Flightservice to be permitted to fly preighters beyond JUL22
Chicago, USA-based commercial aviation and logistics company, AELF FlightService (FlightService) has become the launch customer for Avensis Aviation’s latest Medius PTF A340 conversion kit. Flightservice has contracted Avensis to carry out at least ten Medius widebody conversions in 2022, whereby the aircrafts’ passenger cabins will be completely removed, and the space converted into Full Class E or F cargo compartments. The conversions are fully reversible if needed. A330s and A340s will be converted and are expected to become Avensis Medius Class E Supplemental Type Certificated (STC) by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which will enable the PTF aircraft to fly beyond the current EASA preighter exemption deadline of JUL22. FlightService will be the first and perhaps only ad-hoc charter/ACMI service provider to operate converted preighters post summer 2022.
Joe Cirillo, Chief Operating Officer at AELF FlightService said: “This is an investment in the passenger to freighter space that puts us in a unique position in the marketplace. With the Avensis modification, the EASA exemption will be a non-issue for us and allow us to provide much of the same utility as a full freighter. From this point forward we’ll have a continuous and reliable service that shippers and retailers can come back to time and again. It provides strong utility and peace-of-mind for our customers and partners for the long haul.”
Cristian Sutter, Chief Executive Officer of Avensi, stated: “We are thrilled to be working with AELF FlightService, an emerging leader in the air freight space, both on their 330s and as the launch customer for our Medius PTF Conversion product on the Airbus A340 aircraft platform. Our conversion solutions provide an innovative and agile response to today’s industry challenges, and our work with FlightService is set to make an impact on the industry.”
Lee Jones, President of Malta-based Maleth Aero, which operates the fleet for Flightservice, commented: “We know freight demand is not going away anytime soon, and we’re working to solidify our position,” said. “Needless to say, Avensis is changing the game in conversion solutions, and we are excited to partner with them as we grow in the PTF space.”
Cargojet becomes Mammoth’s 777-200LR launch customer
Cargojet Airways Ltd. (Cargojet) is the first airline to sign a purchase agreement with Mammoth Freighters LLC (Mammoth) for two of its new 777-200LRMF freighters. The airline also has options for two 300ERMFs and two further 200LRMFs. The conversions will being mid-2022 and Cargojet is expected to take delivery of the first aircraft, the MSN 29742, which will act as the conformity prototype article for certification, in the second half of 2023. The two new aircraft will expand Cargojet’s existing fleet to 33. “The Mammoth 777 is tomorrow’s freighter today; a fuel efficient, heavy lifting, high-volume, long-range aircraft operating with clean, efficient, and reliable GE90-110/115B engines,” the press release outlines. “Cargojet is Canada’s leading provider of time sensitive premium air cargo services to all major cities across North America, providing dedicated ACMI and International Charter services and carries over 11,300 tons of cargo weekly.”
Mammoth Co-CEO Bill Tarpley announced: “We are grateful and excited that Mammoth has been selected by Cargojet to bring this conversion to market and demonstrate the significance of our product to the world. This is the next generation of converted freighters that have improved on-wing performance while using less fuel and emitting less carbon than the current aging widebody fleet.”
Canary is Drone Delivery Canada’s latest Sparrow Drone
The ISO 9001 certified, award-winning drone technology company, Drone Delivery Canada Corp. has begun testing its new generation of commercially successful Sparrow drones which have been given the name “Canary.” So far its avionics system configuration, communications with the FLYTE management system, communications with the next generation smart battery system, propulsion system (motor spin / direction) testing, and on-board sensors have been tested. Further tests will establish its flight range and cargo capacity, though these are planned to be in the range of around 20km or more, with a cargo load capacity of 4.5 kg. “Features include a new motor configuration, next generation smart battery technology, touchless cargo drop functionality, a future optional public announcement system and an optional aircraft parachute,” the press release states.
“We’re pleased to be working towards the commercialization of the Canary. Its new functionality, especially the aircraft parachute, unlocks potential future use cases that are currently challenging to address – like flight over people, plus urban & residential deliveries. Being able to address these applications with our award-winning solution is on our strategic roadmap and is expected to open up potentially significant and currently underserved markets,” Michael Zahra, President & CEO of DDC said.
40 tons and 42 years…
Antonov Airline’s latest large shipment transport on board of one its seven AN-124-100s, took place on a special flight: it was Captain Serhii Tarasiuk’s final flight after 42 years of service with the Ukranian carrier. The routing this time was Stockholm, Sweden, to Lomé, Togo, and the special cargo was an urgent control unit measuring 13 m long, 3.96 m wide, and 3.93 m high, destined for an oil plant to avoid loss of energy at the plant. The 40-ton piece of cargo, (including control and battery rooms for power supply) was flown on behalf of BOLLORE Transport Logistics.
