“Flying into the Future”
14APR22 saw the first flight of Lufthansa Cargo’s D-ALFK B777F bearing its new livery with the messages: “Flying into the Future CO2-neutral” and “Power-to-Liquid Sustainable Aviation Fuel”. En route to Seoul (ICN), South Korea, flight LH8406 is a joint initiative between the cargo airline and Kuehne+Nagel to advocate for power-to-liquid fuel technology. Both companies had attended the inauguration of the world's first production site for synthetic crude oil in Werlte/Emsland in Germany on 04OCT21, (CFG reported: https://www.cargoforwarder.eu/2021/10/06/lufthansa-cargo-and-kuehne-nagel-believe-in-ptl-e-kerosene/), and pledged there and then to purchase 25,000 liters (20 tons) of synthetic crude oil from Bonn-based NGO and plant manager, atmosfair, each year for at least the next five years, and to use these as synthetic aviation fuel. Considered the “fuel of the future”, the two companies are now on a mission to get other companies on board for this power-to-liquid technology, and ensure the decarbonization of air freight.
Dorothea von Boxberg, CEO at Lufthansa Cargo, commented: “We are very pleased to now also visibly express our joint commitment and to publicize it with the help of the global deployment of our freighter. A successful and sustainable transformation of air freight can only succeed if we join forces with strong partners - which is why we are very proud to have Kuehne+Nagel at our side as a supporter of this forward-looking technology.”
Yngve Ruud, Member of the Management Board of Kuehne+Nagel and responsible for Air Logistics, stated: “With the new Boeing 777 freighter D-ALFK in Kuehne+Nagel’s livery, we are sending a strong signal our company’s commitment to sustainable airfreight. We are already seeing a great deal of interest from our customers who want to avoid the carbon emissions of their shipments worldwide and the synthetic SAF project with Lufthansa Cargo is of utmost importance for our joint mission of CO2-neutral aviation.”
In other news earlier this week, Klaus-Michael Kuehne (84), of Kuehne Holding AG, doubled his shares in Lufthansa on 11APR22, having already grown them to 5% a month before, becoming the airline's second-largest shareholder after the German government. If he continues increasing his shares at this rate, perhaps a few of the Lufthansa Cargo freighters will start to resemble the Atlas Air Kuehne liveries in the near future?
Auburn University students get onsite insights at ATL
“If there is one silver lining to the pandemic, then it is that logistics has been catapulted into the spotlight as a possible career field,” Matthias Frey, Global VP Airfreight Operations at JAS, said. “The importance of logistics became very visible over the past two years, whereas in the past, our industry was very much the silent strongman in the background, and we struggled to attract the air cargo managers of tomorrow. I am delighted that we have now been able to set up this cooperation with Auburn University. At JAS, we have committed to making this a biannual event, and look forward to welcoming many more students in the future.”
On 25MAR22, in a joint initiative between Qatar Airways Cargo, Swissport, and JAS Worldwide at Atlanta Airport, and one that will see an encore because of its success, a group of Logistics and Supply Chain Management students from Auburn University were given a 7.5-hour-long, behind-the-scenes tour of air cargo at Atlanta Airport. Kicking off with lunch at the JAS WW Campus Sandy Springs in the afternoon and a meet and greet session with JAS and Qatar Airways Cargo management, the students were then taken to Atlanta Airport, where they were given a tour of the Swissport warehouse and all cargo build-up, breakdown, flight-planning and flight-preparation processes were explained. They then went airside to see Qatar Airways Cargo flight QR8141 arrive from Doha, Qatar, and watch it being offloaded and reloaded, including visits in small groups of five, to the main deck, observing the main deck high loader in operation.
“At Qatar Airways Cargo, we are constantly looking to engage with diverse high potential and bright minds of the next generation. Exchanges such as today's familiarization tour, help to illustrate the very varied career possibilities available in our fascinating and so very relevant industry,” Guillaume Halleux, Chief Officer Cargo at Qatar Airways, commented. “We have worked together with Auburn University in the past, conducting speaking sessions and participating in their Job Fair. This is the first joint familiarization tour with the university, and it will certainly not be the last, as we look forward to making it a recurring event; the second one is already planned for this Autumn.”
