Air Canada becomes cargo.one’s first North American carrier
The starting shot has been fired: cargo.one is delivering on its global expansion strategy, funded by its December 2020 Series-B investment round, and is expanding over to North America. It signed a letter of intent with Air Canada, through its cargo division Air Canada Cargo, last week. Once the agreement is concluded, freight forwarders can look forward to accessing real-time Air Canada Cargo capacity and quotes via the rapidly expanding online booking platform. Go-live is currently scheduled for Q2/21.
“We are delighted to double down on our global expansion strategy and look forward to welcoming Air Canada Cargo on board as a first mover in the North American region. Air Canada Cargo’s constant drive for innovation and technology to offer customers the best possible service is very much in line with cargo.one’s values and strategy,” stated Moritz Claussen, Co-Founder and Managing Director of cargo.one. “Given the current capacity constraints out of Europe to North America, cargo.one’s growing user base will now have additional real-time access to much sought-after space at the click of a button.”
Jason Berry, Vice President Cargo at Air Canada, said: “An association with cargo.one will enable us to deliver on our customer promise of providing easy and reliable booking access to our growing capacities and help us to further develop our digital distribution capabilities. A concluded definitive agreement will support Air Canada Cargo’s rapid cargo network expansion, increase its day-to-day efficiency, while at the same time offering customers an outstanding service quality and seamless online access to attractive connections to and from Europe, Latin America, the U.S. and Asia-Pacific.”
Chad Tibor, who was recently appointed Vice President and General Manager Airlines for the Americas, to shape its supplier growth strategy on the American continents, commented: “We look forward to supporting Air Canada Cargo’s growth as it adds more cargo flights and takes delivery of the first two of its freighters later this year. We see the Americas as key markets for cargo.one and will continue to invest in long-term and mutually beneficial partnerships with carriers here, with Air Canada as a blueprint.”
Willy Walsh takes up new IATA DG Role on 01APR21
IATA’s 8th Director General assumed his new role on 01APR21, taking over from Alexandre de Juniac, and had this to say: “I am passionate about our industry and about the critical work that IATA does on behalf of its members, never more so than during the COVID-19 crisis. IATA has been at the forefront of efforts to restart global connectivity, including developing the IATA Travel Pass. Less visible but of equal importance, airlines continue to rely on IATA's financial settlement systems, Timatic and other vital services to support their day-to-day operations. I am grateful to Alexandre for leaving behind a strong organization and a motivated team. Together, the IATA team is absolutely focused on restoring the freedom of movement that airlines provide to billions of people around the world. That means your freedom to visit friends and family, to meet critical business partners, to secure and retain vital contracts, and to explore our wonderful planet.”
It is encouraging to hear “cargo” in his speech, as he continues: “In normal times, over four billion travelers depend on aviation each year and the distribution of vaccines has put the value of efficient air cargo in the spotlight. Airlines are committed to delivering safe, efficient, and sustainable services. My goal is to ensure that IATA is a forceful voice supporting the success of global air transport. We will work with supporters and critics alike to deliver on our commitments to an environmentally sustainable airline industry. It's my job to make sure that governments, which rely on the economic and social benefits our industry generates, also understand the policies we need to deliver those benefits.”
Hopefully, a replacement for cargo-responsible, Glyn Hughes, who joined TIACA last month, will soon be found. Walsh, who was served as IAG’s CEO from its inception until his retirement in SEP20, may serve to be a stronger cargo advocate that his predecessor.
Rolls-Royce is building the world’s largest aero-engine
The image is simply an artist’s impression, but the UltraFan®, is soon to be reality. Rolls-Royce announced that it has officially started building the world’s largest aero-engine, aimed at supporting more sustainable air travel for the future. With an impressive diameter of 355.6 cm, the demonstrator engine which is being constructed at the company’s DemoWorks facility in Derby, UK, is due to be completed by the end of this year. Other components, such as its carbon titanium fan system, and 50MW Power Gearbox (capable of running 500 family cars) are being built in Bristol, UK, and Dahlewitz, Germany, respectively.
It will be the first model of an UltraFan engine series designed to power both narrowbody and widebody aircraft 25% more fuel efficiently than its first-generation Trent engine counterparts, and its first test run will be carried out using 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel. Technology is also important: the UltraFan will be an IntelligentEngine, with digital twin fan blades that store real-life test data and enable engineers to predict in-service performance, as well as continuously work to improve engine performance.
