IN BRIEF - THE LATEST AIR CARGO INDUSTRY NEWS
Uni-top fleet grounded
It is reported that Wuhan, China-based Uni-top Airlines which operates a fleet of seven Airbus A300Fs and a single B747-400F has ceased operations and that its entire fleet has been put into storage. Chinese financial media reports state that the carrier is facing financial problems due to the present turndown in the air cargo business. They further state that Uni-top is looking at means to restructure the airline.
Uni-top had six A300Fs in service with the seventh aircraft, an ex-China Eastern passenger version presently undergoing conversion into a freighter for Uni-top at Dresden, Germany-based conversion specialists EFW. We reported in an earlier edition of CFG that Uni-top Airlines had applied to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for a Foreign Air Carrier Permit to operate flights between Wuhan and Chicago using their single B747 freighter. The carrier is part of the Uni-top group of companies which are based in Shenzhen. Flight operations out of Shenzhen have been terminated already since May of this year.
Bosch names time:matters as Preferred Supplier
Frankfurt-based time:matters, who have made a name for themselves as a leader in Special Speed Logistics, has been given the Preferred Supplier status by Bosch, Germany’s largest technology and service company for the motor industry. Bosch produces numerous parts for automobiles, many of which are needed urgently by automotive manufactures and must be delivered by means of high-speed courier services.
Both Bosch and time:matters have been working together since 2014 whereby time:matters has been moving time-sensitive shipments with their high-speed courier service to and from Bosch’s global production sites. Alexander Kohnen, CEO of time:matters commented: “being awarded Preferred Supplier status is fantastic confirmation of our successful cooperation over many years. This recognition underscores the success of our long-term service excellence and quality strategy.”
Uganda Air Cargo pleads for bailout
Entebbe, Uganda-based cargo carrier Uganda Air Cargo which presently only has one aircraft, a Harbin Y12 turboprop, in service is pleading with the Ugandan parliament for financial support of around US$ 15 million as a bailout to cover losses incurred between 2014 and 2016 as well as for the acquisition of a B737 freighter aircraft.
Uganda Air Cargo ceased operations in 2014 when the Ugandan Civil Aviation revoked their AOC. They resumed operations in 2016 with the Harbin Y12 aircraft, but their two Hercules C-130 freighters have been grounded since then after cracks were found in the fuselage of both aircraft.
The Y-12 which can carry either 17 passengers or 3 LD-3 containers with a total weight of around 1,800 kilos was originally produced as a Chinese military transporter by the Harbin Aircraft Industry Group. Uganda Air Cargo which operates mainly for the United Nations in Africa, states they wish to purchase an aging B737-500 freighter in order to offer a better service. It is unclear as to whether the Ugandan government will meet their request.
Tigers to build Rotterdam hub
Hong Kong-based Tigers Logistics which offers logistics solutions and other related services to clients around the world, has decided to build what they term as a ‘new mega hub facility’ in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. They state that the decision was made due to increasing customer demand and that once completed the facility will be Tigers’ biggest single operation in Europe.
The continued demand for e-commerce services has prompted the move to build the new hub which is planned to open by latest April 2020. Once completed, the facility which is located just 10 km from the Port of Rotterdam, will offer 51,000 sqm of operating space with 60,000 single pallet positions and a further 550,000 cargo bin locations.
New Bishkek-based cargo carrier launched
Kyrgyzstan, better known as the Kyrgyz Republic, is planning to launch a new cargo airline which will be named Kryrgyz Airlines Plus and be based in the capital city of Bishkek. Kyrgyzstan’s national carrier went out of business in 2006 and has not been replaced since then. The new cargo airline will operate with a single Airbus A300F which was previously owned and operated by Tblisi-based Geo Fly Airways. The aircraft which has been out of service for some time has now been ferried to Bishkek to be readied for operations.
The A300F which can carry up to 44 tons of cargo will for the time being be mainly operated on Kryrgyz domestic routes. The company states that if they are successful, there are plans to expand operations into Russia, China and Turkey. Main commodities to be flown are said to be urgently needed consumer goods and perishables which are needed in outlying areas. Kyrgyzstan has a population of just under one million. Bishkek is also served internationally by Turkish Cargo and Silk Way West Airlines.
Nallian’s Acceptance & Delivery app used in BRU
Brussels Airport’s cargo community last week launched Dallian’s latest addition to their open ecosystem of collaborative applications available to freight forwarders. The new Acceptance & Delivery app, a mobile application which enables forwarders and truck drivers fast access to the information they need regarding slots they have booked beforehand for freight delivery and pick-up.
