WAL celebrates a successful Round 1 and prepares for a second one
“This program was very well prepared, well framed, and with good communication in all steps of the process; A-class mentors, and an uplifting community. I am truly impressed by the program and very thankful for this opportunity," is Vanessa Hubert’s summary. The Director, Revenue Optimization at DHL Aviation, was one of 27 mentees in Women in Aviation’s first ever mentoring program for women in air cargo. CFG reported on the pending launch back in in NOV21: https://www.cargoforwarder.eu/2021/11/21/exclusive-the-wal-beneath-her-wings/. 27 women were matched with 27 mentors representing all segments of the industry from airlines, airports, freight forwarders, shippers, ground handlers, tech, drone companies, and industry associations. They committed to working together for a minimum of four hours over four months, with the aim of supporting career development, and sharing industry experience. That mentoring began in January, and officially ended in May, however, given the mutually beneficial exchanges, many mentors and mentees plan to stay in touch. Mentees reported a boost in confidence as a result of the program, along with improving leadership skills, network expansion, and getting speaking opportunities at industry conferences, even successfully transitioning to management level. The success was on both sides, as the release reveals: “Although not in the original scope of the program, several mentors reported reverse-mentorship outcomes, receiving support for projects beyond their immediate employment, or broadening their perspectives on the needs of the new generation of talent.” It also inspired an American cargo airline to launch its own mentoring program. WAL will launch a second mentorship program in fall for new candidates, and original mentees wishing to repeat the process.
Céline Hourcade, Co-Founder of WAL, and Founder and Managing Director of consulting company, Change Horizon, summarized the pilot: “Inspiring positive change with concrete solutions is part of our DNA at WAL. Seeing how many mentorship participants plan to continue fostering their relationships and reaping the benefits in the years to come, is immensely rewarding and provides us with a license to continue our work. The need for such mentoring will only increase in the future as more and more women are joining our wonderful industry. We call businesses to take advantage of this growing talent group with more formal and informal mentoring. With the workforce shortage crisis this industry is facing right now, the need to attract diverse profiles is as urgent as ever."
Enough money for 80 new staff, and then some…
Wingcopter successfully raised USD 42 million in a Series A extension round of funding, bringing its total raised equity to USD 60 million so far; money that it will be using to hire 80 new staff, globally expand its drone delivery services (particularly also its Malawi medical operations), ramp up production of its Wingcopter 198 (which has seen rapid demand increase, recently received FAA approval, and will soon start up mass production in Germany), and speed up its research and development activities into adding new features. Co-founder and CEO of Wingcopter, Tom Plümmer, said: “At Wingcopter, we create efficient and sustainable drone solutions to save and improve lives. For this, we are hiring passionate pioneers with whom we build what has not existed before. The new funding, combined with growing revenues, puts us in an excellent position to establish our industry-leading drone delivery solution with our customers around the globe to optimize supply chains.”
New investor representatives had this to say:
Christoph Eltze, Executive Board member Digital, Customer & Analytics and IT at REWE Group, remarked: “REWE Group is one of the most innovative companies in German retail. For years, we have relied on strong partnerships with innovation leaders, especially in emerging trends. With Wingcopter, we have found such a new partner.” With REWE on board, Wingcopter is likely to branch out from medical to commercial delivery services. Helmut Jeggle, Founder & Managing Partner of Salvia, a company that is known for investing in disruptive technologies and one that will aid Wingcopter in developing its company, stated: “With its disruptive technology and highly motivated team, Wingcopter has the potential to become a frontrunner in the drone delivery space. In the face of global challenges such as climate change, innovative companies such as Wingcopter are needed to lead an industry like logistics into a sustainable, more efficient future. We are pleased to accompany this success story from now on as an investor and sparring partner,” and Enis Ersü, Managing Owner of XAI technologies and former CEO of ISRA VISION, lending the company’s deep knowledge and experience in the fields of sensor technology and industrial automation to Wingcopter, added: “We are excited to join the Wingcopter team on their way to the next growth milestones as a leader in drone delivery logistics. Being an investor and a technology partner at the same time our team at XAI technologies is very much looking forward to generating further business potential by integrating advanced key technologies and operational excellence together with the management.”
