Another A380 goes into retirement… but this one’s a preighter
In the midst of a growing move towards preighters, and as industries are clamoring for scarce freighter capacities, Hi Fly has announced the highly unusual decision to phase out its Airbus A380 later this year, once the lease term ends after almost three years of operations. Hi Fly hit the headlines in the summer of this year, when it became the only airline to operate an A380 as a converted preighter (CFG reported on 12JUL20). At the time, CFG highlighted a couple of critical comments that had appeared on LinkedIn following the announced preighter conversion. One person had written “Doesn’t make any sense nor cents,” pointing to the increased loading time compared to a normal freighter. From the sound of things, cost may well be the reason for this decision. The press release reads “The decision to not extend the initial agreed lease period came as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic, that drastically reduced the demand for very large aircraft. The Airbus A380 will be replaced in the Hi Fly fleet by additional Airbus A330s; a smaller and more adequate aircraft for current market conditions.” Whether or not another operator will be interested in wet leasing the aircraft, remains to be seen.
LATAM Cargo flies 10 RAPs of Pharma from Germany to Brazil
LATAM Cargo, the first on the American continent and the only South American airline to hold CEIV Pharma certification which it received back in 2017, once again proved its excellence in the transport of temperature-controlled shipment last weekend. A total of 10 RAP containers filled with highly temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical products, made their way from Frankfurt, Germany to Guarulhos, Brazil. The containers were flown on behalf of Hellmann Worldwide Logistics. No stranger to carrying this kind of fragile freight, since it offers special PHARMA ACTIVE and PHARMA PASSIVE service solutions, nevertheless, the press release underlined the “massive transfer” in this case. A useful precursor for the bulk transports of Covid-19 vaccines once they come.
Swissport inaugurates new Frankfurt Airport cargo and pharma facility
Christmas came early for Swissport last week. Less than a year after building first began in NOV19, the company took up operations at its “brand new”, sustainable and energy-efficient 17,000 m² air cargo warehouse which also comprises a 1,560 m² “state-of-the-art” Swissport Pharma Center with direct tarmac access. “An automated material handling system ensures efficient air cargo handling and storage while the FAIR@Link slot booking app controls the access of trucks and optimizes workflows,” the press release states.
The new warehouse is 50% larger than the previous Swissport facility in Frankfurt´s Cargo City South logistics district, whilst its pharma capacities have been increased seven-fold. Perfect timing in preparation for the upcoming Covid-19 vaccine rush expected in the next few months. The Pharma Center caters for different temperature ranges: 1,300 m² are for shipments requiring 15°C-25°C, while 260 m² are available for pharmaceuticals in the 2°C-8°C range. Located in FRA544, the facility for which Swissport has signed a long-term lease, will also include 2,400 m² of office space both for Swissport Cargo Services Germany as well as the operations offices of its main customer, Air France-KLM.
"We are delighted to service our customers at this state-of-the-art facility, which adds to our global network of 115 warehouses and 14 Swissport Pharma Centers," says Rudolf Steiner, Head of Cargo for the EMEA region.
"The combination of sustainable infrastructure, innovative technologies and digitalized processes ensures we are optimally positioned for the future," states Henning Dieter, Head of Swissport Cargo Services Germany. "I am very proud of this joint achievement, which will greatly benefit our customers and our employees."
Omar Hariri is new chairman of SkyTeam Cargo Alliance
The world’s largest air cargo alliance, 20 years old and consisting of 12 member airlines, has just appointed the CEO of its latest member, Saudia Cargo, which joined SkyTeam Cargo in APR19, as its new Executive Board chairman, Omar Hariri thus takes over from Shawn Cole, VP Cargo of Delta Airlines, who held the position for three years. Shawn Cole stated: “It has been a pleasure serving as chairman of the cargo executive board. During my time as chairman, we focused on building connectivity, sourcing with economies of scale and connecting with our customers. Our true character was revealed in the face of the many unprecedented challenges brought upon us by COVID-19. I know that Omar Hariri will serve our alliance well as we continue to navigate through the crisis, rebuild network connectivity and contribute to support the transportation of vaccines.”
