Antonov Airlines flies 80 tons of Automotive Parts
80 tons of automotive parts uplift is a) an impressive shipment size, yet one that Antonov Airlines is used to dealing with, b) an encouraging economic indicator, and c) in this case, a positive result of the Open Skies Agreement that exists between the Ukraine and the USA.
“These flights were not your run-of-the-mill charters,” Adam Green, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at The Flight Lab Aviation Consulting LLC, pointed out. “Due to the nature of the cargo and the double pick-up in two different countries, the planning had to be precise and executed perfectly. All the cargo was Just-In-Time, to support a large automotive manufacturer; with the help of the consignee V. Alexander in the USA, each flight went off without a hitch.” In fact, the shipment which the Ukrainian airline transported from Asia to Ohio in the USA, was split into two halves: its AN124-100 flew first to Yogyakarta, Indonesia to pick up the first 40 tons of parts, and then on to Hanoi, Vietnam, for the other 40 tons. The operation, which included technical stops in Japan and Alaska to accommodate crew rests (complete with rapid Covid-19 testing and requiring clearance to travel before continuing to the next technical stop airport), and aircraft refueling before reaching Ohio, took four days in total.
The fact that the operation was possible at all and so quickly, was thanks to the Open Skies Agreement between Ukraine, where Antonov Airlines is headquartered, and the USA. The agreement promotes an increase in travel, trade, productivity, and economic growth between the two nations. As vehicle manufacturing plants across the States reopen, global demand for automotive parts has again increased since the start of this year, in contrast to a slow 2020, which Iryna Kyianytsia, Commercial Executive at Antonov Airlines, confirmed: “We have seen an increase in demand for automotive cargo, and a double pick-up is not usual in the day-to-day operations of the AN-124-100. There were additional challenges ensuring compliance with COVID-19 restrictions in different nations, but thanks to well-organized work and communication with The Flight Lab Aviation Consulting LLC, which chartered the flights, the cargo was safely and successfully transported in full and on time.”
dnata awarded CEIV Fresh for Singapore operations
To nicely round off its certification collection which already includes IATA's Center of Excellence for Independent Validators in Pharmaceutical Logistics ('CEIV Pharma'), the ISO 9001:2015 certification for cargo handling services, and a Halal certification by Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura (Muis) for one of its Coolchain facility’s special storage rooms at its state-of-the-art, 1,400m² pharma and perishable handling center at Changi Airport, Singapore, dnata has now been awarded IATA's Centre of Excellence for Perishable Logistics ('CEIV Fresh'), there. The CEIV Fresh demonstrates that dnata is capable of “the highest quality and standards in the temperature-controlled handling of perishable products, including fresh fruits, meat, fish, dairy and flowers,” and complies with regulatory and operational regulations set by the industry and governments. Correct handling of perishable goods by air is core to avoiding spoilage and wastage, along with any detrimental health side-effects. Sam Gould, dnata Singapore's Head of Cargo, said: “There is an increasing demand for safe air transportation of temperature-sensitive goods. We constantly invest in infrastructure, training, and process improvement to ensure that these delicate products reach the end-customer in perfect condition. IATA's CEIV Fresh certification demonstrates the quality and reliability of our services and supports Changi Airport's positioning as the preferred cargo hub for time-, and temperature-sensitive shipments.”
Over at its state-of-the-art pharma and perishable handling center at Changi Airport, dnata can handle up to 75,000 tons of temperature-sensitive goods a year, and offers a comprehensive range of commodity-specific services which include seamless, temperature-controlled handling and storage, along with monitoring, auditing, real-time management of all handling areas, fast-track time-sensitive import solutions, priority clearance, an expedited deliveries to customers' warehouse facilities within the Changi Airfreight Center or Airport Logistics Park Singapore (ALPS).
Bolloré Logistics celebrates 100th WARA Air Service cargo charter
09APR21 marked one year since Bolloré Logistics began using dedicated WARA Air Service air bridge charters between Europe and West Africa, and the company’s 100th weekly cargo flight. The flights were initially set up to ensure continued transport of goods when the pandemic grounded scheduled flights. Bolloré Logistics uses the charter service to provide the end-to-end shipment of goods to their final destination via its vast integrated logistics network in Africa. WARA Air Service operates two to three weekly flights from Bolloré Logistics’ European hub in Liège (Belgium) to destinations including Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire), Bamako (Mali), Accra (Ghana), Freetown (Sierra Leone), Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), Conakry (Guinea), Niamey (Niger), Monrovia (Liberia), and Nouakchott (Mauritania). To date, over 4,000 tons of goods have traveled to Africa on the service – amongst them large quantities of humanitarian aid products, medical equipment and products, food commodities, spare parts, telecoms equipment, along with everyday consumer goods. In return, WARA Air Service has shipped agricultural products such as more than 110 tons of mangos from Abidjan and Ouagadougou to Europe last year. All of these flows have coordinated by Bolloré Logistics’ operational teams across the supply chain. “This service is a real solution for our customers who rely on us to take care of their transport operations to Africa. It also offers greater flexibility with genuine added value in an uncertain context that does not currently allow for a true resumption of air traffic,” Dirk Jacobs, CEO of Bolloré Logistics Belgium, underlined.
