Air Canada Cargo and Jazz Aviation first to operate Simplified Package Freighters
The Dash 8-400 Simplified Package Freighter was developed by De-Havilland Canada, and can transport 8,165kg (18,000lbs) in its reconfigured passenger cabin and belly. Jazz Aviation and Air Cargo Canada will be the first to deploy these aircraft to transport supplies to regional communities within Halifax and Montreal, Canada, that have been affected by the grounding of passenger flights.
"De Havilland Canada's Dash 8-400 Simplified Package Freighter will allow us to redeploy aircraft, while contributing to the collective fight against COVID-19 by supporting our customer, Air Canada, in the delivery of essential cargo," said Randolph deGooyer, President, Jazz Aviation LP. Jazz signed an agreement with De Havilland Canada, for a Service Bulletin and conversion kit that will be applied to the first of 13 select Dash 8-400 aircraft, and which contracts De Havilland Canada as the exclusive supplier of all future Dash 8-400 aircraft Simplified Package Freighter modifications for Jazz's fleet.
Tim Strauss, Vice-President Air Canada Cargo, stated: "This aircraft will allow us to provide critical cargo lift on short and medium-haul routes that have been impacted by the reduction of passenger flights. The converted cabin, which can accommodate a cargo volume of 1,150 cubic feet is perfectly suited to loose-load cargo like medical supplies, PPE and other goods needed to support the ongoing fight against COVID-19." Air Canada Cargo has set up 5 sales teams to coordinate these cargo-only flights for specific customer segments along the supply chain. It is currently also operating 3 reconfigured Air Canada B777-300ERs.
GEODIS Countbot new employee responsible for inventories
After three years of R&D and tests, “GEODIS Countbot”, a joint project between GEODIS and civilian drone specialist, DELTA DRONE, has now been officially launched. “GEODIS Countbot” is an automated inventory drone-robot, that is capable of carrying out real-time warehouse inventory and inventory control almost completely autonomously – only a remote supervising operator is required.
“Inventory is a time-consuming activity and can be risky for humans, requiring operations to be shut down and the rental of personnel lifts. With “GEODIS Countbot,” inventory can now be carried out quickly, automatically and safely,” Romain Cauvet, global Engineering director, Supply Chain optimization, GEODIS, points out, that “In terms of performance, the first assignments performed in real time, in a 10,000 m2 warehouse, allow us to estimate inventory time at under three hours instead of the one to two days it used to take.”
An innovative warehouse inventory revolution, according to the press release. The multi-patented device is a combination of a robot, a telescopic mast with a 10-meter reach, and a drone to ensure the stability and thus quality of the images collected by its 16 high-resolution cameras. The unit is programmed to automatically navigate the warehouse aisles, taking photographs of pallet barcodes and detecting possible anomalies, transmitting its data to the WMS (Warehouse Management System). The device can be used in warehouses worldwide, regardless of whether or not they belong to GEODIS. Ott Ventures, Delta Drone’s reference shareholder representing close to 5 million m² of warehouse space and industrial sites across several countries, in particular, the Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands and Russia, will support system sales in Europe.
New destinations in Air France KLM Martinair Cargo’s network
Air France KLM Martinair Cargo has published its summer schedule comprising a “skeleton network” of 30 long-haul destinations using its passenger aircraft, a regular full freighter network serviced by its fleet of six full freighters, and a trucking network. Given the uncertainties through the corona situation, it points out that the network information is updated daily, and that the current and following two weeks are shown, in order to ensure maximum reliability. Gertjan Roelands, SVP of Sales & Distribution for Air France KLM Martinair Cargo, emphasizes: “It is essential to be very agile at this time. We are in very close contact with our customers to ensure that we adjust our network and services to their needs. Close cooperation and partnerships are even more essential during this period.”