Omar Hariri, who became Saudi Arabian Airlines Cargo’s (Saudia Cargo) CEO in FEB18 and is also CEO of Saudi Arabian Logistics Company (SAL), has a strong background in air freight and logistics management both academically and through having previously held positions at DHL Express and FedEx Express. He thanked Shawn for his work and emphasized the honor he felt at being selected to chair “the largest alliance in the cargo industry accounting for nearly 20% of the global air cargo movement.” Outlining his plans, he stated “Moving forward, we will continue focusing on actively promoting and strengthening the alliance between the members and at the same time focusing on enhancing our technologically driven operational and network capability to ensure an outclass experience for our customers. With the growing demand for pharma and e-commerce, our aim is to continue exploring new markets while enhancing connectivity and efficient deliveries, further grow and strengthening the core business of our 12-member airlines.”
Delta expands its preighter network from U.S. to Europe and India
Delta's Vice President – Cargo, Shawn Cole explained "Given the travel constraints within Europe, we are strategically adding cargo capacity in Spain, Ireland, and Germany to support overall passenger and cargo growth. There is high demand for pharmaceutical shipments from India because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this cargo solution ensures we can keep vital supply chains moving to the United States.”
Since 01NOV20, Delta operates cargo-only flights daily between New York-JFK and Madrid with a Boeing 767-400 aircraft and providing much needed capacity for fashion wear from Spain to the United States. It also serves Dublin, Ireland, from New York-JFK, U.S., thrice-weekly with Airbus A330-300 cargo-only flights, and operates Airbus A330-200/300 aircraft cargo-only flights between New York-JFK and Atlanta to Mumbai, India, via Frankfurt. The Indian flights carry essential pharmaceuticals, vaccines, medical supplies and general cargo to the U.S.
Since it launched its Cargo Charter operation in MAR20, Delta Cargo has carried out more than 1,600 cargo charter flights, and now averages over 20 international preighter flights a week, laden with medical and PPE equipment, pharmaceuticals, U.S. mail, home office supplies and food.
Iberia gets its first true preighter
In anticipation of a peak season that will struggle to find adequate cargo capacities, IAG Cargo took the decision to convert one of Iberia’s A330 wide-bodies and establish this as a proper preighter. In the space of just one week, all the seats were removed from its Economy and Premium Economy classes, along with the crew rest and separation panels before it underwent its full conversion lasting a few weeks more on the plane and just a few weeks to fully convert the aircraft. Carpeting was reinstalled and lights now indicate the 33 cargo positions where cargo can be strapped down using nets. The new A330 preighter is able to uplift more than 200 m³ of freight and joins a host of cargo-only flights that the IAG group has been operating as charter and services to more than 350 global destinations since MAR20.
Fernando Terol Armas, Director of Spanish Hub and Operations at IAG Cargo said: "It's been exciting to work with Iberia to provide this service, which will enable our customers to keep operating at optimum speed and efficiency. We are seeing growing demand from customers and shippers for a more tailored service, which is increasingly important as we approach peak season. For distant markets, air freight makes a global logistics program possible. IAG Cargo has a wide network and, with the strength of five airlines, we can quickly adapt and diversify depending on our customers' needs. This latest offering is another example of our bespoke solutions for customers across the world.”
New carrier, YTO Cargo Airlines links Singapore to China
"We are delighted to launch our newest route to Changi Airport, together with our shareholder and core strategic partner Cainiao. Singapore is one of the key hubs in the Southeast Asia market, while Hangzhou is the cradleland of e-commerce in China. We are committed to responding to customer demands by providing five-star service and supporting bilateral trade between China and Singapore." Speaking on behalf of YTO Cargo Airlines, its Chairman, Mr. David Su, explained the thrice-weekly service that began on 02NOV20 between Hangzhou and Singapore. The new carrier is used by Alibaba's logistics arm, Cainiao, for the transportation of e-commerce shipments, and is a welcome support in the enabling Cainiao to achieve its goal of delivery within 72 hours in Southeast Asia.
