IN BRIEF - THE LATEST AIR CARGO INDUSTRY NEWS
Antonov Airlines and Crane move oil well equipment
Houston, USA-based Crane Worldwide Logistics have utilised an Antonov Airlines AN 124-100 freighter to move urgently needed oil well safety equipment from Houston to the Argentinian Presidente Peron International Airport which is situated in the western Argentinian province of Neuquen.
Crane Worldwide Logistics which is headquartered in Houston and has 120 offices in 30 countries, has been using Antonov Airlines services quite often during the past years. The shipment which consisted of a heavy crane, control stations and water pumps weighed a total of 70 tons but took up most of the space in the AN 124’s huge cargo cabin. The aircraft’s own on-board crane was put into action to help load the bulky and very heavy parts. Dillon Lato, Inside Sales Supervisor - Houston, Crane Worldwide stated: “we had an AN 124-agreement signed, aircraft on ground, loaded and ready for wheels up to destination in 48 hours.”
Virgin Atlantic Cargo and Delta Cargo open new LHR facility
The British and American carriers who have a close cargo partnership have now officially opened their new state-of-the-art export cargo facility at London’s Heathrow Airport. The opening marks the first stage in both carriers aims to double their joint cargo handling capacity at LHR.
Situated at the new dnata City East terminal, the export warehouse offers an expanded 245 pallet position large Elevated Transfer vehicle (ETV) as well as eighteen delivery doors which is double the amount which was previously available. There is also a dedicated pharma handling zone along with expanded DGR and Live Animal handling areas. Deliveries to the warehouse have been made easier with the introduction of the so-called Gatehouse concept, which means drivers do not have to leave their cabs for the documentation process and are immediately assigned an offload door to speed up delivery times.
Cracks found in B737 freighter conversions
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued an airworthiness directive (AD) to Boeing after cracks have been discovered on some B737-800 aircraft which are being converted into freighters.
The FAA and Boeing are now working on an inspection programme on 737NGs which have high hour operating times on their fuselages. The cracks which were in the fuselage frames have so far been detected on three B737-800 aircraft which were being readied for conversion to freighters. The checks will be carried out on aircraft which have 30,000 or more cycles. The FAA issued their AD notice at the end of September and in the meantime, Boeing is said to be developing spare parts already for the necessary repair work. There are around 6,600 737NG aircraft in service, with almost 2,000 of these being operated in the U.S. The B737-800s with high hours on the airframes are seen as being ideal aircraft for freighter conversions as they can carry up to 23 tons of freight.
LATAM Cargo moves another heavyweight bear
LATAM Cargo Brazil is no stranger to carrying odd types of cargo, be it live animals or heavy building equipment. LATAM Cargo Brazil is part of the LATAM Cargo Group which utilizes the belly space in over 310 passenger aircraft and its ten dedicated B767 freighters.
Last week the Brazilian arm of LATAM Cargo again transported a huge live bear on one of their B767-300 freighters after having successfully flown two of the type from Fortaleza to Sao Paulo in August of this year. This time the bear was flown from Salvador to Sao Paulo where it will live in an ecological sanctuary located in Sao Paulo. The bear with a weight of 500 kilos was accompanied on its journey by veterinary specialists. LATAM Cargo has been working closely for some years with the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Resources (IBAMA). Since 2009 the carrier has offered the association free transport for over 4,500 animals in support of IBAMA’s projects aimed at the preservation of Brazilian fauna.
Loedige unveils automated vehicle
Germany’s Loedige Industries which is widely known for their development of air cargo terminals and much of the equipment, which is needed to run them, has now presented the market with what they term as an intelligent automated Unit Load Device (ULD) transporter.
The new AGV transporter was unveiled at this year’s “Inter Airport Europe 2019” trade show held in Munich. Loedige is offering two models of the ULD transporter. They are a 5-foot and 10-foot model which can accommodate different ULD sizes. Loedige state that the larger version is capable of lifting and transferring complete pallet loads. There is no driver needed for the ULD AGV and this Loedige says will enable operators to free up staff for other duties. The computer-controlled vehicle operates on battery power and Loedige state that its data-based functions allow it to operate effectively between landsite-based truck docks and airside-based ULD storage or other intra-terminal areas.
Saudia Cargo launches Dry Ice service
Jeddah-based Saudia Airlines Cargo has announced that they have started a new Dry Ice service. This offers dry ice replenishment for temperature-controlled products which need constant temperature control whilst being transported or stored. Saudia Cargo state that the service can be ordered and provided to their customers when asked for 48 hours in advance of prior cargo delivery. The Dry Ice Replenishment service is now on offer at both Jeddah and Riyadh airports for import and transit shipments. The carrier aims to extend the service to other stations in the near future. This new product offering is in line with the Saudia vision 2030, aimed at turning the Kingdom of Saudia Arabia into a unique logistics hub.
Network and Liege Airport extend cooperation
Network Airline Management (NAM) who arrange scheduled and charter cargo services worldwide using the capacity of MD-11 and B747 /B777 freighters, have extended their long-standing working relationship with Liege Airport for a further three years. Network moved their freighter operations to Liege in 2014 and they claim that since then cargo movements have increased considerably.
NAM now offers around twelve weekly flights into African destinations as well as arranging charter flights worldwide from the Belgian airport. NAM decided to move to Liege as the airport offers them a 24/7 operation which is essential for NAM’s sales and marketing programme. Malcolm Higginson - Operations Director Network Airline Management commented on the extension of the cooperation by stating: “we have been able to grow our business over the last five years with the support of Liege Airport with their dedicated cargo infrastructure, we fully expect to continue developing and growing the business even further.”
Russian express airline Atran, which is part of the Volga-Dnepr Group, has received its second B737-800BCF. The aircraft which can uplift 23 tons of cargo is now Atran’s sixth freighter. Along with the two B737-800Fs, they also operate four B737-400F aircraft which are used mainly for transporting e-commerce shipments within Russia and the CIS states.
Rome Fiumicino-based Mistral Air has got a new branding. They now operate under the name of Poste Air Cargo. The airline is part of Poste Italiane and operates mail and cargo services with their fleet of three ATR freighters and three B737-400Fs on inner-Italian routes. They also have a contract with Amazon for night delivery services.
John Mc Donagh
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