Kale opens tech-talent development center
With increasing interest from airports across Asia Pacific and North America, in Kale Logistics Solutions' broad IT portfolio solutions, the requirement for digital experts is also growing. Thus, Kale has not opened a new software development center in Kolhapur, India, which focuses on providing career opportunities in rural areas. Kale is looking to adopt a 'worker-centric' model and become the employer of choice in India. The location was chosen since the company aimes to attract and nurture talent outside of metropolitan cities in India. It will offer its employees greater flexibility when it comes to remote work, to match the changing requirements. “Since the advent of the pandemic, there has been a steady increase in demand for remote work and companies setting up smaller offices away from their headquarters,” the release explains. This also means that a more equal spread of work opportunities is being created. Staff are no longer required to move to one of the major cities. Kolhapur is Kale’s second tier 2 city office – the first was opened in 2020 in Jamnagar, Gujarat.
“It is all about nurturing industry-ready talent. We believe these regions are rich in latent talent, just waiting for opportunities to come their way,” Rajesh Panicker, Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Co-founder of Kale Logistics Solutions, emphasizes. “We are hiring across all levels, to increase the tech quotient of the firm and keep our talent pool brimming with new-age technologies. Our focus is on taking opportunities where the talent is. This means that employees don't have to uproot themselves or move away from their families. We are adopting worker-centric models to have the best talent and create a trend which is sustainable.”
"The new office location will not only strengthen our already rich and diverse talent base but also provide local talent with the opportunity to build meaningful careers," Rohit Jain, Head of HR, Kale Logistics Solutions, maintains. “We're creating the opportunity to work for a global organization, in a highly regarded role, from the comfort of their hometown.”
Smart Aviation’s smart move to charter
“Now is the perfect time for us as a business to be expanding our operation within cargo. Throughout Covid-19, cargo remained resilient in the aviation industry and with our unparalleled knowledge of chartering large groups and equipment across the world, this is the logical next step for the company. With Jos at the helm, we know we will soon be leading the way in this area of chartering too. We are now officially a one-stop shop for all aviation chartering requirements across a variety of sectors and clientele” were Mark Hawkins introductory words. The Managing Director of Smart Aviation announced the launch of a new chartering division, and revealed that Jos Jacobs had been appointed to lead it as Head of Cargo.
Smart Aviation is already the leader in global aircraft and private jet chartering. The new cargo chartering division completes the company’s chartering portfolio “for the first time in the company's 17-year history.” Founded by established sports charter specialist, Mark Hawkins in 2005, Smart Aviation “has arranged successful charters for leading sport fixtures, transported thousands of passengers on their annual pilgrimages to Lourdes, and flown VIPS on exclusive private jet charters on a weekly basis around the world” over the past 17 years.
New Head of Cargo, Jos Jacobs, comes over from AirPartner, where he was last the Account Manager for Freight. He looks back on a 15-year career in cargo operations and global chartering roles. Commenting on his new role, he said: “I am delighted to join Smart Aviation and to be setting up the cargo division from scratch within this accomplished business. Smart Aviation has a reputation for offering the highest quality of aircraft chartering and I am thrilled to now be a part of this highly respected team.”
Second International Pharma Logistics Masterclass
Following the success of the first Pharma Logistics Masterclass last year (CFG reported), a second one was held last week – this time at Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi, UAE. 120 industry experts representing 50 pharma supply and manufacturing companies, academics representing 5 world-renowned universities, and policy makers from 21 countries came together to discuss and learn in series of presentations, debates, and practical workshops, which ran over a period of five days. The focus was on key challenges for pharma logistics and pharma supply chains. The masterclass was jointly organized by the HOPE Consortium, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, the University of Antwerp, and Pharma.Aero, and enjoyed the support and active contribution by the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi.
Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Chairman of the Executive Committee, HOPE Consortium, Managing Director and Group CEO of AD Ports Group, said: “Collaboration and knowledge-sharing have proven to be essential assets in the HOPE Consortium partnership’s successful global vaccine distribution and immunization campaign, which has positively impacted millions of lives. By bringing together thought leaders and experts from across the industry as part of this year’s International Pharma Logistics Masterclass, we will be able to assess and address the next generation of life science supply chain challenges.”
Frank Van Gelder, Secretary General of Pharma.Aero, Co-chair of the 2022 International Pharma Logistics Masterclass’s Steering Committee stated: “Collaboration, sharing knowledge and experience are deeply rooted in the DNA of our vision and mission at Pharma.Aero. Without this, one often remains on the surface which magnifies the many challenges and problems and moreover, delays the solutions. The masterclass is all about leaving the comfort zone which will open the door to highly innovative and efficient solutions. The idea behind the masterclass of 3 years ago, has materialized to a successful formula. At Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi, and with the HOPE Consortium, we pave the road for better pharma logistics, and thus better healthcare. Success is not a coincidence, it is learning, sacrifice and love of what you are doing or learning to do.”
