WestJet cooperates with FlightHub Group to support Ukraine
As the war in Ukraine entered its eighth week, WestJet announced that it has partnered with the North American online travel agency, FlightHub Group to help transport GlobalMedic field team members to and from European gateways, on their journeys to provide support in Ukraine. WestJet provides the flights between Canada and the European gateways across its network, whilst the FlightHub Group arranges the onforwarding transport for GlobalMedic relief workers to Ukraine's neighboring countries.
Alexis von Hoensbroech, WestJet, CEO, declared: “We must continue to do our part in facilitating the delivery of crucial services, people and emergency supplies to Ukraine and its citizens. By partnering with FlightHub, we can ensure the incredible GlobalMedic team can continue their exemplary and vital efforts in providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine and its citizens through the distribution of medical supplies, food, hygiene items to those fleeing the country.”
Chris Cave, CEO of FlightHub Group, commented: “FlightHub is proud to partner with Westjet and provide humanitarian support for the ongoing crisis in the Ukraine. We commend the work being done by the GlobalMedic team, and hope that transporting their members closer to the front lines of the conflict will assist them in carrying out their mission to provide critical support throughout the region.”
Rahul Singh, Executive Director of GlobalMedic, explained: “Our teams have been working tirelessly to provide support to Ukrainian refugees. This partnership between WestJet and FlightHub gives us greater flexibility to move our teams where they need to be, to provide the right aid to the right people at the right time. We are grateful for this collaboration and the impact this will have for the refugees we reach through our programs.”
GlobalMedic has been active in Ukraine already since 2014, helping displaced persons and distributing hygiene items, food packages, first aid kits, and household water purification units to vulnerable families.
WestJet Group offered financial support early on in the war, announcing on 04MAR22 that it would be donating a total of CAD 25,000 to the Red Cross Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal and the Canadian Ukrainian Foundation, and encouraging its staff to consider donating to either agency or a vetted agency of their choice to provide direct humanitarian support to Ukraine. The airline has been assisting Canadian humanitarian workers heading to Ukraine and travelling to the London, UK, European gateway, with flight vouchers since that date. Also, six of its planes display a Ukrainian flag decal under the pilot’s window.
Cathay Pacific leads the way in Asia with SAF Program
Cathay Pacific has become the first Asia carrier to launch a Corporate Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) Program. Together with eight corporate customers at Hong Kong International Airport (HKG), the airline will be deploying SAF made from used cooking oil and animal fat waste, provided by PetroChina and Shell. AIA, Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK), DHL Global Forwarding, HSBC, Kintetsu World Express (KWE), PwC China, Standard Chartered, and Swire Pacific are the launch customers, who – like Cathay Pacific which aims for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 – are following sustainability strategies to minimize their negative climate impact. They will contribute to the use of SAF on Cathay Pacific flights leaving from HKG. “The very first uplift of SAF at HKIA is made possible through a collaborative effort with many stakeholders along the supply chain and various government departments,” the press release emphasizes. “SAF used in this program will go through the normal aviation-fueling infrastructure, which provides important learning for developing ongoing regular SAF supply from HKIA in the future.”
Chief Executive Officer Augustus Tang said: “We continue to pioneer our industry’s move towards more substantial use of SAF, especially in Asia. Last year, we were among the first carriers in the world to announce a target of 10% SAF for our total fuel use by 2030. We have made significant progress since then and are pleased that uplifting SAF from HKIA is now a reality with the strong support of the local authorities and fuel suppliers. In addition to our launch corporate customers, we have received a very enthusiastic response from other corporates, and we welcome other interested companies to sign-up to reduce their indirect emissions from flight-related activities. Climate change is a global challenge, and we need to work together to tackle it. We see the launch of this Corporate SAF Program as an important step for us to engage other like-minded organizations, and a first step in sending an important demand signal to the SAF supply chain that there is firm interest in the region, not only from airlines, but also the aviation value-chain all the way to end users for both passenger and cargo transportation.”
Etihad Cargo officially selects U.S. RFS providers
Etihad Cargo is looking to literally “drive” its North American business, and has selected Accelerated, Inc. and Jet Airways of the US, Inc. to provide its road feeder services within the U.S., thus ensuring seamless road connectivity across the country. Its new, strategic partnerships, give it access to an expanded road transportation fleet with standard trailers, roller beds, day cabs, step decks, flatbeds, straight trucks with lift-gate capabilities, cargo vans, refrigerated vehicles, and other specialized equipment necessary to carry a wide range of cargo types.
