Turkish satellite flies to launch site on board Antonov Airlines
60 tons in weight and housed in a bespoke container designed by Airbus Defense and Space, with a length of 14.69 m, width of 5.45 m and height of 4.36 m, Turkey's new telecommunication satellite, Turksat 5B, was loaded onto an Antonov Airlines AN-124-100 aircraft recently. In cooperation with Bolloré Logistics Space, the extraordinary cargo was transported from Toulouse, France, to Florida, USA, where it was transferred to Cape Canaveral. On 18DEC21, the U.S. aerospace company, SpaceX, launched the Turksat 5B satellite from Cape Canaveral, USA on Turkey’s behalf. “It will be the most powerful satellite in use by Turkey, that will increase communications band capacity and will serve Turkey and neighboring countries for 35 years,” the press release stipulates.
Though each satellite transport has its own challenges, this kind of shipment is practically routine for Antonov Airlines which states that it “is a world leader in moving space components by air and has completed up to three satellite-related cargo shipments each month for the last few months.” Sergii Bilozerov, Commercial Executive, Antonov Airlines, explains the details of the Turksat 5B shipment: “The expertise of the Antonov Airlines technical crew and engineers guarantees the smooth and efficient transport of this delicate and unique cargo. An external crane in conjunction with the onboard crane and winch of the AN-124-100 was used to load and unload the container, as well as special loading equipment designed and manufactured by Antonov's in-house engineers.”
Samskip’s project cargo offer takes to the air
The 1990-incepted Dutch multimodal logistics services provider, Samskip, was another of the growing number of companies to set up its own airline last year. Samskip Air was launched in MAY21, mainly focusing on sea-air perishables transports which saw strong growth in the second half of 2021. It has now augmented its air cargo offer to include its Bremen-based project cargo business and draw the full benefit from its dedicated air freight team at Schiphol airport in the Netherlands. “We are extending our ability to overcome exceptional transport challenges by bringing together proven expertise in air and ocean logistics,” says Jens Siedentopf, Head of Breakbulk Projects, Samskip, confirms. Samskip Air Freight Manager, Hans Blauw, whose background includes positions at KLM, FedEx, and TNT, sees great potentials in offering a one-stop shop for all kinds of projects, citing large oil rig part emergencies or mining company equipment shipped by sea and plane on a door-door basis, with trucking managed by Samskip at both ends, as examples. “We offered full project cargo logistics services that deal with the customer’s need to get their asset working and earning again, backed up by out of gauge loads moving by sea,” he says.
Siedentopf expands: “Based on extensive knowledge, we offer services ranging from logistics management to individual transport planning from origin to destination. We’ve also made a specialty of combining tailor-made transport services to secure attractive freight rates. We have the experience, the engineering and the risk assessment, the chartering solutions and the equipment to support our ambitions,” and refers to the company’s USPs: a network of 47 offices in 35 countries, its trained, local staff, customs knowledge, chartering expertise, digital booking systems, and financial strength “to support pain-free, A-Z project cargo logistics for large and small customers alike, whatever the challenge or routing.” He concludes: “Samskip is the hidden gem of project cargo management, and coordination with our airfreight division puts us one step closer to its discovery by the mainstream market.”
Qatar Airways Cargo’s animal expertise is certified
After six months of intense process and product audits, Qatar Airways Cargo has now been accredited IATA’s CEIV Live Animals certification. “We are the fourth airline worldwide to become CEIV Live Animals certified, and the first in the Middle East,” Miguel Rodriguez Moreno, Senior Manager Cargo Climate Control Products, states. “The CEIV Live Animals certification depicts that our handling, infrastructure, quality management, and training framework are in line with industry standards. It highlights our compliance with the IATA Live Animal Regulations alongside the Transportation of Wildlife and Animal Welfare (TWAW) Group Policy, and it shows that we have a robust supplier management system in place, allowing our principles to be implemented globally.”
