IN BRIEF - THE LATEST AIR CARGO INDUSTRY NEWS
New AN-124 starts to take shape
We, along with other aviation media have speculated during the past twelve months or so as to how Russia will get around the problem of finding a suitable replacement aircraft for the elderly Antonov AN-124 transporter in order to continue to meet the needs of their military transport as well as for Russian commercial operators.
It became known at the beginning of this year (we reported) that the Russian government had given the green light for a project to look at designing and building a “new“ AN-124 type of aircraft. This has been pushed because of the continuing strife between Russia and the Ukraine which has also resulted in the Ukraine government refusing to cooperate further on updating today’s AN-124 fleets. The Antonov Design Bureau is on Ukranian territory and it is said that there is no funding available for a new aircraft as well as still an official legal action being followed through by Antonov against Volga-Dnepr Airlines, whom they claim has violated maintenance procedures on their fleet of AN-124s. Not really a basis for a future cooperation!
The new Russian project, which runs under the name ‘Slon’ seems to be gaining speed as it was recently announced that the first prototype model for wind tunnel testing is ready at Moscow’s Tsagi Institute. The new AN-124 model is almost 170 cm long and weighs 120 kilos. The ‘mini-Slon’ as it is called is now undergoing wind tunnel tests in order to analyze its future shape and other design aspects. It will be interesting to see what the end result will be.
Airbus obtains Beluga XL certification
Although the new Airbus Beluga XL transporter has been absolving quite a few test flights during the past months, the final type certification was still outstanding.
Airbus has revealed that the aircraft’s first official type certification has now been awarded by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). This now opens the way for the aircraft to go into normal operations as of early 2020. The Beluga XL which is designed around the A330 freighter body, is urgently needed by Airbus in order to transport a pair of A350 wings at one time from the UK factory to their final assembly point in Toulouse. So far Airbus has produced two new Beluga’s, but plan to update this number to six. Once all are airborne, the elderly original Beluga’s which are designed around the old A300 airframe, will be phased out of service.
Lockheed’s LM-100J gets commercial type rating
The American aircraft manufacturer Lockheed Martin, which is well known in military circles for their C-130 Hercules transporter, have now announced that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has granted type design update certification to Lockheed for their LM-100 aircraft. The new LM-100J which is designed around the C-130 Hercules body, is designated to fly as a commercial transporter. This replaces the present L-100 model of which Lockheed has produced over 100 aircraft. In order for it to be able to operate general commercial services from any commercial airfield around the globe Lockheed needed certification from the U.S. aviation authorities before it could be released for such operations.
The updated type certification means that Lockheed can now follow up on interest shown by future commercial operators of the L-100J. The launch customer for the commercial update was U.S.-based Pallas Aviation who have ordered two of the type. The aircraft offers a better payload, more fuel efficiency and higher range than its predecessor.
CEVA Logistics signs up new deals
Swiss-based Logistics and Freight Management Solutions company CEVA Logistics which was founded in 2006, continues to expand their operations and renew contracts around the world, as well as giving support to other institutions.
In the UK, the company has announced that they have signed into the UK Armed Forces Covenant. The Covenant recognizes the value of military regular, reservist and veteran personnel and their families. In this respect CEVA plans to work with the British Armed Forces Resettlement and Career departments to advertise vacancies which could possibly be offered to ex-military personnel.
CEVA Logistics has also set up a new operation in Sri Lanka by opening an office in the capital of Colombo. The new office will cover operations in Sri Lanka and also in the Maldive Islands by offering a full range of multi-modal air, ocean and sea services to clients in the region.
In other news, CEVA announced that their long-standing contract with Michelin in Spain has been renewed for a further three years. The contract covers the warehousing and inventory services for Michelin in their facility in Valladolid situated in the north-western part of the country.
Kerry Logistics acquires Turkey’s ASAV
The Hong Kong-based third-party logistics warehouse, freight services and supply chain solutions company has now acquired a majority interest in Turkey’s Asav Lojistik Hizmetleri Anonnim Sirketi (ASAV) concern. ASAV which was ranked as Turkey’s number one top agent by tonnage was founded in 1994 and offers a variety of air, ocean and road services. They have a total of seven offices in Turkey and one in Amsterdam as well as an own 45,000 sqm bonded warehouse in Istanbul.
Kerry’s majority interest in ASAV allows them to expand further in the region and strengthen their international freight forwarding services.
Kerry Logistics which is listed on Hong Kong’s stock exchange is for the fourth year in a row among the awardees named as the Listed Enterprises of the Year 2019 presented by Bloomberg Businessweek/Chinese Edition. The company is recognised for its excellent performance and contribution to Hong Kong’s economy.
WACO settles in Azerbaijan
WACO-Systems which terms itself as being ‘the world’s foremost independent global freight management & logistics network’, whose members are made up from freight forwarders worldwide, has positioned itself in Azerbaijan by appointing Scanex Enterprises there as the network’s representative. Scanex have their headquarters in the country’s capital, Baku and the independent freight forwarder offers air, road and sea services from there.
As well as having a booming oil industry, Azerbaijan has also established itself as a busy transit zone in the region, connecting Europe, Russia and Asia.
At WACO’s recent Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) which was held in London in early November, the organisation made a point of telling attendees that in their view digitalisation is no longer experimental and that the benefits have to be made more transparent to the industry. Keynote speaker at the event, Lars Jensen, told members that “forwarders now need to start looking at the tools that are available to them and make informed decisions on which tools to use for targeted enhancements to their business processes.“
WCA Pharma Academy launches training programme
Another large independent freight forwarders network is WCA which has its main base in the USA and claims to have almost 7,400 membership offices for logistics partnering around the world.
WCA have formed the WCA Pharma Academy which recently launched a Good Distribution Practice (GDP) Compliance training programme. The first course in the new programme took place in Amsterdam where WCA states that a total of eighteen member participants achieved full GDP Compliance accreditation from the WCA Pharma Academy. In order to maintain their WCA group membership, WCA Pharma members are required to be GDP compliant. This entails them proving that they are giving quality assurance that pharma products are stored, transported and handled under optimal conditions. There is a second course planned for mid-2020 at the World Speciality Logistics Fair being held in Dallas, Texas.
CHAMP and ATA partner on horse study
The Animal Transportation Association (ATA) has teamed up with CHAMP Cargo systems in a study on monitoring horse wellbeing in air transportation. The study which is being conducted through the University of Bologna (Italy) is aimed at monitoring horses health during transport. This includes studies on the animals‘ respiration, heart rate and body temperature.
It is hoped that the two year study will end by showing what further actions can be taken in the future to improve the wellbeing and a safer transport for horses. This applies in the main part to transport by air. A large percentage of horses flown on cargo aircraft are high-bred animals which have an enormous value for their owners.
John Mc Donagh
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