Accelerated’s President, Brook Miles Pearse, commented: “Accelerated is proud to be appointed as Regional Ground Handling Trucker for Etihad Cargo. Our teams have worked behind the scenes together for many years and are now finally calibrating to begin this partnership. The regional coverage offered by Accelerated will be an asset to the continued expansion of Etihad Cargo in the U.S. We look forward to working together as one team with Etihad Cargo, and collaborating to develop new and exciting solutions for the benefit of our customers in 2022 and beyond.”
Tammy Zwicki, COO of Jet Airways, said: “Jet Airways is pleased to have been chosen as Etihad Cargo's trucking logistics partner in the U.S. We look forward to working with Etihad Cargo's U.S. team and general sales agents to help strengthen and build the UAE-based carrier's business in this market. I am confident that by working together as one team, we will be able to build the best path for our shared business aspirations. We wish to extend our sincere thanks to Etihad Cargo for trusting us with their business.”
Thomas Schürmann, Head of Cargo Operations and Delivery at Etihad Cargo, explained: “These partnerships strengthen Etihad Cargo's RFS network in the U.S. by connecting offline points with the carrier's main gateways, including international airports in Chicago, New York, and Washington, and commitment to providing the fastest and most efficient way for Etihad Cargo's customers to deliver their cargo to its final destination. Etihad Cargo carefully selects RFS providers, only engaging with partners that offer the right expertise and equipment, to ensure cargo is delivered on time and customers continue to receive the exceptional service quality to which they have become accustomed.”
Air Canada Cargo now offers freighter links to Halifax, Nova Scotia
It is a good day what starts with a water cannon salute – as happened last Wednesday, 20APR22, when Air Canada's Boeing 767-300ER freighter landed at Halifax Stanfield International Airport, Nova Scotia, Canada, for the first time, loaded with cargo from Air Canada's international network and destined for Atlantic Canada. On its return journey, it carried fresh lobster, fish, aerospace parts, and pharmaceuticals. The arrival of the airline’s second freighter to enter service, also heralded the start of an expanded schedule that will start up in May. Matthieu Casey, Managing Director, Commercial – Cargo, said: “The entry into service of our second freighter is yet another exciting milestone in the growth of our freighter network and provides more options and services to the cargo community.”
Six flights a week between Toronto and Halifax are time-tabled now, with flights from Toronto to Frankfurt (2/7) and Cologne (1/7)/Germany, Istanbul (1/7)/Turkey, and Madrid (3/7)/Spain, to come next month.
Jason Berry, Vice President, Cargo at Air Canada, stated: “We have always enjoyed a long-standing and strong bond with Atlantic Canada and the Nova Scotia community, and we are thrilled to introduce direct freighter capacity to the market. Atlantic Canada's economy has experienced important growth in the last few years, with increased demand from North America, Europe, and beyond. Nova Scotia is a key element of our growth strategy and Halifax being one of our first Canadian markets with the freighters further emphasizes the importance we place on our partnerships in the community. We are pleased to increase our support to the robust and growing trade sector in the region.”
Nova Scotia’s Premier, Tim Houston, declared: “Having stronger air links opens the door for more trade and investment in our province. It means we can build on the already strong relationship with our trading partners and create new ones. This is an important step forward for many of our businesses who will benefit from this exciting growth of Air Canada's freighter network.”
Similarly, Joyce Carter, President & CEO, Halifax International Airport Authority, welcomed the new connection: “This exciting Air Canada Cargo expansion will increase capacity at Halifax Stanfield, providing Nova Scotia businesses and industries with more opportunities to ship their products efficiently by air. We are thrilled with Air Canada's continued investment in Halifax and look forward to their future growth to meet the needs of communities across the region.”
BIFA’s frustration at never-ending BOM saga
Judging by BIFA’s press release on 22APR22, a domestic Brexit between BIFA and the UK government is also imminent, if not already happened. Ever since the Brexit referendum in 2016, freight forwarders in the UK have faced continuous difficulties and staggering investments in a never-ending transition period that has been “characterized by changes and delays in the procedures via which trade is conducted between the UK and the EU.” The frustration at the ongoing delay to introducing post-Brexit border checks on import goods from the EU – the Border Operation Model, vulgo BOM – is immense. “No surprise at rumors of a further delay to the introduction of post-Brexit border checks,” the press release bluntly states, referring to recent media reports suggesting the government’s potential delay plans, and goes on to point out that “Equally, in light of the suggestion that the delay might even be until new technology is in place that will enable the government to deliver on its promise to create 'the world's most effective border' by 2025, the freight sector will not be holding its breath.” It claims that “since the Border Protocol Delivery Group has ceased coordinating EU Exit preparations, it has become increasingly concerned at the apparent lack of a cohesive approach from central government to planning and managing frontier processes.”
