Are passengers a threat to cargo?
“Southwest Cargo service is not currently available in all Southwest cities,” the website reads – a temporary suspension given the growing return of passenger traffic, but also the sharp increase in cargo demand over the traditional peak season. Passengers (their baggage), and cargo are now vying for space, and this will continue into the new year, unless the latest Covid strain throttles passenger travel once more.
In addition to the sharp rise demand in both passenger and cargo space, China’s Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has now announced that, from 01JAN22, preighter flights will be restricted. Passenger freighters will only be authorized to carry pandemic-related shipments such as PPE and the like, and it will no longer be permissible to remove seats from cabins to create temporary cargo holds. The regulation applies to domestic airlines only at the moment, though should it also be extended to foreign carriers, then, with the ongoing chaos in the shipping industry, in particular from China, this means even greater pressure on available capacities and will likely spur further rate increases. The reason given by the CAAC are safety fears with regarding to fire in cabin – an odd move given that preighters have been flying for the better part of 18 months now, and strict regulations already apply to prevent precisely these concerns.
How long will cargo’s limelight last? In a webinar some weeks ago, a prominent passenger airline CEO looked forward to the return of passengers, “because we are a passenger airline, first and foremost” despite his company’s revenues benefitting from a very strong cargo business: the hint of cargo being relegated to its pre-covid general position as a second-class revenue stream.
dnata invests in Zansibar, expanding into Africa
With an investment of USD 7 million and the creation of 400 local jobs, dnata has made its debut in Africa, and – with Tanzania pinned to its world map – now counts the 36th country in its service portfolio. dnata recently signed a concession agreement with The Government of Zanzibar, Emirates Leisure Retail, and SEGAP, a joint venture between airport infrastructure and operations specialists Egis, as well as private equity fund manager AIIM. It will oversee operations at Zanzibar Abeid Amani Karume International Airport's (ZNZ) newly built international terminal “in partnership with SEGAP (Egis and AIIM), Emirates Leisure Retail and Maritime and Mercantile International (MMI),” providing ground and passenger handling, cargo, and airport hospitality services the airport’s new international terminal (T3). Amongst other things, the agreement foresees dnata handling more than 4,000 flights/year and will see the company investing in a state-of-the-art cargo center to provide “cargo operations at the airport, supporting local trade and businesses. The facility will comply with the highest industry standards ensuring efficient and safe handling of a broad range of cargo, including perishables, pharmaceuticals, dangerous goods, live animals, aircraft engines and vehicles.” Steve Allen, Executive Vice President of dnata and Chairman of Emirates Leisure Retail and MMI, said: “We are thrilled to expand our global footprint into Africa and establish operations at the airport of Zanzibar [and] look forward to a fruitful partnership with the Zanzibar Airports Authority and SEGAP.”
H.E. Dr Hussein Ali Mwinyi, President of Zanzibar and Chairman of the Revolutionary Council, said: “The launch of our new terminal at the Abeid Aman Karume International Airport marks a turning point in the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar's efforts in becoming a globally recognized island for tourism and trade. […] We look forward to expanding our global footprint in facilitating trade and investment via our increased handling capacity for both passenger and air cargo operations.”
Christian Laugier, CEO-Sales for Egis, commented: “We are honored to bring our three decades of expertise in airport development, operations & maintenance to the project. Our teams will focus on performance across all areas, including infrastructure, operations, safety and security, governance and finance. […] This is an important step that opens great partnership possibilities with Zanzibar, where we are prepared to consider further investment in airport infrastructure development.”
A new cargo offer has literally “flypop”-ped up
From receiving its first blessing in London’s Neasden Temple back in 2016, to securing government funding in FEB21, and looking to launch its UK to India passenger flights in what turned out to be an exceedingly difficult year for India, UK-based flypop is now turning to cargo for its imminent launch. The start-up airline with the mission to become the first international carbon-neutral airline, offering passenger services to the UK’s Indian and South Asian diaspora communities out of London Stansted to various destinations in India including Amritsar, Hyderabad, Goa, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Kochi and Chandigarh (all under consideration), has announced that it “believes the most effective way to start flying operations is with cargo until the frequency cap on UK-India flights is increased.”
To that end, flypop is working together with “the world’s largest wide-body aircraft wet lease specialist with AOCs in Portugal and Malta,” Hi Fly, and its large Airbus fleet of A320, A330 and A340, to offer a cargo schedule during this time of extremely limited capacities.