Happy 10th Anniversary, Silk Way West Airlines
On 20JUN22, Europe’s largest cargo airline, Silk Way West Airlines, part of the Silk Way Group, celebrated 10 years in the industry. Since the first B747-4 freighter took off from Baku, Airlines cargo flight was operated by a Boeing 747-400F on the Baku, Azerbaijan to Germany’s Frankfurt-Hahn airport in July 2012, the airline has quietly followed an ambitious and forward-thinking expansion strategy (CFG reported: https://www.cargoforwarder.eu/2021/05/02/silk-way-west-airlines-grows-its-fleet/ ) including fleet growth and strategic partnerships (See: https://www.cargoforwarder.eu/2021/08/15/astral-and-silkway-agree-on-cooperation/) Silk Way West Airlines not only plays a key role in Azerbaijan's growing economy and regional leadership, but is also involved in humanitarian efforts. Most recently: carrying out relief flights from Australia to US airports to transport much-needed baby formula, as part of the “Operation Fly Formula”. At the start of the pandemic, it proved its customer loyalty, choosing not to cash in on capacity crunch circumstances: https://www.cargoforwarder.eu/2020/03/01/silkway-west-stays-loyal-to-its-bsa-customers-despite-coronavirus-risks/, and operated Covid-19 relief flights, too. “Silk Way West Airlines offers effective solutions in many areas of cargo transportation,” the release reads. “The company's staff currently consists of more than 1,000 professionals with valuable experience and knowledge recognized by IATA and IOSA certificates.”
The next years will see it continue to expand its network, and “strengthen its leading role in the CIS countries, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Europe and America.” This includes development plans for its Heydar Aliyev International Airport cargo hub, which serves as an important connection between East and West. Wolfgang Meier, President of Silk Way West Airlines, commented: “Today, we celebrate 10 years of growth and success at Silk Way West Airlines. I am very proud of all that the airline has achieved in such a short time. To all our loyal customers and partners, I would like to express my sincerest gratitude. I trust we will continue to fly higher and faster towards achieving our mission to become one of the leading cargo airlines in the world.”
Anyone wishing to celebrate the airline’s success with a glass of bubbly or a coffee break, might want to take 15 minutes out of their day and watch well-known aviation vlogger, Sam Chui’s recent flight on a Silk Way West B747-8 freighter. Very upbeat, and a great insight for anyone outside of our industry, into what cargo pilots actually do: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Zlt85mryhw
Gerry’s dnata is again ISAGO accredited
Having been the first ground services provider in Pakistan to be awarded IATA’s Safety Audit for Ground Operations (ISAGO) in 2019, Gerry's dnata has again successfully passed its stringent audit, post Covid-19 disruption, and had its ISAGO Registration in Karachi (KHI) renewed. Syed Haris Raza, Vice President of Gerry's dnata, commented: “Safety continues to be at the heart of everything we do. The achievement of the ISAGO accreditation demonstrates our team's commitment and ability to consistently deliver excellence in safety. I thank my colleagues for their hard work and dedication.”
Gerry's dnata is active at seven of Pakistan’s airports, where more than 2,500 staff handle 20+ airlines, both on the passenger as well as the cargo side: 150,000 tons of cargo are handled, annually. The company has been on an improvement drive over the past few years, with focus on the highest level of quality and safety, and has invested heavily in infrastructure, technology, and equipment, including the opening of a new, state-of-the-art cargo facility in Lahore in 2015, which doubled the company's cargo handling capacity at the airport.
Meanwhile, over in Singapore, dnata has successfully gone live with Hermes NG cargo management ecosystem at Changi Airport. This steers all dnata’s cargo-related handling operations related to physical cargo handling, documentation, special product governance, security, mail, messaging, revenue accounting, and business intelligence, during this first phase of its digitalization program. “Since implementation, the Hermes NG Ecosystem has already successfully processed more than fifty million kilograms of cargo, more than 3,000 flights, 20,000 unit load devices, and 50,000 air waybills at the airport,” Yuval Baruch, Chief Executive Officer, HLT, who applauded the close cooperation despite the disruption of the pandemic which prohibited onsite visits until OCT21, so much was done remotely: “Going live following a complex project delivered during the Covid pandemic is an unprecedented success and our on-site implementation was the culmination of careful planning and strong collaboration.” The second phase will follow soon, with the addition of landside management tools, for example, to further speed up and increase the efficiency of dnata’s handling processes.