Pointing out that much of the company’s staff is currently working, on limited working hours, he praises customer use of the myCargo portal, and staff for ensuring consistent high customer service: “The importance of online services has been confirmed in this period. Visits to our website increased significantly and we have seen more online bookings. All our staff – frontline, operational and central support – want to help fulfil logistical needs in this unprecedented crisis, while continuing to provide the regular services required by our customers. It is fantastic to see our staff making the difference, even in these challenging times.”
In addition to scheduled flights, Air France KLM Martainair Cargo now also operates charter services on all its network and has implemented a dedicated and specialized Charter Sales & Service Team to deal charter requests.
Frequencies have already been increased to Johannesburg, Bangkok, Beijing and Shanghai, and over the next week, operations to Houston will be restored, along with more flights to Bamako, Ouagadougou, Chicago, Toronto, Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore. From the summer, services ex Paris Charles de Gaulle will run to Dublin, Djibouti, Nairobi, Antananarivo, Reunion, Chicago and Shanghai, while Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Lima, Bogotá, Guatemala, Quito, Miami, Harare, Nairobi, Johannesburg and Cairo will be operated out of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.
ACNL suspends Local Rule 2 for AMS summer season
Airport Coordination Netherlands (ACNL) has suspended the Local Rule 2 (LR2) at Amsterdam Airport for the rest of the summer season 2020. The purpose of the LR2 is to provide sufficient ad hoc capacity for full freight airlines, but in the current exceptional circumstances due to the COVID-19 outbreak, it is regarded as counterproductive. Under LR2, the number of slots available for reallocation is limited and the reallocation process is inflexible.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis, ACNL has seen a significant reduction of the waiting list. In the past two weeks, the number of slots that were handed back have by far exceeded the actual waiting list demands. Slots that have been returned to the pool will be offered shortly based on the regular priorities of the remaining S20 AMS waiting list. After that here will be enough (day)slots available for the rest of the summer season.
Slot requests will be handled on a first come, first served basis respecting the parameters of the capacity declaration, including those for the night. “Because of COVID-19, the waiver allocation is on ad-hoc basis and is not eligible for historic rights,” ACNL has said.
Cainaio is granted building permit for transhipment centre at LGG
The regional Walloon government has granted a building permit to Cainao, the logistic subsidiary of Alibaba. Work on the 30,000 m² logistic complex and 1,300 m² of offices on a 220,000 m² site in the Cargo Nord development zone of Liege airport can take off soon. The centre will be used to tranship Alibaba air cargo consignments to road transport, creating 900 FTE’s. It is expected to be operational in the first half of 2021. Last November, another permit was granted for a northern bypass road of the airport to prevent jams and enable the smooth flow of traffic.
Customers, Cargo and Crew – all aboard the main deck!
With the growing trend currently, of using passenger aircraft as temporary freighters, Greensboro, North Carolina, USA-based HAECO has come up with solutions to allow a future combination of passengers and cargo in the main cabin – not unlike the old 747-Combi, but without the separating wall.
Under the motto “Turning underutilized space into revenue”, a video on the company website illustrates a number of “infinitely customizable” variations ranging from on-seat boxes, to on-floor boxes next to unused seats, or removed seats with boxes taking their place, or even full pallet stowage – all, of course, securely strapped down. “Variants can be combined for both single and twin aisle aircraft to achieve an ideal operational payload.” Not only that, the company also suggests that packages can be used to improve on-board social distancing, whilst also maintaining proper weight and balance requirements.
According to Doug Rasmussen, President and Group Director of HAECO Cabin Solutions, there is great interest in the solutions, which – once Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) certified – would be available for delivery within 4 to 6 weeks, and, since they are based on economy seating installation processes, are simple to install. “We are pleased with the strong interest we have already seen from airlines and leasing companies and delighted that we can offer a quick, cost-effective solution to maximize yields during this challenging time.”