UK Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, said: “The UltraFan project is a perfect example of how we are working with industry to deliver green, sustainable flight for decades to come. Backed with significant government support, this project represents the scale of ambition for Britain's crucial aerospace sector. Companies like Rolls-Royce are playing a critical role as we build back greener from the pandemic and we are committed to giving the whole aerospace sector the support it needs to innovate and reach new heights.”
Chris Cholerton, Rolls-Royce, President – Civil Aerospace, said: “This is an exciting moment for all of us at Rolls-Royce. Our first engine demonstrator, UF001, is now coming together and I’m really looking forward to seeing it built and ready for test. It is arriving at a time when the world is seeking ever more sustainable ways to travel in a post-COVID 19 world, and it makes me and all our team very proud to know we are part of the solution. I am delighted that the UK and German governments have supported us in making these significant ground-breaking technology investments. The Aerospace Technology Institute and LuFo programmes, as well as the EU’s Clean Sky, have all helped bring us a step closer to realising the enormous environmental and economic benefits of UltraFan.”
Ethiopian Airlines and the million-vaccine shipment
Ethiopian Airlines celebrated a year of preighter flights on 25MAR21, having carried out 5,645 such flights using its 25-strong fleet of reconfigured passenger flights, complementing its growing freighter fleet, and contributing 16.5% of the airline’s total tonnage of 735,869 during that time. It has played an important role in the distribution of PPE and medical goods during the pandemic, working together the Alibaba Foundation, WHO, and more recently UNICEF and Cainiao for the global vaccine distribution.
Ethiopian Airline’s most recent vaccine shipment, on 31MAR21, was for 1,056,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses from Beijing, China, to Harare, Zimbabwe, travelling via the carrier’s cargo terminal in Addis Ababa. The six Envirotainer ULDs travelled on board of a single A350-900 flight. It was not the first such shipment, nor the largest, given that earlier last month, it carried 2.2 million vaccine doses from Mumbai, India, to Addis Ababa. Nor will it have been the last, as Ethiopian Airlines will play a central role in vaccine distribution.
“Today, we have delivered more than 1 million vaccine doses to Zimbabwe, Harare, which is indicative of our commitment to collaborate with African governments at this critical time so that Africans get access to vaccines in due time,” said Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Tewolde GebreMariam. “Our efficiency in cargo transportation is growing from time to time enabling us to reach as many countries as possible. We are desirous of reaching every corner of the world with our dependable freight service.”
6 Antonov Airlines flights transporting Covid-19 machinery
On behalf of DHL Global Forwarding, six chartered AN-124 flights, each with a 150-ton payload, took off from Frankfurt-Hahn Airport, Germany, to Baltimore, Maryland, and Kinston Regional Jetport, North Carolina, in the USA recently. On board were 100-ton pharma machines that will be used to produce Covid-19 vaccinations. Adverse weather conditions led to one of the Baltimore flights being diverted to Stewart International Airport, New York. In each case, external cranes and Antonov Airlines’ own, specially developed loading equipment was used to load and unload the cargo.
“The flights were a great charter project that we carried out together with Antonov Airlines professionally and to the fullest customer satisfaction,” said Christopher Klein, Senior Manager Global Charters, DHL Global Forwarding. “In the past few months there have been a number of challenges to master, most recently a snowstorm on the US east coast, which meant we had to change the destination airport at short notice.”
Dmytro Prosvirin, Head of Customer Service Department, Antonov Airlines, said; “It is a global effort in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and we are honoured that Antonov Airlines played a key role in this.”
IAG Cargo packs its preighter to the brim and sets own record
A recent Boeing 777-300 flight from Nairobi, Kenya, to London-Heathrow, UK, set a company record for IAG Cargo. The cargo-only flight carried the heaviest load ever recorded out of Kenya. Exactly 53,793 kgs of cargo made up of a range of products including perishables (tropical fruits and vegetables), textiles and courier shipments. Given the start of the UK-Kenya Economic Partnership Agreement on 24MAR21, which gives Kenya unrestricted access (no duty or quota restrictions) to the UK market, IAG Cargo’s four weekly return flights from Nairobi to London-Heathrow, can look forward to more record-breaking flights. Typical Kenyan exports to the UK are cut flowers, fruit, and vegetables, whereas flights to Kenya are laden with automotive, pharmaceuticals, printed materials, and consumer electronics.
