Qatar Airways Cargo replacing entire ULD fleet with FRC
Qatar Airways Cargo has chosen to replace its entire fleet of more than 10,000 ULDs with Safran's newly developed Class-D Fire Resistant Containers (FRC) over the next five years, with 70% of the roll-over taking place in 2022. It is the company’s launch customer and received delivery of the first containers in Doha, Qatar, already on 29SEP21. The decision to invest in these ULDs stems from the increasing risk to flight safety posed by lithium battery shipments: a concern that Guillaume Halleux, Chief Officer Cargo at Qatar Airways, raised in his key note presentation to the air cargo industry at IATA's World Cargo Symposium in Dublin, Ireland. “As a leading cargo airline, we put the safety of our passengers and employees first. Due to the increased transport of devices with lithium-ion batteries in Unit Load Devices (ULDs), we were looking for a solution that prevents incidents in containers used for the handling and storage of baggage, as well as the transportation of cargo goods. Thorough testing has validated the absolute fire resistance of Safran Cabin's new FRC containers, and we are very pleased to roll out this solution in our belly-hold fleet within such a short period of time.”
These safety concerns, also shared by other airlines, prompted Safran Cabin to complement its existing solutions against Class-A fires (ordinary combustibles, such as paper and cardboard) with a specific Class-D Fire Resistant Container, designed to resist a lithium-based fire for 6 hours, and equipped with an innovative SEN (Secure, Ergonomic, and Non-Velcro) door made of high impact resistant materials. The FRC is easy to maintain and cost-efficient. Pascal Piveteau, EVP Cargo & Catering division from Safran Cabin stated: “We are delighted to bring this innovation to the market together with Qatar Airways Cargo as one of our key partners for pallets and container solutions for more than 15 years. The project started at the end of 2019, and was finished in record time to support Qatar Airways Cargo's replacement plans. Together, we are contributing to the setup of new standards for a safer aviation environment. We are also honored by the trust our esteemed customer has expressed in this major project, which constitutes one of the largest-ever airline ULD fleet replacements, especially in these challenging times.”
Wiremind announces launch of dedicated air cargo business unit
Wiremind, the software and data-science brain behind the ULD & Flight Optimization system, SkyPallet, launched in 2017, has announced that it is setting up a dedicated air cargo business unit. “Given the acceleration of digitalization in air cargo, along with an increased connectivity between stakeholders' processes and systems, Wiremind has decided to launch a dedicated business unit with a clear roadmap and goal for the coming years. We aim to become a leading provider of solutions for Air Cargo, covering a range of processes and needs,” Nathanaël de Tarade, Chief Commercial Officer at Wiremind, stated. “There is huge potential for further digitalization in air cargo, yet the industry currently lacks data science expertise at the right level. We know that it can certainly benefit from similar technology, such as Deep Learning models, for example, that we have successfully deployed on large-scale projects in several industries. Therefore, we have already doubled the size of our air cargo team, and aim at tripling it within the coming months.”
Wiremind was founded in 2014, and offers innovative SaaS Revenue Optimization solutions for the transportation, logistics and events industries. Its air cargo flagship product, SkyPallet, addresses three common pain points in air cargo steering: the imbalance in essential operational knowledge across air cargo teams, the lack of continuity between the Sales and Operations processes, and the fact that airline pricing strategies often overlook the volume factor despite its critical impact on margins. With its 3D planning view and unique, rule-based algorithms, it facilitates digital capacity management, taking into account various factors such as the respective regulations for special products, weight & density checks for heavy cargo, and ensures smart capacity optimization to minimize space loss. Over “1200 users in 100 countries now trust and use SkyPallet in their capacity steering. The solution has continuously been improved over the years and adopted by leading, international air cargo stakeholders such as Emirates, Atlas Air, United, Qantas, ECS Group, and Chapman Freeborn. Demand for SkyPallet has increased since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, proving the relevance of the solution's approach,” the press release states.
