Then and now: 10 years since Eyjafjallajökull
On 14APR10, a volcano erupted in Iceland, which led to the greatest disruption in air travel since the Second World War, as a large number of flights across Europe were grounded in the days that followed: 15-20APR10. Millions of flight passengers were left stranded and air cargo transportation was paralyzed, causing more than $1.7 billion in revenue losses. All a minor glitch in comparison to the current corona crisis. What the volcano eruption also did, however, was propel a then very young, Swedish company into the public eye – namely www.flightradar24.com who have now put together a corona comparison in flight frequencies 07MAR20 compared with 07APR20. You might want to check it out: https://www.flightradar24.com/blog/then-and-now-visualizing-covid-19s-impact-on-air-traffic/?utm_campaign=website&utm_source=sendgrid.com&utm_medium=email
Flightradar24 was set up in 2006, launched in 2009 and became famous in 2010. On 03MAR20, it started showing blue plane icons in addition to the usual yellow, to distinguish those planes located using ADS-B data collected by satellite. (Yellow planes are located using terrestrial receivers)
IATA publishes Guide for transport of cargo in passenger cabins
The second edition of IATA’s 26-page “Guidance for the transport of cargo and mail on aircraft configured for the carriage of passengers” was published on 17APR20. Two days earlier, the FAA also published a SAFO (Safety Alert for Operators), outlining 4 pages of regulations to be adhered too by those commercial carriers transporting cargo in stowage bins, passenger seats or on the floor, with the seats removed. With the growing number of airlines looking to gain at least some revenue from an otherwise largely idle fleet, these guidelines are urgently necessary to ensure flight safety. They outline measures to assess the risk of carrying various goods in the passenger decks, and include cargo preparation processes, loading and securing instructions, weight and balance, as well as risk assessments and recommendations to crew. The FAA SAFO is particularly concerned with fire hazards, recommending that one or more crew members travel in the cabin with the cargo so that they are able to respond in the event of a potential fire, given that – unlike modern, widebody cargo holds, passenger cabins do not have fire suppression systems , only fire extinguishers.
Thierry Miremont is Swissport’s new man in Belgium
Swissport Belgium has a new CEO. Thierry Miremont was appointed to head its Belgian ground handling and cargo operations at Brussels and Liege airports and assumed his new role on 09APR20. He reports to Swissport International AG’s . Executive Vice President EMEA, Luzius Wirth, who commented: “We are delighted to welcome Thierry Miremont as the new CEO of Swissport Belgium. He is very experienced in management consulting and has held several executive positions in family-owned, listed and private equity-held companies. We are happy to have Thierry on board to lead Swissport Belgium in these difficult times that are demanding all our efforts.”
Thierry is an experienced senior executive with a proven track record in several industries, and has years of professional experience in transforming, restructuring, and turning around organizations. He was a partner at McKinsey & Company, where he was the global cohead for the airline industry business. Furthermore, Thierry was Chairman of the Executive Board at French tour operator FRAM, President of TNT Express in France and, more recently, served as CEO of Euromaster Group, a tyre and vehicle maintenance solutions provider.
Schenker ships 100,000 facemasks donated fashion retailers
100,000 face masks donated by the H&M Group who have been producing N95/FFP2 face masks at their sites in China, left Shanghai Pudong Airport, China on board of a DB Schenker charter flight last week, and headed to Frankfurt Airport, Germany, following a crew change in Doha, Qatar. 50,000 masks then made their way by truck from Frankfurt to Madrid, Spain, where they were handed over to the official civil protection on Easter Monday. The other 50,000 were destined for Rome, Italy and delivered to the authorities there for urgent distribution in hospitals and amongst healthcare institutions.
Thorsten Meincke, Member of the Management Board for Air and Ocean Freight at DB Schenker said: "We are very happy to be carrying out the transport of the donated H&M Group face masks. Despite challenging times and limited air freight capacity, we were able to implement the deliveries with short lead times thanks to our own network. We currently transport large quantities of medical equipment to many locations around the world. Logistics keeps the medical supply chains running."
