissport Pharma Center will be the benchmark for modern and efficient air cargo and pharma logistics,” says Luzius Wirth, Executive Vice President Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) for Swissport. “The investment underlines our commitment to the Belgian market. In parallel we are working to improve the profitability of our Belgian business activities in order to cre-ate long-term job security for our staff.”
The building is being constructed by Brussels Airport Company and will be opera-tional in about 1.5 years from today. Swissport has signed a long-term lease and is investing several million euros in equipment and fittings for the new facility. The company handles more than 550,000 tons of cargo annually in Belgium and em-ploys some 2,000 staff in the country. The global tonnage handled by Swissport amounted to 4.8 million tons in 2018.
Fraport cargo figures drop again
Germany’s largest airport operator Fraport has published their June and first half-year results. Whereas the passenger business continues to flourish, the air cargo figures dropped considerably in June of this year.
Fraport cargo throughput at Frankfurt Airport dropped by 4.7% last month to just 174,392 tons. In their statement Fraport put the blame for this on the continuing weak global economy as well as two public holidays which fell in June this year. The cumulative air cargo figure from January to June was 1.1 million tons which represents an almost -3% drop compared to the first half-year 2018.
Passenger figures at FRA rose by 3% to reach 33.6 million for the period January to June. Fraport’s other international Group activities which are mainly related to the passenger business, almost all performed well during June and the first six months.
KLM B747F near miss flap drop
A KLM Boeing 747-400 freighter had a lucky escape last week when it was on final approach to Zimbabwe’s Harare International Airport. The aircraft lost a large section of an inboard flap but was able to continue for a safe landing.
The aircraft which was en-route from Johannesburg is said to be still in Harare awaiting repairs.
The inhabitants of the small village of Chitungwiza which lies under the flight path to Harare, were even luckier. Thankfully nobody was injured or killed as the flap section landed heavily in the village narrowly missing one of the houses.
Loss of small or larger flap sections although not a common occurrence, do happen from time to time. In September 2018 Turkish operator ACT Airlines also lost a large part of an inboard flap section from their B747F when on final approach to Frankfurt Airport. The section was later found next to the runway.
John Mc Donagh