DRONAMICS partners Cotesa for long-range drone manufacturing
On 13SEP22, DRONAMICS, the first European-licensed cargo drone company, announced that it has entered into a strategic manufacturing partnership with Cotesa for the production of its Black Swan, long-range cargo drone in Germany. Cotesa is a European manufacturer of high-quality composite fiber components for aerospace and automotive companies. With a 350kg (770lb) cargo capacity and a range of up to 2,500km (1,550 miles), the first Cotesa-produced DRONAMICS are expected in time to the start the company’s commercial air freight cargo drone operations in 2023. “The agreement ensures that the production of DRONAMICS' cargo drones supports the demand for the commercial routes to be launched in Europe in 2023,” the release details.
Svilen Rangelov, CEO and Co-Founder of DRONAMICS, commented: “We are delighted to have Cotesa as a manufacturing partner in Europe. This agreement to produce the Black Swan in their German facility supports our promise to enable same day delivery for everyone, everywhere, and the start of DRONAMICS' commercial operations as the first drone cargo airline on the continent next year.”
Christian Bartsch, CEO of COTESA, stated: “COTESA is proud to be a partner of Dronamics and support the next step of the development of their offering. Based on our long experience and competence in the manufacturing of components and assemblies for civil aviation, COTESA is excited to partner with such an innovator in the air mobility space.”
World’s first IATA LIVE Certificate holder is recertified
Air Canada was the first of the international airlines to become IATA CEIV certified back in 2018, when the certification was first established, and is still one of very few airlines to hold this. No wonder, then, that it also recently became the first airline to receive recertification this month. The airline underwent a stringent IATA audit of its live animal transport policies and procedures, and adherence to IATA’s Live Animal Regulations (LAR), as well as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The airline transported more than 1,500 animals across its network in the course of last year. “We are very proud to be recognized for our work in operating to the highest global standards for the worldwide transport of all live animals, and being the first airline to be re-certificated continues to position Air Canada Cargo as an industry leader. Every year, we expertly and safely handle thousands of complex shipments, from rescued dogs, endangered animals transported in conservation efforts, and of course, family pets. Air Canada Cargo's dedicated employees handling animals are specially trained, and I thank them for their diligence in treating all animals as precious cargo while in our care,” Jason Berry, Vice President, Cargo at Air Canada, commented.
In other news, 19SEP22 will see Air Canada Cargo launch its new Export Acceptance Area Launches at its 24/7 YYZ Cold Chain Facility. Comprising over 10,000 m² of state-of-the-art, end-to-end temperature-controlled shipping and storage, its upgrade includes an x-ray machine enabling the screening of its AC Absolute, AC Pharmacair, and AC Fresh products, and dedicated areas for COL shipments (+2°C to +8°C), CRT shipments (+15°C to +25°C), and active temperature control units. Further, it boasts around 17 m high racking capability, 2 floor scales to weigh cargo within temperature-controlled area, and dedicated doors within the truck area.
AFRAA and FSF collaborate on the issue of air transport safety
On 12SEP22, the African Airlines Association (AFRAA – with 46 member airlines representing 85% of international African airline traffic) and the international, non-profit organization, Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). They have agreed to establish a framework of cooperation and to facilitate collaboration between the two organizations in order to improve air transport safety in Africa. On the occasion of the signing ceremony, AFRAA Secretary General, Abdérahmane Berthé, underlined: “Safety is among AFRAA's top priorities, and the driving force behind our championing regional safety coordination for Better Skies in Africa. For African aviation to yield better safety performance, the continued coordinated efforts by aviation stakeholders are essential in line with the five pillars: cooperative approach to safety improvement in Africa under the framework of the Abuja Safety Targets, operational compliance of African carriers with international standards, data-driven safety management, infrastructure safety, and fleet modernization.”
The Abuja Safety Targets are 16 safety targets set out and adopted by African Ministers responsible for civil aviation at the Ministerial Conference on Aviation Safety in Africa in 2012, and revised in 2017. Adoption among the 54 member States is currently behind schedule, according to an Africa Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) review in JUL21. Back in 2019, the reason for slow adoption were mainly a lack of financial and human resources – challenges that no doubt have been enhanced by the pandemic. The recent press release makes no mention of how those challenges are being addressed but does outline what AFRAA and FSF plan on doing: They will work closely together on matters and activities of mutual interest looking to better air transport safety in Africa – these include joint regional technical workshops, developing information and resource materials each organization’s members as well as the industry at large, and promoting effective safety information sharing. Dr. Shahidi, President and CEO of FSF, stated: “I look forward to collaboration with AFRAA to work together to advance aviation safety in Africa.” The MoU had been signed on location where the Africa Aviation Summit 2022 was taking place in Kigali, Rwanda. It saw more than 800 participants from Africa and from around the world, and saw a number of individual agreements being signed with FSF, too.
Digital Transformation is a key focus for the Next Generation
As part of its Next Generation strategy in which Qatar Airways Cargo has set out to define the air cargo industry of the future, one key pillar is digitalization. It is enhancing many of its services such as booking, tracking and tracing, account management, and reporting, and is aiming to provide “reliable information, fast access, and efficient interaction.” The release emphasizes that its digital transformation strategy not only includes improved user experience for its customers, “but also, in equal measure, for its employees.” In replacing repetitive manual processes with digital solutions, refining existing systems, and developing intelligent interfaces to industry software, the airline will be in a position to provide even better customer service.
