Two separate engine failures on a single day
On Saturday (20FEB21), debris from the burst engine of Bermuda-registered Longtail Aviation fell over populated areas in Maastricht, Netherlands. Two people were injured by the downed turbine parts of the Boeing-747-400 freighter, with one woman being taken to hospital. Cars and houses were also hit and suffered damage from the shower of metal fragments. Flight LGT5504, en route from Maastricht to New York, took off at MST at 16:10 CET. Just minutes after it was airborne, a fire broke out in one of the aircraft's four engines, police in Maastricht stated.
Dutch aviation authorities are investigating the incident. Flying on the remaining three turbines, the 30-year-old freighter (Reg.: VQ-BWT) was able to continue its flight to Liège in Belgium, where it landed safely. The aircraft is operated by Longtail Aviation, a Bermuda-based charter airline that offers cargo transportation services in addition to private charter flights. Longtail has two B747-400 freighters in its fleet, with another 747 on the way, listed as a Combi (747-400M). The two -400F are registered as VQ-BWS and VQ-BWT and listed as leases from UAE-based company Aquiline International.
Also last Saturday (20FEB21), a similar incident occurred in Denver, USA, when a United Airlines B777-220 took off for Hawaii with 241 passengers and crew on board. Shortly after takeoff, the twin-engine jet's right turbine failed, sending burning parts down to earth, hitting the backyard of a house, and a sports field. Fortunately, nobody was hit.
United Airlines said the 26-year-old plane (N772UA) made a safe emergency landing in Denver. Most of the passengers were flown to Honolulu aboard a new plane, others were accommodated in a hotel.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said it was launching an investigation into the incident.
KLM ships vaccines to the Bonaire and Aruba
16FEB21 saw the first of a series of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine shipments take off from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, destined for Bonaire and Aruba in the Caribbean part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Dutch State Secretary for Health, Welfare and Sport, Paul Blokhuis, responsible for healthcare in the Dutch Caribbean, and Pieter Elbers, CEO of KLM were present at the loading of the vaccines into the aircraft. Working together, KLM and the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport will be shipping more Covid-19 vaccines to the various Caribbean islands over the next weeks. Though the Air France KLM Martinair Cargo division is no stranger to pharmaceutical freight, handling over 80,000 such shipments each year, the Covid-19 vaccines require additional specific transport and security solutions. The shipment was packed in containers with dry ice and stored in an environment of between +2 to +25 degrees Celsius, also at destination in Bonaire and Aruba, ensuring the vaccines’ efficacity over several days.
“Many people have been working flat out for a year to get the coronavirus under control in the Caribbean region of the Kingdom. The first vaccines to reach all the islands this week mark a hopeful turning point in the struggle to end this crisis.” Paul Blokhuis, Dutch State Secretary for Health, Welfare and Sport.
“The arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine is very good news for us all. It brings us closer to ending the pandemic and the terrible crisis we have been facing worldwide for more than a year now. We worked with our cargo division in recent months to prepare swift and secure vaccine transport worldwide and we have now embarked on this highly complex and demanding task. Today's transport is special because it is the first in a series of KLM flights to Bonaire, Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten (including Saba and Sint Eustatius) carrying Covid-19 vaccines. KLM has a long and unique history of cooperation with the islands and we enjoy a warm relationship with them as a result. The Caribbean part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands are also going through a difficult time and we are proud and happy to be of service to their people in this way,” said Pieter Elbers, CEO KLM.
dnata invests in high-tech cool dollies for SYD and MEL
dnata is ahead of the game in Australia with the delivery of its four new, high-tech cool dollies, thus becoming “the first air services provider to offer a fully integrated, temperature-controlled cool chain for pharma and perishable shipments in this important market,” according to its recent press release. dnata, a pharma.aero member and the only air services provider in Australia to hold the World Health Organization's (WHO) Good Distribution Practice (GDP) certification for the pharmaceutical handling services at its facilities, now has two cool dollies each at Sydney Airport (SYD) and Melbourne Airport (MEL), enabling a safe, closed, temperature-controlled system (-25°C up to +25°C) when transporting temperature-sensitive goods from the warehouse to the aircraft and vice-versa, and complementing its state-of-the-art pharma handling facilities at both airports. At Sydney, dnata handled 43,000 tons of temperature-sensitive and perishables goods in 2020, whilst its Melbourne facility processed around 22,000 tons.
Dirk Goovaerts, dnata's Regional CEO for Asia Pacific, said: “We are thrilled to be the first cargo handler in Australia to launch advanced cool dollies in our operations. Our latest investment underlines our commitment to ensuring reliable and safe end-to-end transportation of pharmaceutical products across the supply chain. We stay focused on providing continual improvements that enhance the safety and security of our customers' pharma shipments.”