KLM Cargo and Trip & Co launch own cargo seat bags
The two Dutch companies collaborated to come up with a solution to ensure that B777 passenger aircraft now being used for cargo in cabin flights do not suffer undue wear and damage to their interiors, seats, and the entertainment systems built into the seats – all of which could pose potential flight safety issues. The result is a new Cargo Seat Bag which was approved and authorized in record time by the Dutch Civil Aviation Authority (IL&T) under Art. 71(1) of Regulation (EU) 2018/1139 (EASA). Cargo equipment supplier Trip & Co and KLM Cargo worked together to design a user-friendly, easy-to-install (and remove) cargo seat bag, basing its design on KLM’s preighter experience (over 150 such flights until now). The final products, 172 in total, were delivered to the airline on 08APR21, and first deployed on 13APR21, on a flight from Shanghai to Amsterdam, loaded with 950 boxes weighing around 10 tons in total, of medical relief goods and Covid-19 test kits. The bags, which come in single-seat, double-seat, and triple-seat versions, and can be used on KLM’s B777-200/300, B787-10 and A330-200 aircraft, not only serve their function as protectors, but are also a far more sustainable solution to the plastic wrap that is otherwise used. Furthermore, they double the seat load capacity, and reduce physical strain during handling.
Ton Veltman, KLM Cargo in Cabin Project Manager: “It remains extremely inspiring for me to be part of the close-knit team working on Cargo in Cabin. We have been active for over a year now, with involvement throughout KLM and including our partner Trip & Co. By doubling CIC capacity on our 777s, we now have capacity similar to what we had on our 747s.”
Edwin de Jongh, Chief Commercial Officer of Trip & Co: “We are very proud that our joint effort has resulted in a flexible, easy-to-use, lightweight solution that gives the airline an opportunity to offer extra cargo capacity in the passenger cabin and avoid having to convert the cabin permanently. It reminds me of the ‘quick change solution of the seventies’: within an hour, the cabin is transformed from ‘cargo’ to a place ready to welcome passengers for a comfortable flight.”
CEVA Logistics is inaugural participant of United Airlines’ Eco-Skies Alliance
Und the Eco-Skies Alliance, CEVA Logistics and future members will collaborate with United to collectively purchase around 3.4 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in 2021, thus promoting cleaner skies. 3.4 million gallons are enough to remove circa 31,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions or fly more than 200 million miles. CEVA Logistics is the first participant in the airline’s Eco-Skies Alliance aimed at corporate customer collaboration, and the alliance is also the first of its kind, given that other such cooperations have been bilateral arrangements up until now.
Mathieu Friedberg, CEO, CEVA Logistics, stated: “At CEVA, we deliver responsive logistics for our customers, and as part of the CMA CGM Group, we’re strongly committed to acting for the planet in the areas of climate change, air quality and biodiversity. With our participation in the United Eco-Skies Alliance, CEVA is taking tangible action today, with an eye on the solutions of tomorrow. Offering a SAF option to our air cargo customers in partnership with United demonstrates CEVA’s commitment to a more sustainable supply chain. We applaud the participation of each member of the Alliance.”
Scott Kirby, CEO, United, added: “While we’ve partnered with companies for years to help them offset their flight emissions, we applaud those participating in the Eco-Skies Alliance for recognizing the need to go beyond carbon offsets and support SAF-powered flying, which will lead to more affordable supply and ultimately, lower emissions. This is just the beginning. Our goal is to add more companies to the Eco-Skies Alliance, purchase more SAF and work together to find other innovative paths towards decarbonization.”