Four plus another possible four A350F on AFKLM’s shopping list
Four months on from signing a Letter of Intent in DEC21 to purchase four Airbus A350F full freighter aircraft, Air France-KLM is now going ahead with the acquisition, thus becoming one of the first A350F operators. Benjamin Smith, CEO of Air France-KLM, announced: “This order embodies Air France-KLM's determination to strengthen its position on the buoyant cargo business. The Airbus A350 passenger version [of which AF-KLM has 15 in operation of its 38 on order] has been instrumental to the improvement of our economic and environmental performance, while proving to be a passenger's favorite. We are thrilled to be among the launch customers of its freighter version, which will significantly increase our capacity and give us the means to continue to provide the best service to our customers around the world.”
It also has purchase rights for four more – all for Air France. Consequently, the new planes will be based at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport, site of the airline's global, state-of-the-art, 14,000 m² cargo terminal, adding to Air France’s current two B777F and access to the group’s passenger belly capacity. In total, Air France-KLM’s fleet will be bolstered up to 509 aircraft when all four A350F are on board, and its network covers more than 300 international destinations.
“The Airbus A350F full freighter provides the most advanced technology and efficiency standards. Compared to previous generation aircraft, it offers 11% more volume while enabling a 15% reduction in fuel burn and CO2 emissions, notably thanks to its reduced weight and efficient Rolls Royce engines. It will therefore play a key role in shaping the future of Air France-KLM as an industry leader in sustainable air cargo transportation,” the press release heralds.
dnata grows its cargo space at LHR
In the past eight years, ground handling agent dnata has invested in and expanded its UK cargo operations in seven locations, of which six were built new. In total, it operates 13 cargo centers at six UK airports, with an annual, national throughput of over 800,000 tons, making it the country’s largest air cargo services provider. Over 500,000 tons were handled in its eight London facilities last year, where 750 staff serve over 30 international airlines. The latest expansion has just been completed at dnata’s City East complex (“the largest off-site cargo handling operation at the UK's largest commercial aviation hub”) at London Heathrow, and will benefit Virgin Atlantic Cargo and Delta Cargo. City East’s Phase 1 opened in SEP19. That existing 22,500 m² complex has now been joined by Phase 2’s 10,500 m² new, sustainable building, featuring solar PV panels, air-source heat pumps and electric vehicle charging, among other green initiatives that have earned City East a BREEAM 'Excellent' environmental rating. Designed with its customer airlines in mind, dnata will use the original facility to handle all exports, and the new addition to process the airlines’ import shipments.
Alex Doisneau, Managing Director of dnata UK (Airport Operations), said: “We are excited to announce the completion of dnata City East, a truly world-class facility. Our newest cargo complex offers bespoke solutions, industry-leading technology and enhanced cargo capacity supporting our customers in achieving sustainable growth at the UK's busiest airport. We thank Virgin Atlantic Cargo and Delta Cargo for their support, loyalty, and trust in our services. We continue to go the extra mile to consistently provide the highest level of service and safety across our operations, every day.”
Philip Wardlaw, Managing Director of Virgin Atlantic Cargo, commented: “As we continue to work with our joint venture partner, Delta Cargo, we have further strengthened our performance targets and commitment to our customers. […] The opening of the import facility comes at a time where we have extended our cargo handling contract with dnata for a further five years, signaling our continued strong and highly valued partnership.”
Vishal Bhatnagar, Managing Director – Cargo Operations, Delta Cargo, said: “Our U.K. cargo operation, in partnership with Virgin Atlantic, is a critical part of our global network. The opening of this dnata facility furthers our ability to provide customers with a one-stop experience to pick-up and deliver shipments for both partners – making it easier to do business with us.”
Alliance Ground International hires Swissport’s CCO
Alliance Ground International, part of one of the USA’s largest groups of privately-owned air cargo, mail, and freighter ground handling and airport security companies, (including its sister companies Cargo Force and TCSC), has attracted Swissport’s CCO Americas to become its own Chief Commercial Officer: Roger Larreur. It will be his task to fulfil the company’s growth strategy by developing its suite of products and services. AGI has already disclosed plans to expand its facilities at John F. Kennedy Airport, set up new ramp and warehouse operations at Pittsburgh International Airport, and digitalize its entire handling processes at Chicago O'Hare Airport. Jared Azcuy, Chief Executive Officer, AGI, is convinced that Roger Larreur, who brings 30+ years of aviation industry experience in both passenger and cargo fields, is the right man for the job: “Roger has unparalleled credentials and is the perfect fit to drive our cargo handling, ground handling, mail handling, security services, and expansion into passenger services. We have a clear growth strategy, which is ready for the next stage as we move out of the shadow of the global pandemic.”