“Digital tools are an enabler and an enhancement of our service portfolio, giving our customers a broad and varied choice of how they wish to interact with us, and our employees the tools for proactive rather than reactive engagement. Our digital developments are based on reducing process inefficiencies so that customers receive a faster turn-around. These adaptations enable our people to focus on value-added work, not on repetitive manual tasks that do not bring value,” is Faisal Karamat’s view. He is Vice President Customer Experience at Qatar Airways Cargo. From internal data analytics that support sales and operations, the airline is also exploring ways to reduce the service response time across various customer touchpoints, such as account registration which is quicker for IATA CASS-registered agents, for example. Karamat explains: “Our focus is on tapping into available technologies and combining them with various in-house tools,” and also talks of “offering a full omni-channel experience where customers can book via various platforms [such as WebCargo] of their choice. Customers welcome the quick and simple, digital booking experience […] They face no waiting time, nor is any additional manual interaction with staff required.” Qatar Airways Cargo reveals that it will soon be announcing additional third-party platforms and further digital transformation initiatives in the months ahead.
Churning data into dough: CargoTech’s latest member is Rotate
The Dutch data solutions company, Rotate, is CargoTech’s fourth member since it was established at the start of this year, as a one-stop-shop digital solutions group. Rotate, with its motto “Turning data into action”, is itself very new, having founded on 01JUN22. Yet, those driving the company have been cargo data analytics and consulting for more than two decades. Rotate currently consists of six cargo and technology experts and is looking to treble its workforce within the first year. “Customers can expect access to world-class market data along with tools that draw useful and crucial conclusions from the data, providing a solid foundation on which to base commercial decisions,” the press release promises, and that Rotate will also provide support and training. Over on LinkedIn, Rotate’s CEO and Founder, Gert-Jan Jansen, says: “We are pleased to welcome CargoTech as investor and be part of its portfolio of cargo tech companies. We’re thrilled about the opportunity that this partnership presents to work together on countless synergies with the talented folks at CargoAi, Wiremind, and the Digital Factory! #letsrotate,” touching on the key benefits of CargoTech membership: CargoTech invests in promising, market-required solutions, enabling member companies to develop these either alone or in collaboration with other CargoTech members. “Rotate can look forward to sharing and exchanging not only technology skills and capabilities with Wiremind Cargo, CargoAi and Cargo Digital Factory but also cargo knowledge and networks, benefiting from the fact that innovation grows from collaboration,” the release underlines, going on the emphasize the group’s mission accelerate digital transformation in the industry.
For CargoTech, the latest portfolio member is a valuable gain covering an increasingly important niche focus, and the perfect complement to its one-stop-shop strategy. Cédric Millet, CargoTech’s President, confirms: “Data is a valuable commodity and the basis for all business decisions, from quality to operational steering, market expansion and customer growth. Rotate is founded and run by Gert-Jan Jansen, who many in the air cargo industry know as the former Head of Seabury Cargo and as co-founder of WorldACD. Together with ex-Seabury colleagues and technology experts, he intends to develop Rotate into the leading firm providing commercial tools and solutions to improve day-to-day decision-making in air cargo. Rotate shares the digital future mindset of all our CargoTech members.”
Greg Schwendinger succeeds Jessica Tyler at American Airlines
“Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner with Greg Schwendinger! We’re excited to welcome Greg back to the #AAteam as President of Cargo. With more than 15 years of experience in the airline industry, he brings the know-how to help our record-breaking Cargo team reach new heights,” was American Airlines’ less formal announcement of its new Cargo President over on LinkedIn. The airline has now filled the position previously held by Jessica Tyler. She moved to become Vice President, Integrated Operations Center in JUN22. Greg Schwendinger will assume his new role on 03OCT22, coming over from AccentCare, where he spent the past year and nine months leading the Finance Team. Prior to that, he already worked at American Airlines for fifteen years. The economics graduate, who studied at Emory University, followed this with a Master of Business Administration from Rice University, began his career with American in 2005, starting out in airline profitability analysis. His career saw him in leadership roles in Financial Analysis, Customer Loyalty, Corporate Development and Investor Relations. He last held the position of Vice President of Financial Planning and Analysis, before moving to AccentCare.
“Greg brings a unique perspective which will shape our cargo business and its growth potential. We are fortunate to regain his expertise and welcome him as he leads cargo toward greater success,” Derek Kerr, Vice Chair, Chief Financial Officer of American Airlines, and Schwendinger’s direct report, stated. Schwendinger’s own reports include Roger Samways, Vice President of Commercial; Sam Mendenhall, Vice President of Operations; and Eric Mathieu, Managing Director, Customer Experience. “Combining broad airline knowledge with deep cargo industry expertise in this new leadership structure positions American Airlines Cargo to continue its growth momentum over the past few years and expand on its potential,” the release maintains.
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