A look at the UK government’s BOM pages shows a last update entered 16DEC21.
Robert Keen, Director General of the British International Freight Association (BIFA), explained: “Over the last several years, BIFA has queried the robustness of government policies and primary legislation; and criticized procedures and guidance, which often do not reflect the reality of trade flows. To hear that the goalposts may move once again, is another kick in the face to those BIFA members that have made huge investments in staff and resources to meet the deadlines established by the Border Operating Model. Each change of direction, or postponement, makes it difficult for them to justify that investment, or take any notice of BIFA's advice and encouragement to make the necessary preparations. BIFA members have demonstrated their commitment to provide logistics support for a significant amount of the trade between the EU and UK, despite often seeing policies being introduced with no consultation and little regard for how trade works in reality.”
Christian Biesecke is new Board Member of VACAD
Leadership change over at VACAD, the Association of Air Cargo Handlers in Germany: Divisional Manager for Cargo and Logistics at PortGround Aircraft Handling Services GmbH, Christian Biesecke succeeds Stefanie Jelinek as a new member of the Board of Directors. He will also be responsible for the duties of Treasurer. Biesecke brings more express air freight, e-commerce, and pharmaceutical handling expertise to the Executive Board, as PortGround is active as a handler at the Dresden and Leipzig/Halle airports – the latter has since continuous strong growth over the years.
“I very much look forward to the upcoming tasks as a new member of the VACAD board. In particular, I intend to work on topics such as customs regulations, digitalization, and the recruitment of skilled workers. Likewise, I consider maintaining the international competitiveness of the German air cargo industry and its handlers to be an important issue,” Christian Biesecke states.
The trained logistics manager has held his current position at PortGround GmbH since 2018. The wholly owned subsidiary of Mitteldeutsche Airport Holding is active in aircraft, cargo and passenger handling at Leipzig/Halle and Dresden airports. The handling of temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical airfreight consignments is increasingly gaining in importance. With their CEIV and GDP certificates, IATA and the EU have given PortGround GmbH their seal of approval for high-quality and secure handling processes for pharmaceuticals.
Claus Wagner, Chairman of VACAD, said: “Air cargo handlers bring air and land transport together, thus linking German and international supply chains. We are very pleased that, with Christian Biesecke, we were able to win someone who additionally complements the intermodal perspectives of VACAD and the Executive Board in the area of express freight and e-commerce. Just like classic airfreight, this area is becoming increasingly important not only for handlers and aviation, but also for the German economy. We would also like to thank Stefanie Jelinek for her commitment to VACAD and wish her all the best for the future.”
Landing the sun at Changi Airport
dnata’s latest investment in sustainable measures to globally reduce its carbon footprint by 20% by 2024, has been at its Singapore premises where it serves over 50 airline customers and employs a team of 1,100. In addition to various passenger measures, it has refurbished and much of its ground support equipment (GSE) and forklifts with hybrid or electric alternatives, it has now invested in solar energy. A 3.5 megawatt-peak rooftop solar power system has been installed across its cargo and catering facilities at Changi Airport (SIN). More than 6,500 individual solar panels will now generate more than 4,300 megawatt hours of green power every year, and should enable an annual 20% reduction in electricity-related carbon emissions in Singapore.
David Barker, dnata’s Divisional Senior Vice President for Airport Operations, said: “We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint to ensure the highest possible level of environmental efficiency across our operations. The inauguration of the solar power system in Singapore marks a significant milestone in our efforts to make dnata’s operations even more sustainable and reduce our carbon footprint by 20% in the next two years globally.”
Jen Tan, Head of Integrated Solutions (Singapore & Southeast Asia) and Renewables (Indonesia), Sembcorp Industries, said: “We have a proven track record in rooftop photovoltaic solutions for the aerospace and aviation industry and the completion of this project solidifies our position. We are pleased to help dnata take their first step towards reducing their carbon footprint, and we look forward to exploring more innovative green solutions with them in the future.”
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