“AGI has made clear its intent to invest in its infrastructure and technology, and I look forward to being part of the team that will take this organization to the next level,” said Larreur, who has managed accounts for some of the world's largest airlines and airports across the Americas, Europe, and Asia. “There is enormous potential for growth in the sector, especially in North America, and I look forward to employing my experience to help ensure that AGI's commitment to strategic investment, exceptional customer service, and innovation continues to be well-placed and duly-rewarded.”
ASTRE Italia opens new hub in Milan
ASTRE Italia, part of Europe's largest logistics network ASTRE (founded 1992 in France), announced on last week that it has commenced operations at its new transshipment hub in Milan in mid-MAR22. ASTRE member CTS Spa is responsible for on-site operations, handling part loads and general cargo within the ASTRE network that now has another strong European hub: the third in Italy (next to Bologna and Naples), where the subsidiary already covers 94% of the country and counts 44 members in its network. Construction began last year and was completed on schedule. “With the completion of construction work on the new transshipment center in Milan in mid-March, we were able to start operations immediately. In ASTRE member CTS Spa, we have found a competent and trustworthy partner for the operation of this hub. In this way, we not only strengthen our network, but also make it even more efficient,” Davide Napolitano, Managing Director of the ASTRE PLUS network, commented. “We specialize in consolidation and part-load transportation, offering trustworthy, safe, and cost-effective solutions for the consolidation of two to twelve transport pallets, including fragile goods and hazardous materials.” This includes fast shipping, short unloading times, and covers a wide range of commodities.
The new hub also heralds a new phase for ASTRE PLUS. With PLUS WEB, partners and members have access to a digital solution that enables them to send data, such as load plans, to the transshipment center in advance, and integrate their own TMS solutions. This improves the on-site truck loading and unloading process. PLUS WEB is currently being further developed into a web-based cloud solution, planned to be available from NOV22. “With our new transshipment center and the implementation of our cloud platform, we are now realizing automated, fast processing of larger data volumes. In this way, we are opening up reliable shipment tracking and KPI-based insight to our members and the entire ASTRE network,” Napolitano explained.
CHAMP secures first Malaysian airlines: Kargo Xpress
Kargo Xpress (M Jets International) is the first Malaysian airline to implement CHAMP’s Cargospot Airline solution, and streamline booking via CHAMP’s Portal solution. The young airline launched in June last year with a sole Vallair-leased B737-400 freighter, planning to add to its cargo fleet and deliver innovative middle-mile logistics solutions. Like 126 other airlines and cargo terminal operators in over 75 countries, it has now selected CHAMP’s Cargospot to manage its cargo capacity and inventory across its growing network, at the same time retaining full control and visibility of flight profitability from the moment the shipment is booked. “The airline also derives significant cash-flow benefits through the integrated and fully automated Cargospot sales invoicing features,” the release points out. “Kargo Xpress has also implemented the acclaimed Cargospot Portal to empower its customers through real-time flight availability and price requests, booking requests, e-AWB submission and more. This advanced web-based tool provides registered cargo agents with total control of their shipments, whilst creating sales and operational efficiencies for the airline.”
Gunasekar Mariappan, Managing Director at Kargo Xpress, stated: “We are thrilled to have Cargospot to support our growing business. Kargo Xpress is benefiting from the streamlined booking process and the early and accurate customer billing that Cargospot delivers. The high level of automation available to us means there is minimal manual intervention in our processes, allowing our teams to focus our attention on the needs of our valued customers.”
Nicholas Xenocostas, Vice President Commercial and Customer Engagement at CHAMP Cargosystems, said: “We are delighted to welcome Kargo Xpress into our growing network of Asia Pacific customers. CHAMP is continuously extending its air cargo eco-system through the introduction of interoperable technologies such as APIs, IoT-based applications and AI, so we look forward to partnering with Kargo Xpress as they further their own digital enablement ambitions.”
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