AirAsia in Freightchain launch: world’s first blockchain run air cargo network
Despite a world in crisis, 17APR20 saw Teleport, low-cost carrier AirAsia’s cargo division, launch the world’s first digital air cargo network running on a blockchain: Freightchain. The company’s chief technology officer, Vishal Batra explained: “We deliberately launched Freightchain during this period of uncertainty within global supply chains, caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Agile software platforms like Freightchain help to connect uneven supply and demand amidst a rapidly evolving environment. Trust and transparency are needed now more than ever.”
He continued: “Freightchain will assist shippers and their freight forwarders to discover all available cargo network connections owned by airlines for their supply chain needs. It then facilitates on-demand bookings in real-time through bids submitted and validated on blockchain. A software to transparently bid and confirm urgent air cargo capacity in real-time is vital to keep global supply chains for life-saving medical supplies and equipment moving.”
Freightchain allows freight forwarders to instantly book and confirm cargo shipments on any of AirAsia’s 247 aircraft, without having to resort to time-consuming sales or email channels. The initial pilot booking on Freightchain was made for a pharmaceutical shipment from Bengaluru, India to Ulan Bator, Mongolia, and an instant itinerary via Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Seoul, South Korea was confirmed in real-time with flights from three different carriers through a smart contract on blockchain, and 10 times faster than having to resort to traditional route searches.
Corona may shrink European RFS market by nigh on 20% in 2020
A recent Transport Intelligence (Ti), publication revised its original 2.1% growth forecast for European road freight to, at best a 4.8% contraction, and at worst, a shrinkage of 17%, as Europe faces the corona pandemic and a situation “far worse than the great recession of 2008/9.”
Looking at the Big Five: Germany, the UK, France, Spain, and Italy, the forecast decline runs from 5.6% best case to 21.3% in the worst case, depending on how long the different lockdowns go on for. Prior to corona, Ti had predicted a combined growth of 1.4% for those five markets.
The fact that production has mostly paused in the automotive industry, is the main reason for the drop in business, as it is the automotive sector that provides the network’s baseload. Yet, other sectors such as fashion and footwear, and the currently volatile food distribution sector influenced by panic-buying in some European countries, has made more concrete forecasting difficult.
LATAM Cargo launched support mission in Perú
COVID-19 has prompted LATAM Cargo to establish a contingency plan in support of Peruvian people by upping cargo flights in order to supply essential goods to places where mostly needed. For this purpose, the Latin American airline made significant changes to its schedule that include an increase in freighter frequencies and some route adjustments. In addition to all-cargo aircraft, passenger jetliners are also utilized to transport cargo, allowing more cities within Perú to be supplied.
According to the carrier, so far, 51 tons of food have been transported nationwide, mainly benefitting the inhabitants of Iquitos, the largest city in the Peruvian Amazon, east of the Andes. Considering that this place is very difficult to access by land or river, having two scheduled freighter flights each week, has allowed a constant supply of perishable products in Iquitos during this crisis period, states LATAM Cargo. Additionally, 14 tons of medicines and medical tools have been transported, supplying pharmacies, hospitals, and laboratories in various Peruvian regions. Further, 51 tons of banking materials, minerals, spare parts and other products have been air-lifted so far, this way helping to maintain the country’s core industries’ production chains.
As announced today (19APR20), LATAM Cargo flew stem cells from Viracopos, Brazil to Ministro Pistarini Airport in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The special and highly sensitive shipment was
accommodated in the cockpit of one of LATAM Cargo’s B767 freighters and guarded by the crew during the flight. The transport was carried out in the hope of saving the life of a patient suffering
from myelodysplastic syndrome.
“The challenge to move it from Campinas, Brazil, to Buenos Aires, Argentina, was huge. But we did it with love. That is why I am proud of sharing it with you”, stated LATAM Cargo spokesperson Maria Teresa Escobar after the air transport was accomplished.
Currently, freighter aircraft are currently the only ones enjoying more international freedom of transit due to their relevance to global supply chains.
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