Gebrüder Weiss and the planets
In the same week as it launched its Zero Emissions service, enabling customers to offset the carbon footprint of their shipments and support certified climate-protection projects here on Earth, Gebrüder Weiss also announced “Mission Completed” with regard to its involvement in the 13th Mars Analog Mission (CFG reported https://www.cargoforwarder.eu/2021/07/11/short-shots/). As official logistics partner to the 13th International Mars Analog Mission Amadee-20, Gebrüder Weiss was tasked with organizing the transport of the mission’s equipment from Innsbruck, Austria, to the test site in the Negev Desert, Israel, in October. This is where the Austrian Space Forum (OeWF), together with a six-person crew, simulated a manned Mars expedition under isolation conditions in the Martian-like landscape. In line with preparing the future, Gebrüder Weiss delegated the logistics project to a team of its trainees. Robert Rubatscher, in his 3rd year of apprenticeship at Gebrüder Weiss in Hall, Austria, stated: “Logistically, the Mars mission provided us with a great experience because we were able to put our acquired knowledge into practice.”
Head of Corporate Brand Strategy & Communications at Gebrüder Weiss, Frank Haas, added: “Accompanying this Mars mission is like getting a little glimpse into the future of logistics. It’s all very fun and inspiring! We are learning a lot through this partnership, and thank the OeWF for their professional cooperation. We will continue to support pioneering mobility projects.”
On behalf of the OeWF, its Co-Founder and Director, Gernot Grömer, announced: “The results of the research projects on Mars are of great scientific benefit to life on Earth,” and is of the opinion that “The first human to set foot on Mars has already been born.”
Meanwhile, back on Earth, Gebrüder Weiss’ Zero Emissions service launched 01NOV21 to drive its carbon neutrality strategy and assist customers in reaching their green targets, too, computes and documents the CO2 output for every shipment carried worldwide by road, rail, sea, and air. This is done using Gebrüder Weiss’ web based EcoTransIT database. The emissions appear on the freight invoice alongside the offsetting costs and customers receive a certificate for compensation payments made to selected climate-protection projects across the world. Wolfram Senger-Weiss, Gebrüder Weiss CEO, said: “Zero Emissions gives our customers full, detailed transparency on their shipments' CO2 footprints. In this way, we help them move towards climate neutrality and a balanced life-cycle assessment.”
AGI continues its U.S. expansion
Having inaugurated its new 7060 m² off-airport import air cargo facility just five minutes from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), New Jersey, USA, last month, ground handling specialist, Alliance Ground International (AGI) has now turned to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York, USA. It recently moved into JFK's Cargo Building 22, expanding its existing airport presence in Buildings 77, 86, and 21, by an additional 1111 m² of office space and 7362 m² of warehouse space. Operations there will begin on 01DEC21, and will bring over 200 new jobs in the New York region. “This facility will allow AGI to expand JFK operations to our existing client base, as well as enabling us to support new airline customers looking to develop services into the New York region,” Warren Jones, Vice President Business Development, AGI, said. “We expect this operation to create over 200 new full and part-time jobs and we are excited that AGI is able to be a part of New York's regional economic growth.”
Next on the expansion list is EWR. There, the handler is moving from its existing facilities to a 2230 m² on-airport outbound/export cargo facility where it will offer a Dual-Facility solution to its customers. Not just warehouse space is on the expansion agenda. AGI also recently augmented its North American operations through the acquisition of Chicago O'Hare International Airport, Illinois, USA-based, air cargo handling company, Maestro International Cargo.
Two more join AFKLMP’s SAF program
Airflo and Tiger Freight are the latest customers to join Air France KLM Martinair Cargo’s Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) program which, the press release points out, was one of the first in the air cargo industry and is coming up for its first anniversary in DEC21. The two perishable cargo logistics experts, which together arrange for the transportation of around 85,000 tons of vegetables, fruit, and cut flowers across the globe each year, will support the use of SAF on AFKLMP Cargo’s flights from Kenya and Zimbabwe through a fixed annual investment used to cover the difference in price between conventional aircraft fuel and SAF. The agreement was signed at the world’s most prestigious trade fair for international flower growers and buyers, the Netherlands’ International Floriculture Trade Fair (IFTF) in Vijfhuizen.