Brendan Sullivan, IATA's Global Head of Cargo, says: “Having Qatar Airways, one of the largest transporters of live animals, achieve CEIV Live Animals certification, is a significant boost not only for the airline's customers, who can be confident that their precious cargo will arrive safely, but also the region. We congratulate them on their achievement and their pioneering efforts in the safe transportation of live animals including wild animals through their 'WeQare' initiative.”
The certification applies to Qatar Airways' Doha headquarters and the QAS Cargo Doha hub, and covers all animals (amphibians, birds, crustaceans, fish, invertebrates, mammals, or reptiles) that Qatar Airways Cargo is authorized to carry as per each respective relevant procedure. The airline transports around 9% of all live animals travelling via air around the globe, and operates a state-of-the-art, well equipped 4,200 m² Live Animal Centre at Hamad International Airport, Doha. It is the airline’s second IATA CEIV certification, having become Pharma certified in 2020. Qatar Airways Cargo now plans to obtain IATA CEIV Fresh certification this year.
In other news, the airline doubled the weight bookable on its capacity offered on WebCargo by Freightos for bookings from most European destinations (implementation excludes Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Russia, Slovakia, and Slovenia). Instead of 500 kg, general cargo shipments can now weigh up to 1000 kg and 6 m³ for all contract and street rate bookings.
Supernova Airlines closer to reality
Back in OCT21, CFG reported that Ukraine parcel firm, Nova Poshta is looking to set up its own airline. Supernova Airlines now looks closer to becoming airborne as it is set to receive its operator certificate this April according to avianews.com. All according to plan, therefore, given that it had predicted six months back in OCT21. The fleet plans continue to be two aircraft to begin with. Apparently, “this is the minimum required for certification in accordance with Ukrainian rules,” and its first aircraft is due for delivery soon, whilst negotiations are ongoing for the second plane. ch-aviation.com predicts that these will be cargo versions of narrow-body Boeing 757-200 aircraft as they are suitable for long distance transports since they do not require refueling stopovers. The airline, headed by CEO Yaroslav Krasnozhon, aims to commence international operations mainly to the U.S. and China from AUG22. Initially, routes will include Middle East and European destinations, operating out of the Ukrainian airports of Boryspil and Lviv, as these are Nova Poshta Global hubs.
Nova Poshta Global has already been warming up to running its own airline operations, having chartered an AN-124 Ruslan from Antonov Airlines on 21DEC21 to carry 135,000 e-commerce parcels weighing a total of 65 tons, from China to the company’s sorting stations in Kiev and Lviv, in order to ensure swift delivery in times of tight capacity. It also “operates an AN-26 flight from Riga twice a day to deliver all shipments according to the usual schedule,” its LinkedIn page reveals.
Kuehne+Nagel is growing on the African continent
Almost 70 years after opening its first office in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1954, Kuehne+Nagel is again expanding its footprint in Africa, in recognition of the continent’s growing weighting in global trade and to ensure “better access to industry-specific solutions to meet soaring demand in markets such as pharma & healthcare, perishables, emergency & relief and project logistics” for its customers, the press release underlines. By the end of the first quarter of this year, “Kuehne+Nagel will be represented in 18 African countries: South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Egypt, Angola, Namibia, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Mozambique, Mauritius, Botswana, Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Rwanda”. A control tower located in Durban, South Africa, will act as the portal to the company’s integrated office network across the continent. The single point of customer contact will ensure global service standards, compliance, high quality, easy access, and complete shipment visibility throughout the network, “including remote locations”. Kuehne+Nagel offers all its international services including Air, Sea, Road and Contract logistics across its African network, and underlines that “the expanded Africa network is fully vetted and audited by an external global auditing company to ensure ongoing adherence to the highest level of compliance and ethical standards.”
Lee I’Ons, President of Kuehne+Nagel Middle East and Africa, refers to the growing importance of Sub-Saharan Africa, home to over one billion people: “Africa is blessed with natural resources and a young entrepreneurial population. Now is the time to unlock this potential and create growing, thriving economies. There are many elements to this, one being the logistical ability to connect global markets for end consumers and suppliers. With the new control tower in Durban, we are ready to address this great African opportunity.”
