IN BRIEF - THE LATEST AIR CARGO INDUSTRY NEWS
Volvo joins freight trains transport from China
In July the first train with Volvo cars manufactured in China arrived in the Belgian city of Gent. The train which was made up of double-decker transport wagons which were specially built to carry cars, started its journey from Xi’an, China and the total journey time is said to have been around 18 days.
Cars which are exported have traditionally been moved by ocean transport, with very few, mainly luxury cars, moving by air transport. The train journey was arranged by ARS Altmann, a logistics company specializing in automotive transport, along with Vienna-based Intermodal Container Logistics. Both companies state that there is room to move around 40,000 units per annum in the future on this route using the covered wagons which offer protection from bad weather and other damaging elements.
CV Italia starts Korean service
The Italian subsidiary of Cargolux, Cargolux Italia which operates out of Milan-Malpensa Airport with a fleet of four Boeing 747-400 freighters, has announced the start of a new service to Korea’s Seoul-Incheon Airport.
The first flight in this new series was performed on July 16th and in future there will be two weekly operations from Milan to the Korean capital city. Flights will depart Malpensa on Tuesdays and Thursdays and on the return leg will route via Zhengzhou, China and back to Malpensa. CV Italia intends to carry large amounts of fashion goods, pharmaceuticals, machine parts and luxury cars on the outbound leg to Seoul. With Seoul, CV Italia now operates to eleven destinations out of Italy.
ABX Air short of B767F pilots
The Wilmington, Ohio, U.S.-based ABX Air is having problems in hiring enough pilots to operate their B767F fleet.
ABX Air it seems has come up with their own solution to alleviate the problem. They are offering Milwaukee-based Air Cargo Carriers pilots a chance to qualify for a front seat in their B767Fs. Air Cargo Carriers operate a fleet of twenty-four Shorts 360 aircraft along with various another small aircraft. The deal being offered with the blessing of Air Cargo Carriers managers entails that those who apply will not have to go through an interview process, but must have been a pilot-in-command (PIC) for at least two years and have a minimum of 1,000 hours flying time. ABX Air hopes to overcome their 767F pilot shortage to ensure that they have enough crews for the ten B767Fs, of which one is said to be currently grounded due to the shortage.
ACS arranges Niger power plant flights
UK-based Air Charter Service who specialize in passenger and cargo charters worldwide, has recently completed the transport of four Antonov AN-124 freighter flights with parts for a new power plant in the African state of Niger.
The four flights carried a total of 400 tons of heavy and outsized cargo consisting of transformers and other parts. The flights which originated in France operated to Niger’s capital city of Niamey. The cargo was stored in ten 40 foot containers, each weighing 35 tons. An additional 40 tons of spare parts were also transported on the same flights. All were operated by Kiev, Ukraine-based Antonov Airlines.
SASI brings two new experts on board
Montreal-based Strategic Aviation Solutions (SASI) who work closely with TIACA in setting up training programmers for the air cargo industry, have added two new member to their management team.
P. Balasubramanian (Bala) will take up responsibility for the Indian Sub Continent. Bala is no stranger to the air cargo business, having spent 25 years with Emirates Air Cargo where he also worked closely with IATA, ICAO and IAEA.
Dutch national Hans van der Zwet will join the team and will concentrate on developing new IT solutions in future air cargo terminal facilities. SASI is also involved in assisting in the planning and development of such areas and sees the need for a far better future development in order to keep pace with e-commerce traffic moving by air. Hans van der Zwet will be based in Amsterdam.
Virgin Atlantic teams up with WTA & Swissport
WTA Aviation and Swissport in Israel have signed a contract with Virgin Atlantic Cargo to support the launch and cargo growth on the carrier’s upcoming daily flights between London Heathrow and Tel Aviv.
The service will be inaugurated on 25th September with the introduction of the daily Airbus A330-300 flights. This aircraft can carry up to 20 tons of cargo in the belly holds. Virgin Atlantic Cargo is offering direct onward connections from London to the USA which are said to be of great interest to the Israeli pharmaceutical industry. The London-based airline also hopes to attract e-commerce shipments on these flights as well as carrying fresh produce to the UK. Swissport will be responsible for the cargo handling services and WTA will act as Virgin Atlantic Cargo’s general sales agent in the area.
In other news it was announced late last week that Virgin Atlantic Cargo was awarded its first Cargo iQ certification. This follows on an independent audit carried out by French auditors SGS on behalf of Cargo iQ. The audit concentrated on the carrier’s Quality Managment System.
Qantas looking to replace their B737 freighters
Recent reports out of Australia indicate that Qantas Freight is looking closely at finding replacement aircraft for their aging B737 freighters which are said to have almost come to the end of their operational lifetime.
Four aircraft are from the 737-300 series and there is also a single B737-400F in the fleet. They are all operated by the Qantas Freight daughter company, Express Freight Australia. The aircraft which were all converted passenger versions are said to have an average age of between 29 to 33 years. Replacement aircraft could come from future B737-700 or -800 passenger versions.
KL-AF-MP Cargo signs for AFSL Exchange
Accenture who are a global services company offering digital technology solutions has introduced their new AFLS Exchange, which is a cloud based connectivity and collaboration platform aimed at helping air cargo carriers to integrate their partner networks to initiate new business opportunities.
Air France - KLM - Martinair Cargo have signed up as the launch carrier for the new AFSL exchange system. Both the carriers and Accenture state that the system gives airlines a real-time view into their partner and joint venture networks, thereby enabling them to provide efficient, seamless and secure transactions for their key business functions. These include showing available capacity, following bookings from end-to-end and showing up-to-date information on routes available.
John Mc Donagh