Korean Air connects Seoul with Budapest, operating a B777F
Today (24Feb), Budapest Airport welcomed the maiden cargo flight operated by Korean Air on the route Seoul – Budapest. In future, the twice-weekly B777F service will commute to Frankfurt and return to Seoul afterwards. The new connection is not only an excellent opportunity for Korean companies operating in Hungary but will also constitute a significant competitive advantage for the Hungarian economy in the import-export market, states Budapest Airport in a release.
South Korea became the largest foreign investor in Hungary last year. Large producers such as Samsung Electronics, Hanon Systems SK Innovations or Doosan and their suppliers rely on air freight to secure the permanent flow of components. On the occasion of Korean Air’s first flight, Levente Magyar, deputy minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade emphasized that “2019 was a special year in the relations between Hungary and South Korea. Trade also increased by one-third, compared to the previous year.” Korean Air will also launch a passenger flight to the South Korean capital on 23 May, which will operate three times a week between Budapest and Seoul during the summer schedule.
eCommerce induces greater airline and postal cooperation
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on 18FEB20 in Geneva, Switzerland, by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the International Post Corporation (IPC). Focus of this MoU is to create a sustainable and reliable cross-border airmail network, with an emphasis on safety, security, and quality. "International e-commerce is growing at around 20% per year, leading to rapidly changing market conditions for airlines and posts. Ensuring customers get their packages on time while safety and security in postal air transport is maintained is the main priority for posts and air transport operators alike. Cooperation across the supply chain is a must and our MoU with IPC is an important step toward strengthening our activity in this area," said IATA's Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, while Holger Winkelbauer, CEO of IPC, pointed to the past decade of ongoing process improvements between airlines and postal operators, and confirmed that “Ultimately, this agreement will benefit consumers through more reliable and faster delivery of cross-border mail and packets transported by air.”
Seven cooperation areas have been outlined:
- Improving the security, handover, carriage, delivery, and settlement of airmail between postal operators and air carriers. This includes e-commerce, economic and commercial matters.
- Developing and maintaining industry standards and procedures as well as services and solutions for both physical flows and electronic data interchange relating to airmail.
- Aligning existing services and solutions, along with developing new ones to ensure harmonized compatibility and efficient application of resources.
- Finding technology-based standards and solutions for piece level tracking in airmail.
- Addressing volumetric challenges, through initiatives such as Air Packet Box, and allocation and booking procedures for airmail.
- Developing regional onboarding initiatives and global campaigns on airmail process optimization and standardization.
- Improving the involvement of ground handlers and other industry stakeholders on matters concerning airmail.
DSV to run charter air bridge between the U.S. and China from 25FEB20
DSV will be operating a B747-8F thrice weekly to Shanghai (PVG), China, from Huntsville (HSV), Alabama, U.S., from 25FEB20 on, in an effort to aid customers with cargo backlogs resulting from the lack of scheduled flight services currently. Estimations put the drop of available capacity at 5,000 tons per day, and this is causing major supply chain disruptions. The DSV charter solution will therefore be very much sought after.
DSV plans on leveraging its Huntsville hub and spoke model, stating that it can connect to all continents using its own charter network and DSV ground handling at uncongested airports. It also offers express connections from Huntsville to and from Latin-American countries and Canada.
DSV reports that production is picking up again and that many Chinese businesses are slowly returning to normal production. All DSV’s 21 Chinese branches (except in Wuhan, Hubei province) are open and running on limited staff, while some employees are working from home.
The company underlines that its employees’ health is its priority, and that it is closely following Chinese authority regulations.
The cargo prognosis is that there will be significant capacity shortages once production restarts in earnest.
Cargolux uplifts donated medical supplies to Zhengzhou
75,000 face masks and 44,000 sanitary wipes set off for Zhengzhou (CGO), China, on 22FEB20, in a joint support effort between Cargolux and the Ministry of Mobility and Public Works. The goods will be distributed to Cargolux’s business partners, as Richard Forson, President and CEO of Cargolux, explained: “This donation is a token of our appreciation for the long-lasting partnerships we have enjoyed over the years. Our business partners in Zhengzhou have shown unwavering dedication and support for our operations.”
The airline is closely monitoring the situation in China, adapted its flight schedule to suit, yet will be increasing its capacities over the coming weeks, in line with production restarting across the country. It points out that “These flights will be operated in accordance with recommendations from the WHO and other regulatory bodies as well as Cargolux’s own restrictions including no crew layovers in China.”