CargoTech offers a one-stop-digital-shop
While other IT solutions providers go into partnership, CargoTech is offering something new, altogether: a single contact for all digital solutions an air cargo industry player might require. ECS Group’s Cargo Digital Factory, which has created a number of in-house products for more efficient GSA functions, and Wiremind Cargo, with its flagship product “SkyPallet”, are already in the CargoTech umbrella, and the invitation is extended to further companies that believe they can support in driving air cargo digitalization, to join. The release stipulates: “any company can join as long as it can demonstrate an added value in terms of product, commercial development or adoption,” and points to one such member being communicated soon.
“Our core belief is that whatever can be digitized should not remain manual. With CargoTech, we are bringing together cargo business experts with technology experts specialized in specific areas of air cargo,” Cedric Millet, President of CargoTech, explains. “CargoTech's goal is to develop and offer the right digital solution for each and every possible air cargo business process. With ECS Group's Cargo Digital Factory alongside Wiremind Cargo, CargoTech has already started to offer a variety of products that cover some very relevant transactions. Each company has its specific area of expertise; thus, they complement each other.” It aims to encourage, facilitate, and accelerate the digital transformation of the air cargo industry. CargoTech does this both by way offer airlines, forwarders, GSAs, and GHAs consulting services and advising them on their own digital transformation or system upgrade, and by funding good digital ideas out in the market. “We don't aim to start developing everything from scratch. There are so many talented tech companies or start-ups out there and we want to tap into those talents, support them and bring them together under our umbrella” Cedric Millet continues. “CargoTech acts as an accelerator in transforming and digitalizing the air cargo industry, by providing funding to technology experts to enhance existing products or develop new ones. One example where we have already done this, is by providing Wiremind Cargo with the financial means to develop its CMS system, CargoStack, launched last month.”
American Airlines Cargo reaps digital benefits
American Airlines Cargo has opted for IBS Software’s iPartner solution in the next step of its digital makeover. IBS Software's iPartner Customer (iPC) solution will enable the airline to seamlessly connect with WebCargo by Freightos’ online marketplace, thanks to its out-of-the-box APIs. Thanks to iPC's real time data exchange, American Airlines Cargo will be in a better position to steer its distribution strategy. IPC offers crucial features such as smart filtering and configurable business rules. These will allow American Airlines Cargo to better define their online offers and take full advantage of the business opportunities and greater customer spread that the WebCargo platform provides.
Roger Samways, Vice President Commercial for American Airlines Cargo, stated: “At American Airlines Cargo we are 100% committed to driving operational excellence through digital technology. Working with IBS Software on our integration with WebCargo, enables us to provide our customers with an enhanced digital booking experience and access to the real time rates and capacity that WebCargo offers, as well as expand our reach to new customers. We're excited to continue our partnership with IBS Software and tap into their unrivalled experience and expertise as we both aim to drive growth in the air cargo sector through digitalization.”
Ashok Rajan, Head of Cargo & Logistics Solutions at IBS Software, commented: “Modernizing the air cargo industry through digital technology is critical to its continued growth, and American Airlines Cargo is a trailblazer. We are thrilled to further our partnership with them with this exciting new venture as they continue their journey to transform the service and experience that they provide customers.” With IBS Software’s highly flexible and scalable iPC solution, American Airlines Cargo and Freightos were able to integrate their systems within in a matter of weeks.
Delta Cargo participates in Operation Fly Formula
While Silk Way West Cargo transported formula from Australia to the U.S., Delta Cargo recently ran a shuttle of flights carrying the equivalent of over 3.2 million 8-ounce bottles of baby formula from London-Heathrow (LHR), U.K., to the U.S. 13 flights in total, flying from 20-25JUN22, brought 96 tons of Kendamil formula to Boston Logan Airport (BOS), and Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW).
“Delivering baby formula to those who need it most as part of Operation Fly Formula is one way we can live out a deeply ingrained core value at Delta: a commitment to serving the health and well-being of our communities,” Rob Walpole, Vice President of Delta Cargo, commented.
Biden’s “Operation Fly Formula” has seen various airlines bring in tons of formula from different countries, for onforwarding distribution to Target, Walmart, and other store networks. In the week from 13-19JUN22, United operated ten flights, mainly from UK, but also Switzerland and Australia. United was apparently the first airline to volunteer for the scheme.