Dallian states that the Acceptance & Delivery app further streamline operations between ground handling companies, forwarders and the trucking companies, thereby saving more time, reducing unnecessary paper flow and administrative duties.
Sara van Gelder, Cargo Business Development Manager at Brussels Airport Company witnessed an easy introduction of the new app and commented: “the go alive has been smooth and user feedback is very positive. Drivers typically appreciate the fact that they have easy access to information, are more involved in the process and no longer need to lose time going back and forth between warehouse and reception.”
BCUBE implements CHAMP Cargospot
BCUBE air cargo, which is part of the Milan-based BCUBE Group, has now implemented CHAMP’s Cargospot Handling solution. The solution will provide support to BCUBES’s operation at Ostend-Bruges Airport. The company set up business there earlier this year (CFG reported), having taken over from Aviapartner who pulled out. The CHAMP Cargospot will according to BCUBE management, offer a higher functionality and automation which will enable the company to better serve their clients by helping to improve operational efficiency.
The BCUBE Group which offers air cargo and logistics services in Rome, Venice and Milan’s Malpensa and Linate Airport’s, opened their first station outside of Italy when they took over the Ostend cargo operation. Mauro Grisafi, CEO at BCUBE stated that: “with CHAMP’s powerful cargo management application in place, BCUBE is well equipped to pursue its ambitious growth and expansion strategy more efficiently.”
Emirates converts A380 order into A350s
Emirates Airlines which is the world’s largest operator of the giant Airbus A380 aircraft, has taken the decision to add 50 brand new A350-900 aircraft to their fleet. The decision means that Emirates will swap the order for the remaining 39 A380’s still to be delivered, in favour of the A350’s.
Emirates presently only operates with two aircraft types - the A380 and the B777. The addition of the A350 into the fleet is now the third variant. The Airbus A330neo was also under discussion earlier this year when Emirates signed an MoU with Airbus for 40 of the type and only 30 A350’s. The larger A350 order now means that the A330neo order is off the table. The carrier also has an order with Boeing for 150 new B777X and 40 B787-10 aircraft.
The A380 never made a name for itself as a suitable and commercially viable aircraft for the carriage of cargo. The A350 however, offers ample belly cargo space even when operated over long distances.
Turkish Cargo bucks the trend
Many carriers are complaining about dwindling cargo revenues due to the present worldwide slump in air cargo. Turkish Cargo seems to be an exception.
In September of this year Turkish Cargo increased their tonnage uplift by almost 9 percent compared to the previous year. This is surprising considering that September statistics record that the global air cargo market dropped by almost 5.5 percent compared to 2018. WACD figures show that Turkish Cargo was the only carrier listed under the top ten that showed positive results. The airline continues on its aggressive air cargo growth strategy and positive tonnage results have been recorded in all sectors which the carrier operates in. The largest tonnage increases have been on the routes to the USA and the Far East. However, other sectors have also shown tonnage increases. This includes cargo flown on Turkish Airlines expanding passenger fleet as well as on Turkish Cargo’s fleet of 24 freighters, ten of which are A330Fs, six B777Fs, four B747Fs (leased), three A310Fs and one A300F. There are a further two B777Fs on order which will replace aging A300/A310 freighters.
World ACD Market data figures just released for October also show that the air cargo declines continuing. Worldwide cargo volumes according to WorldACD dropped by 5% in October compared to last year. More worrying, at least for the airlines, is the yet again the general drop in yield in October of -11% and revenue declines of 16%.
SAS got first A350-900
The Nordic carrier welcomed “Ingegerd Viking” in Copenhagen, its first of eight firmly ordered Airbus A350-900s, following a ferry flight from the manufacturer’s production site Toulouse to the Danish capital. The aircraft is capable of loading up to 36 LD3 containers per takeoff in its cargo holds or respectively accommodate 11 pallets in its lower deck compartments, making the -900 a very cargo-friendly and efficient aircraft. As of 28 January 2020, SAS will start to operate the new aircraft on its Copenhagen-Chicago long-haul route, followed by other destinations in North America and the Far East. The jetliner features a three-class cabin layout with 300 seats: 40 “SAS Business” class, 32 “SAS Plus” class and 228 “SAS Go” class seats.
John Mc Donagh
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