Ethiopian Airlines is now CEIV Pharma certified
Ethiopian Airlines was accredited with IATA’s CEIV Pharma in late December, becoming the first of the African airlines to achieve this certification. The continent’s largest aviation group’s CEIV Pharma certificate is valid both for its airline as well as ground handling operations. The airline operates a large pharmaceuticals network to destinations such as Brussels, Shanghai, Johannesburg, Paris, Seoul, Lagos, Lusaka, Beijing, Hong Kong, Maastricht, Chicago & Addis Ababa, and has invested in and developed a high-quality infrastructure and set-up. It benefits geographically from the location and ambience of its Addis Ababa homebase, since temperatures remain stable between +15°C to +25°C all the year round – an important factor when it comes to ensuring shipment temperatures transiting from aircraft to warehouse, for example – something that is nevertheless also supported by state-of-the-art, smart cool dollies capable of maintaining internal temperatures of between -29°C to +27°C.
Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam, stated: “We are delighted to receive this important global certification, IATA CEIV Pharma Certificate, which is a strong assurance of one of the highest global standards in the aviation and logistics industries. With an annual capacity of more than a million tons, our global air cargo and logistics hub in Addis Ababa has various special cargo handling facilities like Pharma and Life Science, Live Animals, Perishable cargo, live seafood, dangerous goods, etc. Accordingly, we have been working very hard on our Pharma and Life Science handling facility to meet global standards in technology, processes, and training. The IATA CEIV Pharma Certification has come at an opportune time for the Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics team as they continue to play key global role in the transportation of life saving COVID-19 vaccines around the world and particularly in the continent of Africa.”
63 horses take to the air on board Turkish Cargo
Some 30,000 horses travel by air around the world each year, usually for competition reasons (such as last year’s Tokyo Olympics which saw more than 300 horses travel from Liège, Belgium, to Japan, for example), but also for breeding, sales, or owner relocation. Whatever the reason, horse transports require a great deal of expertise and finesse, given the animals’ sensitive and individual characters, the stress situation of flying, and the related risk of injury despite specially designed horse containers. Turkish Cargo which boasts 30 years of experience and offers a tailored Live service, endeavors to provide “conditions in the sky that are as similar to the conditions in their natural living environments” when it comes to flying horses and adheres to strict IATA Live Animals Regulations (LAR). It recently flew 63 horses from Chicago, USA, to Istanbul, Turkey, with a single planeload consisting of 59 horses travelling in 21 dedicated horse stalls, alongside their attendants. The specially designed horse boxes are equipped with a non-skid surface and oval edges. Upon landing, the horses were briefly held in the dedicated live animal rooms at Ataturk Airport, before being handed over in good health to their owners in Turkey.
China’s first cargo airport receives first plane
The building in the image does not look complete, and yet China’s first cargo-focused airport, Ezhou Huahu Airport (EHU) in Ezhou, Central China's Hubei province, witnessed the landing of its first airplane on 29DEC21. The Cessna 560’s arrival marked the completion of the cargo airport; however this was met with understatement in most of the media. It had carried out flight verification of the airport which is due to go into operation this year. CAPA predicted its completion as 30JUN22. Designed as a category 4E airport and costing around USD 4.7 billion to develop, EHU boasts a 23,000m² cargo terminal, a 678,000m² cargo sorting center, 124 aircraft parking slots, and two 45m × 3,600m runways.
Though the main focus is on the airport as an air cargo hub with a predicted throughput of around 3,300,000 tons per year by 2030, it will also act as a feeder airport for passenger transport (around 1,500,000 annually). The Chinese press enigmatically refer to it as “China's first airport project that introduces social capital and enterprises,” but does not expand on what is meant. CAPA states “Ezhou Airport/Hubei International Logistics Hub project, also named SF International Airport, is a proposed development by SF Express Co. Hubei International Logistics Hub will be developed as one of the largest air cargo hubs in Asia and the world, providing facilities for widebody aircraft such as A380.”
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