SASI expands team and sets up SASI USA
In a recent white paper on the Post Covid Requirements, Strategic Aviation Solutions International (SASI) President, Stan Wraight concluded “The next three or more years will be an extreme challenge for the global air transport industry, and there will be many casualties along the way. There is very little management “wiggle” room anymore, and no time for trial-and-error. It is clear that in an environment with greatly diminished passenger revenues and market and fleet uncertainties, air cargo can and should take on a much greater importance in planning and decision making for both passenger airline and airport managements, but how this is done cannot be left to chance.”
Now more than ever, airlines and general handling agents are needing to adapt and will continue to have to do so in a changed, post corona environment. In response to the increasing need of established, experienced aviation consultancy to aid aviation industry players in navigating through the after-effects of the crisis, SASI announced the launch of its new subsidiary, SASI USA, and appointed Raleigh-based Charles Edwards and Boston-based Mark Diamond as senior executives to the SASI team. They join Florida-based SASI Co-founder (in 2005), Jack Keery as Vice Presidents of the fully owned subsidiary, SASI USA, which complements existing consultancy bases in Hong Kong and Montreal, Canada, and representation in Moscow, Russia as well as Dubai, UAE.
SASI prides itself on “its management’s C-suite leadership experience and in-depth understanding of aviation industry best practices” across the air cargo industry, and has a highly-experienced team of consultants with proven international track records in a variety of aviation industry segments from handling to forwarding, integrators, both cargo and passenger airlines, airport operations, and looks to implement “practical solutions that work in reality, not just in theory.”
The SASI USA team was launched to ensure “a firm foothold in the United
States air transport market” and its members bring extensive U.S. air transport and logistics knowledge, including FAA experience, thus “can respond quickly to U.S. client needs,” drawing on further support from SASI Global where required.
240 million masks head to Brazil on board of LATAM fleet
A total of 42 flights are planned in order to bring 240 million masks and other protective equipment from China to Brazil, as part of a logistics and distribution plan set up by the Ministry of Infrastructure in cooperation with LATAM. Its goal is to support the Ministry of Health by ensuring that its purchased medical equipment gets swift customs clearance and is distributed among the 27 federal states. "We are paying special attention to this major operation to ensure that the equipment reaches health facilities and professionals," Brazil’s Infrastructure Minister, Tarcísio Gomes de Freitas, stated in the release.
The first of these 42 flights, a chartered LATAM Airlines Group's Boeing 787-9, which will transport around 960 tons into the country over the next weeks, left Shanghai, China, on Tuesday
05MAY20, carrying around 25 tons, and touching down in Auckland, New Zealand, and Santiago, Chile, prior to landing in Guarulhos, Brazil at 8 p.m. on 06MAY20. The 2,200 boxes of three-layer
surgical masks, (4.4 million pieces in all) were taken to the Ministry of Health's distribution center in Guarulhos, for onforwarding around the country.
"Through this important partnership, we reaffirm our commitment to Brazilians' health and the professionals who are fighting the virus in our country. It is truly satisfying for LATAM Cargo to be able to collaborate with the Brazilian authorities to combat this global health crisis together," states Diogo Elias, LATAM Cargo Brazil's Director.
Private companies are also supporting the fight against corona: Americanas will pay for two further flights in order to transport 15 million masks for the Ministry of Health, and Vale is donating 5 million rapid test kits and 15.8 million PPEs to the Federal Government.
IATA and UPU warn of capacity lack for postal services
The dramatic drop in available belly capacities due to the 95% reduction in passenger flights, also has a knock-on effect on postal services since mail relies on these flights, too. The tight capacity situation is exacerbated by a 25-30% increase in eCommerce traffic in response to lockdowns in various countries. On 04MAY20, therefore, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), together with the Universal Postal Union (UPU) issued a warning, urging governments (UPU counts 192 member countries) to support solutions to ensure that international, and particularly cross-continental airmail flows are kept upright during the COVID-19 crisis.
The issued warning request that governments “facilitate the flexibility that airlines need to meet this critical demand by removing border blockages to ensure trade flows continue, avoiding unnecessary regulations and fast tracking the issuance of permits for chartered operations. Additionally, ensuring adequately trained staff are available to process and clear the mail upon arrival is essential.” Something that the G20 governments have committed to in recent emergency meetings. IATA and UPU support posts and airlines by providing information on the airlines and cargo carrier status, along with available new alternative routes and best practices.
"Airlines have been required to cut passenger services in the fight to stop the spread of COVID-19. So, it's vital that everything is done to support the smooth movement of mail which is an important component of society," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's Director General and CEO.
UPU Director General, Bishar A. Hussein, added: "Posts are trusted partners in the delivery of goods, vital medical supplies and essential information on the pandemic. The cancellation of more than 4.5 million passenger flights – the primary means of transporting post - has meant that capacity is scarce, costs more and takes longer. Action needs to be swiftly taken to address the shortfall in air cargo capacity and to keep the mail moving."
New cargo-partner Pharma and Healthcare Competence Center in BOM
cargo-partner’s latest GDP-compliant Competence Center for Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare opened in Mumbai, India on 30APR20, bringing the international logistics company’s tally to three. Competence Centers already exist in Vienna, Austria, and Hamburg, Germany. The center offers air, road and seafreight services, as well as warehousing, and a 24/7 service desk for all pharmaceutical and healthcare related transportation questions – with a service standard of 29 minutes for an initial response and a full quotation within two hours.