“Antonov used a ramp system designed by our in-house engineering team in combination with an internal crane and onboard winches to safely load and unload the cargo,” Olha Danylova, Commercial Executive, Antonov Airlines, said. “The cargo was perfectly suited to travel on one of our AN-124-100 aircraft, which has a 120-metric-tonne capacity and is well equipped to move outsized cargo.”
Andriy Blagovisniy, Commercial Director, Antonov Airlines, added: “This flight is memorable as Captain Serhii Tarasiuk led the team on his final mission for the carrier before retirement. Serhii celebrated his 65th birthday and marked his retirement with a successful flight conducted safely and on time, as always. We thank Captain Serhii Tarasiuk for his 42 years of loyal service to ANTONOV Company and wish him well for his retirement.”
Etihad Cargo shifting to Artificial Intelligence for Airfreight Loading
With SPEEDCARGO’s AI-Powered Airfreight Loading solutions, Etihad Cargo expects to boost its capacity by more than 3,000 tons per year, as it benefits from upscaled cargo dimension accuracy, maximized capacity and revenue, and improved cost control. The UAE cargo carrier and Singapore-based logistics technology solutions provider signed a Proof-of-Concept agreement earlier this week, which will see the airline deploying various solutions. Etihad Cargo is, in fact, only the second aviation company worldwide to opt for SPEEDCARGO’s dimensioning system, CARGO EYE, which uses “Microsoft's cutting-edge Time-of-Flight sensing technology, captures imagery of incoming cargo and calculates accurate dimensions based on cargo type, size and packaging in real time, while seamlessly integrating the data into existing warehouse management systems.” It also joins a handful of carriers trialing its AI-powered CARGO MIND software solution. This utilizes data from CARGO EYE to deliver accurate and efficient load plans in a matter of seconds, fully considering all relevant regulations and business constraints.
Martin Drew, SVP Sales and Cargo at Etihad Aviation Group, explained: “Etihad Cargo’s goal is to assess whether implementing CARGO EYE and CARGO MIND could ensure a complete end-to-end process which totally transforms airfreight operations. The Proof-of-Concept will confirm whether these advanced SPEEDCARGO products can boost efficiency, productivity and revenue returns through digital technology solutions, with the plan to integrate them into our operations in 2022.”
Dr. Suraj Nair, Founder and Chief Technology Officer, SPEEDCARGO, pointed out: “Etihad Cargo is the first airline to propose using SPEEDCARGO’s new CARGO MIND-Airline Product for early-stage flight planning and creation of final booking lists and first level load plan within the airline ecosystem. Thereafter, working with their GHA’s where SPEEDCARGO’s GHA solutions are deployed Etihad Cargo will further maximize cargo capacity on each flight by using CARGO EYE to automate dimensioning of cargo and CARGO MIND – GHA product to create load plans that maximize cargo capacity.”
Drew is convinced: “The technology has the added advantage of significant cost control through manpower savings which could reach 3,720 hours a month, and in minimizing leakage and optimizing offload recovery by up to a third, which is a result of improving customer satisfaction by automating accurate data receipts. Clients will also benefit from highly transparent and accountable billing as well as much faster response times for freighter charter quotations.”
A further three conversion lines for Boeing
To meet burgeoning demand in freighter conversions, Boeing announced at the Dubai Airshow, that it will be establishing another 3 conversion lines: at KF Aerospace in Canada and at Boeing's London Gatwick MRO in the United Kingdom, focused on the 737-800BCF, since this now lists over 200 orders and commitments from 19 customers – among them Icelease, which placed and order for eleven of the aircraft, and will be Boeing’s launch customer at its new London Gatwick MRO conversion line. The Gatwick conversion line will open in 2022, whereas the other two located at KF Aerospace MRO in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, will go into operation in 2023.
“We are confident in the quality and proven record of Boeing's 737-800 converted freighter, and pleased to be the launch customer for their new London MRO facility,” Magnus Stephensen, Senior Partner at Icelease said. “We look forward to bringing the freighter in to our fleet to serve our growing global customer base operating domestic and short-haul routes.”
Meanwhile, in other news, to keep up with the e-commerce boom, DHL Express places its largest Boeing converted freighter order to date – a total of nine 767-300 firm conversion freighter orders. Billed as “the world’s most efficient medium widebody converted freighter”, it can carry up to 51.6 tons and has a range of 6,190 kilometers.