Vanessa Orth, Chief Commercial Officer, Sydney Airport, said: “Sydney Airport has played a pivotal role throughout the COVID-19 crisis, facilitating the movement of essential workers, medical supplies, agricultural exports, and thousands of people going and coming home. We applaud dnata for its investment in the resilience of Australia's pharmaceutical supply chain, an investment which will ensure Sydney Airport continues to play its central role in the nation's air cargo network.”
Shane O'Hare, Chief of Aviation at Melbourne Airport, said: “We congratulate dnata for investing in cool dolly services, which will enable greater movement of temperature-sensitive goods around Australia. The product will certainly add to dnata's existing cargo capability at Melbourne Airport which is the leading domestic and 24/7 international freight hub in Australia.”
Rhenus expands network through acquisition of BLG sites
Rhenus Air & Ocean has taken over BLG International Forwarding GmbH & Co KG’s German freight forwarding division as the Bremen-based BLG LOGISTICS GROUP has decided to concentrate on its domestic and international business in its Contract, Automobile and Container divisions in future. With the exception of the BLG freight forwarding site in Bremen, specializing in overland traffic, transporting heavy goods, project business, and sea freight, Rhenus Air & Ocean will be taking over nine German air and sea freight sites on 01APR21 (if the move is approved by the cartel authorities), located in Hamburg, Bremerhaven, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Munich. The nine sites and circa 100 BLG employees will add to Rhenus Air & Ocean’s German network of twelve branches, and will help to channel more traffic through its LCL gateway in Hilden and its air freight hub at Frankfurt, and open up new business fields for the company.
“We’ve gained a strong partner in Rhenus Air & Ocean and it’s making available its extensive network to our customers thanks to its global presence,” says Jens Wollesen, the Contract Board Member at BLG LOGISTICS. “BLG is strategically adapting to changes in market conditions through the sale of our freight forwarding business. Even if we’ll no longer be represented right across Germany in terms of freight forwarding in future, we’ll continue to provide extensive international services in our Contract, Automobile and Container divisions.”
“We've paved the way for the continual expansion of our air and sea freight activities during the last few years. Thanks to the additional business sites, employees, and business activities, we’re consolidating our network in the Air & Ocean division in Germany. We'd also like to develop new lines of business, like transporting food using reefer containers and activities in the trade fair and event logistics sector,” says Stefan Schwind, Managing Director of Rhenus Air & Ocean Deutschland.
IAG Cargo moves 1.7 million masks to Munich
A B777-200 preighter was deployed to transport 1.7 million medical-grade masks from Shanghai, China to Munich, Germany in early FEB21, on behalf of Hamburg, Germany-based global logistics company SENATOR INTERNATIONAL, to ensure sufficient supplies following Germany’s regulations last month stipulating that medical-grade masks are obligatory at work, on public transport and in shops. Packed in more than 17,000 boxes, the shipment had an actual weight of 21.1 tons. IAG Cargo has cooperated with SENATOR INTERNATIONAL on numerous occasions. Last year, a number of B777-300s were chartered to bring PPE and medical equipment from China to Germany on SENATOR INTERNATIONAL’s behalf, and adding to the thousands of tons of PPE that IAG Cargo transported across the world in 2020.
Tim-Oliver Kirschbaum, CEO of SENATOR INTERNATIONAL, commented: “Having already handled various charter flights together with IAG Cargo, we knew we could trust their expertise and support. All went really smoothly - from setting up the flight plan to the actual loading and unloading of the aircraft. Everybody worked together and made this transfer another success.”
Freddie Overton, Regional Commercial Manager for Europe & Africa at IAG Cargo commented: “I'm really proud that we were able to support SENATOR INTERNATIONAL again to deliver PPE during this challenging time. It's been nearly a year since we introduced our network of charter and cargo only flights – this continues to be an essential service in keeping vital goods like PPE moving across the world. Air cargo has always played a key role in times of crisis and we remain committed to continuing to support our customers.”
GAMECO opening third B737-800 conversion line
The orders for freighters are coming in thick and fast, as e-commerce booms and ongoing capacity shortages mean that the air cargo logistics industry is looking to more freighter solutions. Boeing recently forecast that 2,430 freighters will enter the global fleet over the next 20 years, of which around 1,080 will be standard-body passenger-to-freighter conversions, and with around 40% of that demand coming from Asia. Thus, GAMECO, which finalized its first 737-800BCF conversion on 09NOV20, less than half a year after opening its first conversion line and announced its second 737-800BCF conversion line in SEP20 (already starting on its first aircraft), has now published its decision to open a third conversion line at its Guangzhou facility.
“GAMECO is excited to continue our partnership with Boeing to satisfy freighter conversion demand for years to come,” said GAMECO General Manager Norbert Marx. “Adding a third line gives us the opportunity to implement an innovative and scalable production concept for conversions. This concept will boost deliveries and improve further efficiency.”