GertJan Roelands announced: “I would like to welcome Airflo and Tiger to our SAF program and to compliment them on taking this step forward in further reducing their carbon footprint for airfreight. So far we have welcomed 26 partners to our SAF program this year. We have seen an uptick in interest and a rapidly growing demand for SAF in recent months.” Pier Luigi Vigada, Director Eastern & Southern Africa at Air France KLM Martinair Cargo, pointed out that committing to such a concept “in the horticultural business environment, where margins are low and complexities are high, is a hard task” and commended CEO Andrew Pattenden for fully embracing the project.
Andrew Pattenden, CEO of Airflo and Tiger Freight stated: “It’s critically important for us at Airflo and Tiger, that we work with all stakeholders in our industry to bring about a more sustainable future. Given that AFKLMP Cargo provides the cornerstone to our freighter programs from both Kenya and Zimbabwe, their industry leading SAF program is the ideal platform for us to support. Our participation in the AFKLMP SAF program will go a long way in supporting those sustainability initiatives that we are building with our customers,
amongst my colleagues and across our businesses.”
MENA Cargo launches in Bahrain
Have AOC – will fly! The Kingdom of Bahrain has a new dedicated full-service cargo airline. MENA Cargo, the country’s third freighter operator, was recently awarded its Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) from the Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications’ Civil Aviation Affairs (CAA), and is now officially open for business – just in time to benefit from the ongoing capacity crunch. The airline was first established in late 2020 as a brand under MAE Aircraft Management WLL, which belongs to Bahraini airport and aviation services provider, MENA Aerospace Enterprises WLL. It currently possesses a single Boeing 737-300 converted freighter, with a payload capacity of up to 17,000kgs, in its fleet, and is poised to secure a second, soon, along with plans to source a larger Boeing 737 NG cargo aircraft. MENA Cargo will offer both scheduled and ad hoc charter operations for all types of cargo, within the GCC and India at first, before expanding into North and Eastern Africa at a later date.
Dr. Mohammed Juman, MENA Aerospace Enterprises founder and managing director, said: “As a group we have been well-positioned to pivot our strategy in the face of many challenges, in order to take advantage of new opportunities. We have also been fortunate to attract top talent to shape and lead MENA Cargo; Brian Hogan and Peter Hewett are well-known in the cargo aviation world, and especially within the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia.”
Brian Hogan, Accountable Manager for MENA Cargo, stated: “Our goal is to support the markets within the Middle East, as well as the evolving niche markets in the African region and beyond, by working together with local and global partners. We aim to be the most efficient operation in the region, with the added benefit of facilitating broader economic growth. This will be achieved by offering key strategic routes that are currently underserved by other carriers, and also through our ability to provide charter solutions.”
Skyport to handle Skyup Airlines’ cargo
The Ukrainain airline which is due to offer a new air cargo service between Boryspil International Airport, Ukraine, and Prague Vaclav Havel Airport, Czech Republic, recently chose Czech ground handling specialist, Skyport to handle its import and export cargo at Prague Airport. The contract between SkyUp Airlines and Skyport at Prague Airport came into effect last month, and covers the handling of all types of freight, from general cargo and air mail to dangerous goods, pharma, live animals, and valuable cargo. “The new contract looks very promising for both Skyport and SkyUp, as demand for cargo transportation on this route has existed for some time,” David Adámek, Skyport CEO, explained. “The Ukrainian market has traditionally been very strong in terms of cargo and mail volumes, and we are pleased to have been entrusted to partner with SkyUp to meet the growing needs of the cargo market in this region,” even more so, given the challenging aviation environment over the past 18 months, the press release underlines.
Dmytro Seroukhov, CEO, SkyUp Airlines, illustrated: “We started cargo transportations in 2020, at the very beginning of the pandemic, and were among the first to re-equip our fleet of aircraft to bring medical cargo from China to Ukraine and the EU. Later, we switched back to passenger flights, but further developed cargo transportation in the luggage compartments. We believe in the potential of this area, and our cooperation with Skyport is the next step towards growth together with our reliable partners.”
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