Awarded "Leading Freight Forwarding Company – Pharma" at the India Cargo Awards earlier this year, cargo-partner looks back on successful representation in India since 2007, with meanwhile 11 offices and 135 employees across the country. Rajiv Singh, Managing Director of cargo-partner in India since the start of this year, explained: "With our new Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare Competence Center in Mumbai, we can ensure full GDP compliance, end-to-end product integrity and professional handling at every step. We have put together a dedicated team of well-trained staff from our air, sea, road transport and quality management departments who can support our customers with in-depth industry expertise. Our processes are based on many years of experience, making use of detailed risk and deviation management procedures to achieve maximum security and efficiency."
India has rapidly grown over the past decade, to become a key global player in the pharmaceuticals and healthcare sector, exporting to more than 200 countries in the world, with the U.S. as the key market. It now meets more than 50% of global demand for various vaccines, 40% of generics demand in the U.S. and 25% of all medicine in the UK.
CEVA’s Asian Truck-Rail-Truck service
COVID-19 not only continues to affect air cargo services given the decrease in available flights in China and the Southeast Asian region, but also leads to long delays at border crossings. In an effort to circumvent these barriers, CEVA Logistics recently introduced an innovative, multi-modal Truck-Rail-Truck transport solution, shaving up to four days off cross-border transportation times. A number of CEVA customers have already benefitted from the service which is available for customers in Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand sourcing goods from China. There is no difference in export documentation requirements to the all-trucked process, and goods can be customs-cleared within 3 hours.
An example of how the TRT works: “The China-Vietnam road border crossing point between Pingxiang and Lang Son currently suffers from backlogs of 2-4 days. To avoid this, shipments are picked up by CEVA across South and East China and loaded into 45’ hi-cube (HQ) containers. They are taken by truck to the cross-border train which operates three times a day, and into Vietnam, where they are then unloaded onto trucks and delivered to final destination. Shipments bound for Thailand which were taking up to 8 days are now arriving in 3-4 days.”
Summarizing the company’s strategic move, its Chief Operating Officer, Guillaume Col, said: “With our TRT solution, serious traffic jams at the border crossings can be avoided. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it really is the best solution for customers wishing to move urgent shipments between China and Southeast Asia. As a pioneer in TRT service, we will keep exploring our Road & Rail network between China and Southeast Asia to further develop these services.”
Flowers of Hope take to the skies
The Network Aviation Group recently arranged an extra B747F to transport 100 tons of fresh-cut flowers from Nairobi, Kenya, to Liege, Belgium, for on-forwarding to the UK and Europe both in time for the Continental Mother’s Day on 10MAY20, as well as part of the “Flowers of Hope” campaign. This “Flowers of Hope” initiative was launched by the Kenyan private sector back in MAR20 already, with the goal of distributing flowers in hospitals to support those in the frontline fighting Coronavirus and those who have lost loved ones during COVID-19, as well as in an effort to save the thousands of jobs at risk in Kenya’s floriculture industry given the over 35% drop (by MAR20) in overseas cut flower sales, once lockdowns were imposed to contain the spread of Coronavirus.
Despite the additional difficulties arising through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Network Aviation Group has continued its over 30-year support of Kenya’s horticulture industry, and already arranged flower transports back in MAR20 for the UK Mother’s Day. Commercial Director of Network Airline Management, Andy Walters, stated: “We are proud to be supporting Kenya’s horticulture industry once again this year and to help the industry meet peak demands year after year. By utilizing our managed fleet we’re able to maintain regular scheduled flights into Africa as well as various global charter flights. This allows us to keep air cargo moving around the world during these unprecedented and difficult times.”
Carousel’s cargo night flights safeguard COVID-19 supplies
The UK’s seventh largest airport, Birmingham Airport, entered into an agreement with European logistics provider, Carousel Logistics on 05MAY20, to uphold Carousel’s time-critical air cargo network from Europe. Operating a network between Birmingham, UK, Dublin, Ireland, Frankfurt, Germany, and Maastricht, Netherlands, Carousel operates its own cargo fleet each weekday night, bringing in over 20 tons (per flight) of urgent parts, products and equipment, much of which is needed in the fight against COVID-19, such testing kits, PPE equipment, high-tech medical devices, and pharmaceuticals.
Birmingham Airport is currently running reduced runway opening times, but supports cargo, passenger, and emergency flight operations.
Carousel co-founder and group CEO, Graham Martin, said: “We’ve long held a motto at Carousel that we will do ‘Whatever It Takes, And More’ for our clients. Today’s announcement is the strongest example we could ever make to this ethos and I couldn’t be prouder. Each night, our flight moves potentially life-saving products, as well as critical parts required in the food production and distribution industry, so when we were faced with the possibility of delays to our services, we knew we had to do everything we could to keep them operating at the pace and efficiency our clients require. Delaying our service just wasn’t an option. Today’s announcement is testament to the great relationship we have with Birmingham Airport and our shared belief of doing whatever is necessary to keep critical services running in this challenging time. We’d like to thank them for their collaboration and ongoing support.”
Birmingham Airport CEO, Nick Barton, responded: “Birmingham Airport is crucial to our region’s infrastructure and has remained operational throughout this pandemic to support in the transit of critical goods as well as emergency operations and passenger services. We are very proud to have been able to work with Carousel to agree an operational schedule to ensure its vital cargo provisions continue to be delivered into the region. Airports will be fundamental to the UK’s recovery and Birmingham Airport is ready to play its part in getting people and critical goods from around the world as and when demand returns.”
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