Mr. Lim Ching Kiat, Changi Airport Group's (CAG) Managing Director of Air Hub Development said, "We are pleased to welcome YTO Cargo Airlines to Changi's family of airlines. In these challenging times, the additional capacity provided by YTO Cargo Airlines will help support global supply chains and facilitate the transfer of essential goods between countries. As an express carrier, YTO Cargo Airlines will enable fast air transportation of cross-border e-commerce shipments so that customers can benefit from timely deliveries, amid the rise of online shopping and disruptions in the aviation industry."
Similar to many locations around the world, Singapore has suffered from the loss of most belly capacities, and Changi Airport has therefore been busy attracting freighter links to secure supply chains and handle the huge increase in e-commerce traffic as well as PPE. From JAN20-SEP20, Changi Airport handled 1.13 million tons of airfreight.
Three yachts sail the skies thanks to Antonov Airlines
Cargo with a difference and with an outlook to 2021. It is not every day that three high-tech hydrofoil racing yachts capable of speeds of up to 50 knots (92.6kph), take to the air so far above any water. Antonov Airlines had the honor of transporting three such craft to Auckland, New Zealand on board of its fleet of AN-124-100 Ruslans on behalf of three racing teams from Italy, UK and USA. The yachts and their teams are due to compete against the current defending champion Emirates Team New Zealand and the USA Stars and Stripes Team next MAR21 in the 36th America's Cup race.
Each AC75 yacht measured 22.8 meters in length, 4.9 meters in width and, together with their supporting equipment, each shipment weighed in at 20 metric tons. "Our engineers worked closely with the teams that organized the air shipment of these unique yachts to develop a safe loading and stowage system for the long journeys to New Zealand," said Andriy Blagovisniy, Commercial Director of ANTONOV Airlines. "The AN-124 Ruslan, which has a volume of cargo cabin up to 700 cubic meters, was the ideal aircraft for the job.”
The AMERICAN MAGIC team’s yacht traveled from Providence, Rhode Island, USA, via Chicago, Illinois, and Honolulu, Hawaii, (two scheduled fueling stops), and took three days to reach Auckland, New Zealand. The British INEOS Team UK’s yacht and the Italian LUNA ROSSA Team’s vessel left London Stansted Airport, UK, and Milan Bergamo Airport, Italy, respectively, touching down for refueling in Dubai, UAE, and Surabaya, Indonesia, before also reaching their New Zealand destination after three days.
Turkish Cargo ups BUD service
As of today (08NOV20), Turkish Cargo is offering forwarders and shippers a fourth weekly frequency between Istanbul and Budapest, deploying an A330 freighter on the route.
Thus, Budapest is becoming the largest hub for TK Cargo in the region. A fact that is also documented by a TK Cargo management decision to base the carrier’s Regional Directorate for Eastern Europe at Budapest Ferenc Liszt International. This Regional Directorate Office coordinates the cargo sales activities of 21 countries.
Turkish Cargo claims to be one of the best-known air cargo brands worldwide, due to the growth of its freighter fleet, the wide network, and the services offered. Currently, the airline operates 25 all-cargo aircraft along with 365 passenger jetliners offering abundant lower deck capacity for freight transportation. The airline serves 300 destinations in 127 countries but has reduced its flight program due to the C-19 pandemic.
Rene Droese, Chief Development Officer at Budapest Airport, welcomed the additional flight operated by TK Cargo, and said that the upping of frequencies is proof of the high attractiveness of the airport where the air freight business plays an outstanding role.
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