IN BRIEF - THE LATEST AIR CARGO INDUSTRY NEWS
Qatar Cargo adds additional charters
As from November Qatar Airways Cargo will be operating a number of charters to both Liege (LGG) and Maastricht-Aachen (MAA) Airports to serve Chinese e-commerce companies.
According to MAA’s CEO Jos Roeven a total of 21 flights - 1 per week - will be directed to one of the airports. A specific distribution formula for the use of the respective gateways has not yet been defined.
MAA too is engaging in e-commerce traffic, even if it does not have a major client such as Alibaba at LGG, says Mr Roeven. “Like LGG these volumes are airport-to-airport or airport-to-PostNL,” he admits.
Steven Verhasselt, VP Commercial at Liege Airport points out that Qatar is one of LGG’s three largest clients and will remain so in the future. “We are collaborating to support further growth, but we do not have the exclusive rights on their cargo flights. They are far too big for that and so is their growth rate.” Mr Verhasselt admits that the charter operation is “a one off for a peak season operation.”
Korean & Asiana cutting back on domestic ops
The two main Korean carriers, Korean Air and Asiana have announced that they will be cutting back on some of the domestic cargo services as of October. Both airlines have suffered considerably due to the U.S.-China trade war which they say has seen business slow down. On top of this competition from Low Cost Carriers (LCCs) and the present dispute with Japan has also affected cargo services.
Both Korean Air and Asiana have informed customers that as of October 1. they will stop sales, and operations at their Gwangju, Daegu and Cheong Ju terminals until further notice. Only the Seoul-Gimpo-Jeju domestic service will remain in operation. Tonnages at the three closing terminals have dropped considerably during the past months.
Is Kalitta Air forced to end AMS operation?
Detroit, USA-based Kalitta Air has been in a long running dispute with Amsterdam Schiphol Airport regarding the allocation of slots for its freighter services.
Kalitta which at the moment operates a twice weekly B747-400F service between Amsterdam and New York (JFK), has signaled that because of the ongoing slot arguments, that it will face the risk of having to discontinue their AMS-JFK services during the upcoming 2019/2020 winter season. It seems that Kalitta is now being supported by the U.S. Department of Transport (DOT) who have stated that the combined Joint Venture between Air France-KLM, Delta and Virgin Atlantic gives reason for concern regarding slot access to Amsterdam Airport. The DOT says that due to the new JV and the Skyteam carriers’ operations into AMS, that more than 60% of all slots will be allocated to these carriers alone. Kalitta Air claims that it is facing a close of operations at AMS as of October if they are not allocated the necessary slots they applied for.
WFS invests in new CDG Pharma Centre
Paris, France-based Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) has invested €10 million in the construction of a brand-new Pharma Centre at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. WFS state that the new pharma terminal which is expected to open in September of this year, will be the only facility at CDG owned by a ground handler which is dedicated to pharmaceuticals.
The handler has recently also opened new pharma facilities at Johannesburg, Miami and Copenhagen airports. The new CDG facility is constructed so that both landslide and airside acceptance of pharma shipments will be possible. WFS also confirms that the facility will be fully GDP compliant and will also become IATA CEIV Pharma certified. The 2,400 square metre terminal will have its own loading docks, a dedicated cold room (+2 - +8C) which can hold up to 47 euro-pallets, a freezing room (-20C) and two temperature-controlled areas (+2 to +25C) for pallets and ULDs.
TIACA appoints Project Manager
The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) has appointed Celine Hourcade to the position of Project Manager. She will take up her duties as of September 2019 and will be fully integrated into the TIACA transformation programme.
She will head up the various projects that TIACA is planning for the future and her first two priorities will be to oversee the TIACA Sustainability Program and the Cargo Service Quality (CSQ) tool.
Celine Hourcade joins TIACA from IATA where she has spent the past 13 years, having joined its Cargo Department in 2008, where she worked on IATA’s industry transformation, sustainability and advocacy projects. TIACA Chairman Steven Polmans stated: “with her industry knowledge, her passion for air cargo, her experience and expertise, she will be a great addition to the current TIACA team.”
Atlas Air wins arbitration fight
During the middle of last week, Atlas Air announced that it had won an arbitration against the Airline Professionals Association, the union which represents its pilots and the Teamsters Local 1224 union.
The arbitration decision confirmed that the merger provisions laid out in the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) conform with and fully apply in respect of Atlas Air’s acquisition of Southern Air in 2016. The arbitration decision also pointed out that the Teamsters Local 1224 had violated the present CBA when they refused to follow through on the merger provisions required for the issuance of a new collective bargaining agreement. The arbitrators have now instructed the union to get moving on negotiations for a new joint CBA and that they should submit their ideas within the coming 45 days.
The last word has not been spoken in this issue as the union has indicated that they will continue to fight their case.
Qantas Freight has received the first of two Boeing 747-8 freighters, with the second aircraft expected later this week. The aircraft will replace the B747-400 freighters and offer Qantas freight customers up to 20 percent more capacity. Both freighters will be operated by Atlas Air with the Qantas Freight logo painted on the side on routes from Sydney to China and the USA.
Sofia, Bulgaria-based Cargo Air, has agreed with Boeing to defer delivery of two B737-800 freighters until 2023. Cargo Air operates seven B737-400Fs along with three B737-300Fs and a single B737-400 passenger aircraft.
AeroMexico Cargo which has its main base in Mexico City, plans to wet lease a B767-200 freighter from U.S. cargo carrier 21 Air. The Mexican carrier plans to utilize the aircraft on the Los Angeles to Mexico City and Guadalajara route.
John Mc Donagh / Marcel Schoeters