Atlas Air looks to a better 2020, despite Coronavirus
In an investor telcon on 20FEB20, CEO John W. Dietrich stated “Airfreight is, and will continue to be a long-term growth industry, that is a critical part of the global supply chain. Atlas is well-positioned with a formidable fleet of aircraft” and pointed to flexible adjustment to cope with the current situation, along with a focus on growth customers and “Subject to uncertainties and potential opportunities with the coronavirus, we anticipate that our financial performance in 2020 will be an improvement over 2019.”
This came after posting a $410.2 million net loss for the fourth quarter of 2019 (though partly a result of a non-cash special charge of $485.2 million with respect to the write-down of the company’s whole 747-400F fleet due to lower cargo yields and aircraft utilization), bringing the 2019 result to a net loss of $293.1 million overall.
Low demand in the final quarter also led to the decision to park 4 converted B747-400s. While B747-400 ACMI operations decreased, Atlas Air saw an increase in charter operations and growth in 737, 747 and 777 CMI cargo flying.
Demand is already picking up for the second quarter of 2020, as manufacturing is starting up again and with belly-space mostly still very restricted as passenger flights have extended their restricted schedules. “We are also currently accommodating special charter demand, and we are well prepared for the anticipated surge of volumes once manufacturing resumes in full force,” he confirmed.
cargo-partner goes organic in Prague, Czech Republic.
cargo-partner’s iLogistics Center in Prague is now certified to store and handle organic products in accordance with EU Eco-regulations. Its 10,900 m² iLogistics Center located at Prague Airport’s Logicor Park has been operational since last year and Jiri Jelinek, Managing Director of cargo-partner in the Czech Republic, outlines the steps leading up to the organic certification: "Since we opened our iLogistics Center Prague in January 2019, numerous customers from the foodstuffs and perishables industry have been making use of the warehouse. We continue to optimize our facility for the requirements of this important market: In April 2019, we added a temperature-controlled section. In July 2019, our foodstuffs warehouse received the IFS certification for foodstuffs logistics. Finally, in January of this year, we obtained the organic certification, which allows us to ensure storage and handling of organic foods compliant with the EU Eco-regulation."
Certification was awarded on 14JAN20, confirming that the warehouse fulfills the requirements for the storage and handling of organic products according to Article 29 (1) of the European Union regulation (EC) 834/2007, also known as the EU Eco-regulation, which defines how agricultural products and foods that are designated as organic products have to be grown. Thus, the facility with its temperature-controlled storage area (+2 to +8 °C), is able to handle all kinds of perishable goods such as milk, meat, baked goods, beverages, fruits and vegetables in primary packaging and other similar products requiring temperature-controlled storage.
Fleet Logistics amongst the first to use Lufthansa Cargo’s API
Fleet Logistics is one of the first customers to employ Lufthansa Cargo’s smartBooking API which was launched late last year. Fleet (www.tryfleet.com) is an American startup based in Portland, USA, and was launched in 2014 as an online marketplace which matches customers’ cargo demands with available logistics capacities. Lufthansa Cargo, in line with its digitalization strategy, and with the backing and approval of the Lufthansa Innovation Hub, invested heavily in Fleet back in JAN18, with CEO Peter Gerber stating at the time “Fleet is a perfect match for us as the company combines innovative and visionary thinking with a strong intrinsic motivation to improve air cargo booking and shipping efficiency and, finally, our customers’ overall experience.”
The two companies have collaborated since then on a number of projects, and the smartBooking API is the latest result in the effort to improve global logistics processes through digital innovation.
Dorothea von Boxberg, Chief Commercial Officer of Lufthansa Cargo, outlined: “Our smartBooking API is a further step to offer a seamless digital customer journey. APIs will play an important role as distribution and communication channels also in our industry. We are happy that Fleet is one of the first customers using smartBooking for a comprehensive and convenient booking experience.”
Max Lock, CEO of Fleet Logistics, Inc. added: “The smartBooking API is a significant advancement as it is one of the first air freight API to bring together spot rates and capacity. This makes the process more efficient and lowers the barriers to process an entire shipment from door to door solely through technology. Working with a strategic leader like Lufthansa Cargo allows us to address the technical infrastructure challenges across the industry as we work to build out a global distribution system across all modes of transport. Fleet is excited to partner with Lufthansa Cargo along with our other partners to link and digitize major services across the supply chain including rates, capacity, bookings, documentation, and financial settlement.”
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