“Boeing launched our BCF program at GAMECO amidst the pandemic, and their commitment to quality and quickly scaling their operations is a great achievement,” said Peter Gao, Boeing vice president, Commercial Sales and Marketing for China. “Our partnership with GAMECO strengthens our presence in the region, benefits us both and brings immense value to our customers today and into the future.”
Jörg Herwig joins Hellmann as COO Road & Rail
Jörg Herwig will assume his new position at Hellmann Worldwide Logistics as Chief Operating Officer Road & Rail (COO) on 01MAR21, taking over from Matthias Magnor, who is stepping down after 18 years. As COO and Executive Board Member, Magnor developed the domestic and international land transport and rail division and Courier & Express Parcel (CEP) segment (Night Star Express). “On behalf of the Management Board, we would like to thank Matthias Magnor for his strong work and contributions over the past 18 years at Hellmann. He has continuously expanded the Road & Rail division as well as our CEP activities and successfully driven the earnings development in the product segment. We regret that Matthias is leaving the company and wish him all the best for the future,” Reiner Heiken, Chief Executive Officer, Hellmann Worldwide Logistics, said.
“At the same time, we are most pleased that we were able to recruit Jörg Herwig, a highly experienced logistics professional. With him, Hellmann gains a land transport expert who demonstrates both many years of international road and rail experience and deep expertise in the strategic development of the product segment. Our common goal is to further advance our digitalization journey and live sustainability in the areas of land, rail, and CEP as we continue to grow internationally,” Reiner Heiken continued. Herwig has more than 30 years of experience in logistics, having worked with Danzas, Kühne + Nagel, Dachser, and Schenker across Europe, with a focus on Eastern Europe, and road and rail. He comes to Hellmann from Schenker where he held a Management Board position since MAR19, and was responsible for all land transport activities, in particular the Schenker AG network in Germany and Switzerland. All this experience will serve him in growing the German and European overland transport network (which currently contributes around 33% of the group’s global revenue) in a sustainable way. Eastern Europe will be particularly in focus, and therefore, alongside his position as COO Road & Rail, Jörg Herwig will also hold the position of Managing Director of Hellmann East Europe GmbH & Co. KG (HEE – since JAN21, fully owned by Hellmann), together with Patrick Nathe.
Singapore Airlines launches THRUFRESH after IATA CEIV Fresh Certification
Three years after becoming the first Asia-Pacific airline to receive CEIV-pharma certification, and launching its THRUCOOL service, the airline has again scored a South East Asia premier by being the first airline to receive the IATA’s CEIV-Fresh certification. The announcement was made on 19FEB21, and the occasion used to launch THRUFRESH: its special service for the handling and transportation of perishable products.
Nick Careen, IATA’s Senior Vice President for Airport, Passenger, Cargo and Security, stated: “Congratulations to Singapore Airlines on their CEIV Fresh certification. The delicate nature of perishables means the highest standards are needed to make sure product integrity is maintained for such shipments. And with limited air cargo capacity due to the Covid-19 crisis, it is even more critical to ensure that these delicate and short-shelf life goods reach customers unspoiled with minimal waste and loss. With Singapore being a major hub for the transport of perishables, CEIV Fresh certification will give perishable shippers confidence and assurance that their cold-chain logistics requirements are being met.”
Chin Yau Seng, SIA’s Senior Vice President Cargo, said, “We are honored to be awarded the IATA CEIV Fresh certification, which affirms our dedication to upholding high safety and quality standards in the transportation of perishable cargo. Additionally, our new THRUFRESH service will provide our customers with the reassurance that essential food supplies and perishable products will be delivered reliably to their destinations and handled with the utmost care throughout the journey.” THRUFRESH offers swift and quality delivery in line with the strict requirements when it comes to transporting delicate and short-shelf life products like live seafood, chilled meat, fruit, and vegetables by air. Features include dedicated cold chain services such as priority uplift and handling, quick ramp transfers and cold room facilities to safeguard the integrity of perishables.
All doors [open] in flight!
A rare occasion and not one you want happening in mid-air: Last Sunday 13FEB21, a DHL Boeing 757-200F, registration G-DHKZ, took off from runway 26L at 05:31 from Leipzig Airport as flight QY126 destined for Frankfurt. Yet, after just 17 minutes, it was forced to land back in Leipzig because the main cargo door had opened shortly after take-off, as the aircraft was climbing. The crew aborted the flight at 5,300 feet and managed to land the plane safely on runway 08R. No injuries were reported.
The main cargo door had opened completely, losing several parts above the area of the Schkopau coal power plant which is located to the west of Leipzig Airport. No freight was lost, however, though the aircraft which remained on the runway for around 40 minutes before being towed to the apron for further investigation, sustained substantial damage. The 29-year-old aircraft had been converted to a freighter in 2011. Why the aircraft door opened as it did, and why there appears to be an oil slick down the side of the airplane, is unclear. The German Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accident Investigation (BFU) dispatched investigators on site.
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