“Under Operation Fly Formula, the U.S. departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services are authorized to use Defense Department-contracted commercial aircraft to pick up overseas infant formula that meets U.S. health and safety standards. To date, Operation Fly Formula has brought in the equivalent of 1.5 million 8-ounce bottles of infant formula to the U.S.”, Delta Cargo’s release states.
FLYONE grow its cargo network
Moldovan, low-cost airline, FLYONE, which operates around 4,000 flights per year with its A319 and A320 fleet, has a taste for cargo, and last year selected ECS Group as its Total Cargo Management (TCM) service provider. ECS Group thus takes care of FLYONE’s entire cargo and mail sales and coordination activities across its network, including all operational, sales, marketing, interlining, and ground handling agreements, and the coordination of ground handling agents and partners. FLYONE recently added four new destinations to its network: Amsterdam (AMS) in The Netherlands, Barcelona (BCN) in Spain, Brussels (BRU) in Belgium, and Dusseldorf (DUS) in Germany. They are served by A320 flights originating in Tel Aviv (TLV)/Israel, Istanbul (IST)/Turkey, Sharm el-Sheikh/Egypt, and Yerevan (EVN)/Armenia, and bring an average of 3 tons of capacity uplift each week to each destination. On board, is usually general cargo, e-commerce, and mail. In total, the airline now serves 15 countries: Armenia, Belgium, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Russia, Spain, The Netherlands, Turkey, and United Kingdom.
Adrien Thominet, Executive Chairman of ECS Group, stated: “We have had the pleasure of providing Total Cargo Management services to FLYONE since one year now, successfully handling all cargo and mail activities across its entire network […] FLYONE, which is in its sixth year of operation, has shown excellent resilience and strength, and we are delighted to participate in its expansion. Given ECS Group's extensive global coverage, we are also in a position to serve its newest destinations. Our local teams all have access to the same state-of-the-art tools developed by our Cargo Digital Factory, that enable them to optimize pricing, analyze the market, perform revenue management, and automate various tasks. Our TCM service is unique and unrivalled in the industry, and we are proud that it is contributing to FLYONE's ongoing success.”
Chengdu Tianfu gets a can-do (by itself) cargo terminal
One of the world’s largest and newest airports, Chengdu Tianfu International Airport in China’s Sichuan province, which handles 1.3 million tons of cargo and mail annually (and expect to increase this to 2.8 million tons when three more runways are added), now has a new, fully automated cargo terminal, thanks to Lödige Industries’ technology. Two elevating transfer vehicles (ETVs) with a five-level, three-directional automated ULD storage and handling system for 227 20ft storage positions, have been installed to enable the smooth and efficient flow of cargo. It is the first time that Lödige Industries has equipped a Chinese airport with ETVs, though it recently delivered the first automated catering storage and handling facility for up to 40,000 meals daily in mainland China, at Tianfu Airport on behalf of Southwest Air Catering, and equipped China Eastern’s air cargo terminal Shanghai Pu Dong Airport.
“In addition to the international cargo terminal, Lödige Industries also supplied Sichuan Airport Group Co., Ltd. with state-of-the-art equipment for the airport's domestic cargo terminal as well as for a special warehouse for hazardous goods and an express distribution center. It also includes an international export goods supervision warehouse. In total the contract provides ULD and pallet handling equipment for more than 83,000 m² of cargo facilities,” the release discloses.
An unnamed spokesperson for Chengdu Airport Group Co., Ltd’s construction department, revealed: “Chengdu Tianfu has been one of the leading airports since the beginning of its operation and is in the process of becoming an integrated international transport hub connecting China with Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, and Southeast Asia. Therefore, it was particularly important for us in the cargo area to get a state-of-the-art, efficient, and absolutely reliable system that will grow with us in the coming years and offer us excellent throughput and turnaround times. Lödige Industries has an excellent reputation in the sector and has also proven its know-how in our joint project.”
Nicholas Tripptree, Managing Director of Lödige Industries for the Asia-Pacific region and Australia, stated: “We are convinced that with the fully automated, highly modern and scalable terminal, Tianfu Airport in Chengdu is optimally prepared for future growth and can easily meet its high standards and its role as a major air cargo location and international hub at all times.”
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