SAL’s new facilities at King Khalid International Airport, RUH
20APR20 saw the next step in Saudi Arabian Logistics’ (SAL) plans to improve and enhance its ground-handling services, with the move of its export cargo handling, domestic cargo handling and express mail services to the newly-launched Cargo Village facilities at King Khalid International Airport (KKIA).
Launched in JAN20, the Cargo Village, the first of its kind in Saudi Arabia, is a global integrated logistics platform for cargo and supply services and, according to SAL CEO, Omar Hariri, will greatly improve the company’s success, and especially its service under today’s exceptional circumstances: “The movement of ground handling services to the new facilities will undoubtedly enhance the cargo operations being provided during the COVID-19 crisis and ensure the continuity of the logistic operations and the flow of cargos.” Operational capacity is doubled with the move, leading to faster services for SAL customers. He predicts handling capabilities of 450,000 tons a year in a total area of 67,000m². The location offers 10 aircraft aprons and 15 docks for loading and unloading trucks. Customers are offered free parking at the facility.
The Saudi Arabian Logistics is the main cargo gate in Saudi airports and the only logistic platform linking all airports and facilitating ground handling services, electronic commerce activities, land transportation, warehouse management and storage solutions.
The Dreaded Middle Seat…
Will the corona crisis change the way we fly once passenger airlines resume more frequent operations again? The Italian aircraft interiors designer and producer, Avionteriors, has come up with a couple of patented, novel suggestions, (which, it says, it could deliver to market in less than 6 months) in preparation for stricter hygiene requirements – such as its Glassafe product, which features a kind of transparent, plastic covering on the top of each seat to protect the passenger from virus transmission as well as noise, or the more unusual Janus seat pictured here. Named after the ancient, two-faced Roman god, this seat constellation sees the middle seat reversed, and again, all three passengers separated by a clear plastic shield. Anyone who has ever sat on a crew seat, facing the back, will know that take-off and landing are not quite so much fun backwards. Never mind sitting facing a stranger in such close proximity – and the even more awkward situation of having to squeeze past them to access the aisle. As for flight attendants having to serve refreshments and carry out security checks, it is quite possibly migraine-inducing… Not to mention the extra work required to disinfect additional, cumbersome surfaces that would otherwise encourage virus transmission.
How many airlines that will make it through this crisis, would have the cash left over to remodel their interiors with these products? Aviointeriors underlines that simply keeping the middle seat free, is not sufficient protection – and it ruins load factors and profit margins – yet, the trend will likely be inflight facemasks, cabin disinfecting and pre-boarding temperature checks, rather than interior overhauls.
Australian Perishables take to the skies thanks to IFAM
Given that the corona crisis has largely crippled normal air logistics in Australia, the government recently set up IFAM – the International Freight Assistance Mechanism as part of its $1 billion Relief and Recovery Fund – in this particular case, to support agricultural and fisheries exports.
Federal Trade Minister Simon Birmingham explained “Around 90% of our air freight usually goes out in the bellies of passenger aircraft. With very few international passenger flights leaving Australia at present, our exporters are facing major hurdles. Through the better coordination of freight out of Australia, we can restore key freight routes and establish more frequent flights to our key markets so our agricultural and fisheries exporters can deliver their products to customers on time.” 15 air freight service providers and freight forwarders, among them Qantas Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Federal Express Corporation, Japan Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways, CT Freight, Schenker Australia, Kuehne + Nagel Australia, Air Menzies International (Aust), Toll Group and DHL Global Forwarding, won tenders to set up a network of full-freighter flights to ensure agricultural and fisheries export supply chains keep running until commercial passenger flights (and their bellies) are back in action. More than 560 Australian businesses had already registered their interest in IFAM in the first 3 weeks of it starting, and already 55 freighter flights have been arranged. “We’ve already seen lobster from Western Australia, lamb from Victoria and salmon from Tasmania shipped to international ports and markets. The quicker we can get our products off the farm and onto airplanes, the more Australian jobs we can save and the quicker our agricultural exporters can bounce back.”
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