(Nino) Navdip Singh Judge, CEO & Principal of flypop, commented:
“This is another major milestone in the flypop journey as we have inducted the first of our four aircraft. We hope our cargo routes will assist with the global demand for cargo and help to alleviate cargo shortages for the Christmas holidays and beyond.”
Speaking about the partnership Hi Fly President, Paulo Mirpuri, said:
“We are looking forward to working with the flypop team in the short-term doing cargo and in the long-term flying Indian and South Asian diaspora passengers into the Second Cities of India. Helping flypop in its journey from a start-up airline to a global player is very exciting for me personally and also to my Hi Fly team of wide-body experts.”
MENA launches and promptly adopts Awery software
Just a few weeks after receiving its license to fly, Bahraini nouveau airline, MENA Cargo, has opted for Awery Aviation Software’s booking and planning systems to ensure smooth scheduled and charter services operations across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. At the Dubai Airshow, the two companies signed the partnership agreement which enable MENA Cargo’s use of Awery's Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) product, and CargoBooking tool. Rollout of the customizable, web-based ERP platform, “which MENA Cargo will initially use for flight and crew operations, and charter sales management” will take place over the next few months. Awery’s CargoBooking tool “delivers instant quotes, manages bookings, and has full Application Programming Interface (API) integration.”
Vitaly Smilianets, Founder and CEO, Awery Aviation Software, commented: “We are confident that this is just the beginning of a really strong and successful partnership with MENA Cargo, and we are grateful for the opportunity.”
“In creating a lean and efficient cargo airline with SMART technology at its core, it makes sense for us to collaborate with leading global suppliers of customizable aviation software,” Peter Hewett, General Manager of MENA Cargo, expanded. “We believe that this partnership with Awery, who have the same mindset in business adaptability, will enable the realization of our strategy to quickly scale, while remaining flexible in our operations and agile in our approach.”
Youth, logistics, and digitalization concepts
Every year, Austria’s Central Association of Freight Forwarding & Logistics representing 11,000 Austrian companies and 160,000 employees, holds its Young Freight Forwarders Competition. This year, three young men made it onto the rostrum of the 11th competition, coincidentally each with a different digitalization concept. “We see even more clearly this year, the importance of the digitalization for our industry, especially for our young colleagues. It is highly gratifying to see the impressive solutions they come up with in this area,” Alexander Friesz, President of the Central Association of Freight Forwarding & Logistics, stated, also pointing out the gender mix in previous years’ winners. A 12-member expert jury consisting of academics and entrepreneurs judges and ranks the entry applications based on a technical hearing. The 3 winners are awarded certificates and prizes ranging from €1,000 - €3,000. Detailed project descriptions can be found at: www.spediteure-logistik.at/jungspediteur-wettbewerb
This year’s winners and their projects were:
- 1st place: "Intelligent import container handling" by Marcel Sturm (21), Quehenberger Air & Ocean GmbH Bergheim. Digital support to avoid empty container journeys at loading terminals, by ensuring that unloaded import containers are swiftly reassigned to be loaded as export containers on site, saving time, money, and environmental impact for all involved.
- 2nd place: "Digitalization of customs processing for a paperless future in consolidation transport" by Julian Kusolits (23), Gebrüder Weiss GmbH Maria Lanzendorf. A central digital documentation point, accessible by all relevant bodies for quick processing, containing all transport documents and customs papers required for transport, thus avoiding loss of information, transport delay, and customs penalties.
- 3rd place: "Digitalization of swap bodies" by Lukas Klemencek (21), Gebrüder Weiss GmbH Wels. Solar-powered GPS trackers are attached to the top or side of the swap body, enabling it to be located at any time, thus speeding up handling and control process, and load and unload planning.
Lufthansa Cargo will be one down on the Board come 28FEB22
Harald Gloy (49) has resigned from Lufthansa Cargo’s Executive Board just three years after taking up the role as Chief Operations Officer on 01JAN19 and additionally Human Resources Officer on 01MAR21. 28FEB22 will be his last day in office before he leaves the Lufthansa Group “for personal reasons”, to take up a new professional career elsewhere. Dr Michael Niggemann, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Lufthansa Cargo AG and Chief Human Resources Officer of the Lufthansa Group, applauded Gloy’s contribution to the success of the company and the group over the years: “Harald Gloy has served more than 20 years and very successfully in various positions, first in the top management of Lufthansa Technik and since 2019 on the Executive Board of Lufthansa Cargo. With his extensive experience in aviation and logistics as well as in managing large business units, he has continued to lead Lufthansa Cargo towards the future as part of the Executive Board team and contributed to Lufthansa Cargo's current great economic success.”
