IN BRIEF - THE LATEST AIR CARGO INDUSTRY NEWS
Antonov Airlines gets FTA Award
Kiev, Ukraine-based Antonov Airlines which is best known for the carriage of heavy and out-sized cargo in their fleet of giant AN-124 freighters, has won the Air Business of the Year Award at this year’s FTA Logistics Awards.
Doug Bannister, CEO of the Port of Dover and sponsor for the award handed it over to Antonov Airlines Business Development Director, Michael Goodisman, at a ceremony which took place last Monday in London. Antonov Airlines were also honoured last year with the FTA award as the best Air Freight Operator. This year’s prize was given to the carrier for what the jury saw as Antonov Airlines exceptional results and their standing within the industry.
Swiss WorldCargo adds more capacity
Swiss WorldCargo, the airfreight division of Swiss International Airlines has revamped its winter schedule somewhat to include more destinations and increased capacity in Asia.
In a recent release the carrier announced that as of 1. February there will now be daily B777-300ER flights to Tokyo and as of 1. March Swiss will commence operations from Zurich to Osaka utilizing an Airbus A340-300 aircraft. This will give customers to and from Japan added cargo capacity.
Flights to Colombo and Phuket have been reinstated as of 31. October and 3. November respectively. The same applies to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), where operations will resume again as of 18. November. In addition, Swiss plans to add additional flights to and from Miami during the winter period.
Swissport realigns EMEA management
Swissport International, the worldwide ground handling organization, has announced that they are realigning and strengthening their Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA ) set-up in order to be better prepared to handle customer expectations in the future for their Air Cargo Handling and Airport Ground Services sectors in the region.
Rudolf (Rudi) Steiner who was formerly Swissport’s Senior Vice President and Head of Commercial EMEA has now taken up the new position of Senior Vice President Cargo EMEA. Mr Steiner who has been with Swissport since 2008 has been in the business for over 20 years, having also held senior positions at Swissair and Swisscargo in Switzerland. His new role entails the coordination and management of Swissport’s cargo activities in the region by working closely with regional and local managers.
Mark Skinner, previously Senior Vice President for Middle East and Africa, now becomes Senior Vice President Business Development & Sales for the EMEA region. His job will be to guide the commercial teams in carrying out the company sales strategies. Mr Skinner has been with Swissport since 2004.
Brussels Airlines saves newspaper weight
Not really cargo orientated - but interesting to see that Brussels Airlines has decided to do away with free newspapers on their flights, thereby saving a total of 115 tons of weight per annum. The newspapers will be replaced by offering digital copies of newspapers which passengers can pull up on their smartphones or tablets on the carrier’s 250 daily flights. Brussels Airlines state that this move will reduce fuel consumption somewhat and lead to a decrease in CO2 emissions.
A small contribution to bettering the environment!
SQ completes Cargo iQ audit
Singapore Airlines is the latest carrier to have successfully passed a recent Cargo iQ audit which was carried out by the external auditing company SGS.
Cargo iQ members are obliged to undergo an audit every three years in order to ensure that they are aligned with Cargo iQ standards and specifications. Ariaen Zimmermann, Executive Director, Cargo iQ commented: “the audit is conducted in three-year cycles, and its standards are continuously evaluated to stay up-to-date and reflect best practices in the air cargo industry, as well as provide full end-to-end transparency on the planning and progress of air cargo shipments.“
Singapore Airlines recorded top marks on the audit and Chin Yau Sent, Senior Vice President Cargo at SQ stated that: “maintaining high standards and consistently delivering on commitments to our customers continue to be our top priority. Cargo iQ is an important enabler that helps us to sharpen our focus on systematically achieving these objectives.”
IAG Cargo Q3 results slide
The third quarter of this year was also not good for IAG Cargo’s revenues and overall results. In comparison to July - September 2018, the cargo revenue decreased by 9% to reach a total of only €269 million.
Although total capacity on offer by the IAG Group only decreased by a minimal 0.1%, the tonnage carried in Q3 dropped by 5.7% and the overall yield also went down by 4.2%. The majority of IAG Cargo’s revenues come from the carriage of airfreight on the British Airways and Iberia routes. It is not clear which of the two carriers suffered most from the Q3 decline. IAG Cargo CEO, Lynne Embleton commented on the poor result by saying that: “revenue for the quarter reflected the industry-wide decline in airfreight and weakening global trade.”
This is a statement which is seemingly being used by many these days!
Atlas Air to cut costs after disappointing results
New York-based Atlas Air also took a hit during the third quarter which has led the management to announce that a cost cutting programme will be put into effect in order to achieve better results.
The Q3 results as well as the carrier’s overall cash flow are a cause for concern within the management and with the shareholders. Overall cash flow at the end of the third quarter was a third of that what it was during the same period last year (US$ 82.8 million vs US$248.4 million). Pilots continue their fight with the management and the outlook for the final quarter of this year is not rosy.
Q3 EBITDA was shown as US$95.6 million which is an almost 30% drop when compared to 2018 Q3 EBITDA of US$123.9 million. As a result, the Atlas Air share price has fallen by around 8% to US$22 per share.
A worrying situation for the airline’s shareholders.
Hamburg Airport introduces FAIR@Link
The Air Cargo Platform, Fair@Link which has been developed by software specialists DAKOSY has now after a six-month pilot project been officially introduced as a digital support for air cargo handling at the Hamburg Airport Center.
Hamburg Airport’s Cargo Manager Alexander Mueller sees this move as an important improvement and enhancement of cargo handling at the airport. He stated that: “the new platform is an important step for future digital handling. With Fair@Link we can improve our handling even further and ensure that the increased rise in land side traffic can be handled more efficiently.”
Fair@Link gives freight agents a better window in which deliveries can be booked and controlled through means of a slot system, thereby reducing handling and waiting times before the warehouse doors as well as simplifying the documentation and customs process even further. Various freight and handling agents cooperated with DAKOSY in the pilot project and according to the airport, were all convinced that they experienced improvements in handling.
DAKOSY also developed the Fair@Link platform for Frankfurt Airport’s Cargo Community System as well as for the Port of Hamburg.
American Cargo upgrades systems
Dallas-based American Airlines Cargo has now launched what they term as the first phase of their single largest investment to-date by rolling out their new cargo end-to-end management system.
The new system is seen by the carrier as being a complete overhaul of the AA Cargo’s legacy technology which in the past was made up of 90 various systems. These have now been narrowed down to 10 systems which the carrier states are full of new tools and technology which apart from modernizing the cargo system, will also give customers many new benefits. The implementation of the new system which is powered by the iCargo platform and installed in partnership with IBS Software, was led by an AA Cargo team of over 700 staff across 300 locations globally. The implementation team was led by AA Cargo’s Vice President Strategy and Development, Jessica Tyler who has been working on the project for the past three years.
John Mc Donagh
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