“We are pleased that DHL continues to expand their 767-300BCF fleet to help meet the growing demands for their global logistics and cargo business,” Ihssane Mounir, Boeing’s senior vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing, stated. “The versatility of the 767-300BCF makes it the preferred medium widebody converted freighter for both the general and express cargo markets, ensuring DHL will have the capability, reliability and efficiency they need to capture growth opportunities and maximize their air cargo operations.”
Silk and Rolls
Rolls Royce is to provide replacement engines of five Silk Way West Airlines B747-400, upgrading the RB211-524 engines to ensure operational sustainability until 2026. The two companies signed a strategic agreement to this effect on 15NOV21, on location at the Dubai Airshow 2021. It stipulates that Silk Way West Airlines will be provided with a minimum of 20,000 flight cycles of engine life for the next five years.
Mr. Zaur Akhundov, President of Silk Way Group, spoke at the signing ceremony, underlining the importance of the carrier’s relationship with Rolls-Royce, which it has been working with since 2017, as it continues on its strategic fleet renewal: “It is with great honor that we successfully continue our long-lasting cooperation with Rolls-Royce. As part of a close relationship with one of our global partners, we consider the signing of this agreement to herald a new phase in the history of our bilateral relations. Thanks to this, Silk Way West Airlines will be able to successfully realize its business strategy regarding the planned fleet renewal.”
Mr. Chris Cholerton, President Rolls-Royce Civil Aerospace, said: “We are delighted to have signed this agreement with Silk Way West Airlines today. Utilizing existing engines to provide them with a cost-effective way of maintaining their fleet is an efficient and logical solution to supporting their operations until 2026. We look forward to continuing to work with them and building on our relationship as they grow in the future.”
FedEx Express ups air network capacity
The integrator has added 3 new flights to its trans-European network and 4 capacity upgrades. These are flights from CDG to Kiev, Stockholm, and Manchester respectively. This adds a total of 210 tons of weekly capacity on routes serviced within Europe. The above mentioned flights are a permanent addition to the FedEx Express air network and connect the company’s FedEx Paris Charles-De-Gaulle (CDG) hub.
Due to expected high holiday volumes, FedEx Express will also temporarily boost its transatlantic flights, reaching up to 20% additional capacity in the busiest week of the holiday season.
These upgrades are the latest air network investments for FedEx Express in Europe. Together with a recently announced new transpacific connection, as well as additional peak season capacity between Europe and the US, these investments add a total of up to 1 million kilograms of weekly capacity in December for businesses shipping their products across Europe or intercontinentally.
Karen Reddington, President of FedEx Express Europe, said: “These latest air network investments demonstrate our commitment to growth, to our customers, and to supporting the flow of trade at a challenging time for supply chains and companies.” Karen added: “Together with our peak capacity expansion to the US and our new EU-APAC flight, we are ready to support our customers during peak and beyond, whether they do business within Europe, or intercontinentally to the East or to the West”.
More Artificial Intelligence – this time in e-mail and eMagic
At the Dubai Air Show, on 15NOV21, CargoBooking.aero launched eMagic – and Artificial Intelligence-based tool that can process emails, texts, and images into standard data formats. This is a great accelerator when it comes to booking times, since it is able to digest in seconds what otherwise would take minutes and manual intervention to source and identify the necessary information for a quote: customer and to cargo details, origin, destination, number of pieces, gross weight, piece dimensions, commodity, Special Handling Codes, and shipment-ready date.
. Vitaly Smilianets, Awery Aviation Software Chief Executive Officer, explained: “The eMagic tool can be integrated with Outlook Office 365 and Gmail, and we have also developed a Chrome extension to enable users to create quotes from text. The tool can read emails with images and tables in multiple languages and convert the information into instant quotes.” eMagic comprises Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software and Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools, and the CargoBooking solution easily interfaces to an airline's operating, accounting, and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems via Application Programming Interface (API), this the eMagic information is used to create instant air cargo quotes using standard data formats such as JSON and IATA ONE Record and confirmed bookings within the airline’s or GSA’s system. CargoBooking provides an end-to-end fulfilment solution from bookings, and payments, through to track and trace services.
“Market studies show that between 70% and 80% of cargo quotes, pre-bookings, space checks, and bookings are processed over email today,” Tristan Koch, Chief Commercial Officer, Awery Aviation Software, which powers CargoBooking, said. “The manual processing of thousands of emails with back-and-forth exchanges and long lead times for quoting and booking causes, not only delays, but also additional costs because of double data entry and data accuracy issues. Our eMagic solution reduces the booking process from minutes to seconds, pulling different types of data into a single readable format, and eliminating the need for costly and time-consuming manual inputting.”
Compiled by Brigitte Gledhill
We welcome and publish comments from all authenticated users.