Gloy’s responsibilities included Global Handling Management – also with focus on the Frankfurt and Munich hubs, Flight Operations, Security, and Human Resources. His accomplishments include contributions to Lufthansa Cargo’s modernization comprising a comprehensive infrastructure program tackling the further development and renovation of the logistics center at its main hub in Frankfurt, the rollover to an all-B777 freighter fleet, and – before he leaves – he will see in the first A321 freighter for Lufthansa Cargo in cooperation with Lufthansa Cityline. The company also thanks Gloy for “decisively advancing the digital transformation in logistics. Improved data quality and the associated increase in the efficiency of processes now offer enormous opportunities to further develop and improve collaboration with all partners along the entire supply chain.”
Lufthansa Cargo states that “a decision on a successor will be made in due course,” though perhaps now is the time to consider a leaner board? The company also did well under a 2-person board in the past.
MNG goes CGN
MNG Airlines has landed! The airline sent a newly converted A330-300 P2F to Cologne/Bonn (CGN) last week, sparking the start of its regular CGN-JFK service. The aircraft, which has capacity for a maximum of 63 tons of cargo per flight, is the ninth addition to the airline’s fleet, with a second A330-300 P2F scheduled for delivery in AUG22. The widebody additions are part of MNG Airline’s strategy to expand its global network and develop its services out of its EU-hub CGN. “On top of the regular 6/weekly Istanbul-CGN-Istanbul flights MNG Airlines newly introduces a 3/weekly CGN-New York JFK-CGN freighter service. MGN Airlines stands for reliable and sustainable air cargo transportation,” the press release promises.
Sedat Ozkazanc, Managing Director of MNG Airlines noted: “We are thrilled to reinforce our flight programme in Europe and extend it to New York JFK. We have high expectations about the future of MNG Airlines with this new A330-300 P2F.”
Johan Vanneste, President & CEO Cologne Bonn Airports added: “We are delighted that our long-time cargo airline partner MNG Airlines is significantly growing its presence at CGN. Especially the German and BeNeLux-exporters will benefit from the new JFK-flights.”
Wiremind’s enhanced SkyPallet and promise of more solutions
Wiremind’s recently expanded air cargo software team are hard at work enhancing its SkyPallet ULD & Flight Optimization system and developing more air cargo-specific digital solutions to be launched over the next few months. The company highlights three of its services aimed at bridging the knowledge and experience gap within an airline company's air cargo teams. With digitally supporting processes, Wiremind points out, the airline benefits from greater process conformity, higher revenues, and improved flight safety, since the software takes into account applicable regulations and restrictions.
“Our vision, at Wiremind, is to offer the ultimate end-to-end software solution to the air cargo market. In order to do that, we work closely with industry stakeholders who have a global vision and established cargo expertise, not just in operations and handling, but also in commercial, pricing, and inventory management,” Nathanaël de Tarade, Chief Commercial Officer at Wiremind, says. “This industry knowledge, combined with our data-science intelligence, results in a unique supporting software solution that serves to greatly simplify the work of handlers, flight analysts, sales, reservation agents and operations in their daily tasks. They benefit from sharing the same data at all stages of the cargo process, from quotation to booking to build up to delivery. This not only speeds up software-supported decision-making, but also largely reduces the risk of errors caused by faulty or multiple data inputs for the same shipment.”
SkyPallet's 3D Volume Calculator automatically considers contours and restrictions and provides information within seconds as to how much space a shipment will require, so that sales can quickly come up with a fact-based, consistent quote, which they can share along with a 3D shipment visualization.
Similarly, SkyPallet's Flight Planning module provides a detailed and recently enhanced ULD build-up sequence to optimize capacity utilization. This supports flight planners and GHAs, as it calculates whether incoming shipments will fit on the flight, and offers real-time remaining space calculations, based on the shipments that have so far been accepted for the flight. SkyPallet's Weight & Balance module ensures flights are correctly trimmed, considering trimming requirements, carrying out weight and density checks to ensure the right center of gravity, and smartly allocating ULD positions based on unloading requirements. “The average calculation time for a shipment in SkyPallet is under 4 seconds, and a full aircraft is calculated in less than 1 minute,” according to the press release.
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