Commenting on the recent record flight, Area Commercial Manager for East Africa, Michael Muriithi at IAG Cargo, said: “This record uplift of nearly 54 tons shows the dedicated and committed efforts of the IAG Cargo team in Nairobi. The flight was carefully planned, ensuring efficient ULD planning, and we worked collaboratively with our ground handling partners to ensure loading was completed with care. Since the start of the pandemic, we have been committed to creating efficient solutions for our customers to maximize capacity and keep supply chains open. We are proud to support our customers across the world.”
DRONAMICS launches Airline and appoints COO
DRONAMICS is taking wing. CFG ran a couple of articles last year (https://www.cargoforwarder.eu/2020/12/13/arise-black-swan/ and https://www.cargoforwarder.eu/2020/12/06/european-drone-network-in-the-pipeline/) on “the world’s leading developer and operator of large cargo drones”. It has now just announced the launch of DRONAMICS Airlines with companies in Ireland, Australia, and Canada (all three are leading drone aviation countries) tasked with managing the air freight operations for same-day delivery services using The Black Swan – DRONAMICS’ unmanned cargo drone which can carry 350 kg of cargo at a distance of up to 2,500 km “at up to 80% lower cost than any aircraft in existence.”
At the same time, Sergio Oliveira e Silva has been appointed Chief Operating Officer (COO), coming on board to set-up and commercially operate the airline business, deploy the droneport network along with ensuring all the operational authorizations required in the fast-evolving drone regulations across the globe. He joins the company from Gama Aviation Asia in Hong Kong, where he was Managing Director, Asia, and looks back on a strong international career across a number of privately held and publicly listed companies. His statement: “I’m very much looking forward to being part of the team that will bring into the market the next-generation logistics networks for e-commerce, pharma, agriculture shipments, special cargo, and spare parts. I am excited to be again involved in another successful pioneer venture within the aviation logistics industry.”
Svilen Rangelov, Co-Founder & CEO at DRONAMICS, emphasized: “This is an important milestone for us, and we are thrilled by the talent we are attracting to our organization that is embracing our vision to democratize air freight. We will continue enhancing our experienced management team who will provide additional expertise to deliver our first commercial flight in a near future.”
Cargojet Inc to fly Amazon B767 in Canada
Cargojet Inc. has signed an agreement to fly two of Amazon’s own B767 within Canada from the middle of this year. It is a four-year contract with three successive two-year renewal options, taking it through to 2031 if all goes well. Cargojet is thus deepening its relationship with Amazon for which it already provides express delivery services in Canada under the Amazon Canada Fulfillment Services contract. No financial details are known at this point.
Cargojet was one of four bidders for the tender that Amazon was bound to put out, since cabotage rules both in the U.S. and Canada prohibit foreign aircraft operators from carrying out domestic point to point flights. Amazon therefore required a Canadian operator. “We are very excited to expand our long-term relationship of providing a portfolio of services which support the rapid growth of e-commerce in Canada,” stated Cargojet CEO Ajay Virmani, who heads the 27-strong Cargojet fleet.
Pharma.Aero and Humanitarian Logistics Association sign MoU
Pharma.Aero and Humanitarian Logistics Association (HLA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will enable the two organizations to work together on strategic projects with the aim of improving quality in pharmaceutical air cargo transports down to the last mile, especially with regard to humanitarian and crisis projects.
Jeremy Mitchell, Director of Pharma.Aero explained: “By joining forces with HLA, we bring the Human Interest aspect into the Pharma.Aero network and platform. This will create more leverage and added value in all our undertakings as well as broaden our scope and impact when reaching out to the entire pharmaceutical air cargo supply chain.” George Fenton, Chief Executive of HLA, added: “HLA aims to increase understanding and forge alliances between aid organizations, the private, public and academic sectors. The newly formed partnership with Pharma.Aero will enable us to add significant value to our network and gear up the effectiveness and efficiency of members by raising awareness of standards, facilitating access to training and career development opportunities, and encourage collaboration among a broader range of humanitarian logisticians.”
Trevor Caswell, Vice Chairman Pharma.Aero and responsible for Projects, pointed out that: “both organizations share the same vision: being a neutral platform of international best-practice and knowledge sharing, and fostering community collaboration by trust. In setting up joint projects that emphasize the growing importance – both for the rapidly changing aid system as well as for the supply chain – of ‘local actors’ and ‘last mile’, we can create added value: to look at ways to improve reaching difficult places via UAV technology will be one of our first joint projects.”
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