SriLankan Airlines looking to acquire own freighters
In a recent ROUTES interview, SriLankan Airlines chairman, Ashok Pathirage, disclosed that the airline is looking in to procuring freighter aircraft. Like so many airlines, the pandemic led to huge losses for SriLankan, and it is currently running around 30% of its business, grateful to have receive ongoing financial support from its government. In an effort to close the financial drain, the airline, which has no freighters to now, turned to cargo: “Then we switched into more cargo business. We have to serve the country in terms of our exports, and we realized that there's opportunity in freight business and all this time we have been focusing on the passenger side.” It carried out a number of humanitarian flights, carrying cargo on its passenger aircraft, and ended up converting an A330-200 into a freighter. “But it's not a true freighter,” he said, adding “So, we are also looking at procuring a freighter aircraft; at the moment we are part an of RFP to take it on a lease.”
“We also need to compete with the airlines like Emirates and Qatar flying their freighters to Sri Lanka, so there is a large opportunity for us, and we are expecting if everything goes well by November, we will have one or two aircraft. So those numbers are good in our business plan and hopefully we can achieve those timelines.” The airline is in a good position to make a success of things, too. Early last month, the Changi Airport Group recognized SriLankan Cargo with two cargo awards at the Singapore “Let`s Talk Cargo 2021” conference: the “Cargo Service Excellence Award” for “providing superior customer service and delivering swift and innovative solutions for the movement of Cargo through the Changi Cargo hub,” and the “Top 5 Airlines by Absolute Cargo Growth” at the Singaporean airport. Later that month, at the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Quiz Master 2021 held in Colombo, the SriLankan Airlines Quiz Team were crowned winners, beating 47 other top corporate and university teams from the country in the unique annual quiz specialized in the transportation and logistics industry.
Circle Logistics gets e-Commerce off the ground
Founded 10 years ago in Fort Wayne, USA, and since then one of the fastest-growing Third-Party Logistics (3PL) companies in the country, servicing over $200 million in freight spend across the US and Mexico, Circle Logistics last week announced that it has become an Indirect Air Carrier (IAC). The addition of expedited air transport complements its range of ground transportation modes and is a strategic step to match its rapidly expanding customer base. Through its extensive network of commercial and charter air carriers, Circle Logistics offers express air service for small shipments weighing up to 90 kg, from and to any destination in the domestic U.S. Grant Troyer, Vice President of Operations and Sales, Circle Logistics, explained: “Moving into air freight is a momentous event for Circle, as we expand into full end-to-end expedited shipping capabilities, ensuring that our customers’ production lines are kept intact. In the past, we relied on our network of air carriers to service our customers—now we can engage directly with the airlines, providing enhanced visibility and response times to our customers.” Those response times are 10 minutes from request to quote, and Circle ensures “the fastest possible service and flights with TSA certified representatives that are licensed to track air freight from start to finish.”
It aims to begin handling 350 air shipments a month, with a view to expanding to offering larger pallets and chartered routes, as well as international air freight routes in future, growing to 500 air shipments per month in the near future. The ongoing e-Commerce boom and the rise of just-in-time service solutions means that more 3PLs and freight forwarders have or will increasingly move in to IAC services.
Xwing’s first autonomous commercial cargo flight demo
CFG already covered Xwing back on 06SEP20 (https://www.cargoforwarder.eu/2020/09/06/short-shots/) when the company was looking at starting commercial cargo flights “in the following months”. At the time, Xwing founder and CEO, Marc Piette, declared “We believe the path to full autonomy begins with the air cargo market, and involves remote operators supervising fleets of unmanned aircraft.” On 15APR21, Xwing released a video of its first fully autonomous gate-to-gate commercial cargo aircraft flight demonstration - a world first. The flight which took place in FEB21, included a pilot in the event of emergency, but was completely remotely monitored and controlled from the company’s mission control center in Concord, California, as it faultlessly and autonomously made its way to the runway, took off, navigated possible traffic in the air, landed, and taxied to its parking position. “Over the past year, our team has made significant advancements in extending and refining our AutoFlight system to seamlessly integrate ground taxiing, take-offs, landings, and flight operations, all supervised from our mission control center via redundant data links. Additionally, our piloted commercial cargo operations have been delivering critical supplies including COVID-19 vaccines, to remote communities since December 2020,” Marc Piette said, announcing also that it had raised $40 million in funding at a $400 million valuation led by Blackhorn Ventures, bringing its total raised capital to $55 million. “This latest funding accelerates our time to market for this transformational technology,” and will be used to scale its innovation and team. Given the pandemic, the negative impact on pilot availability (reports suggest a global gap of 34,000 open pilot positions by 2025), along with sky-rocketing e-commerce sales, the future of autonomous cargo flights looks very bright.
We always welcome your comments to our articles. However, we can only publish them when the sender name is authentic.