New B777-8Fs for Silk Way West Airlines
Nothing spells success like the purchase of brand-new freighters. Azerbaijani cargo airline, Silk Way West Airlines flew out to Everett, Washington, USA, recently, to sign a purchase order for two of the latest Boeing 777-8 freighters, along with an option to acquire two more at a later stage. The 2012 founded airline, based in Baku, already operates a fleet of 12 Boeing 747-8F and 747-400F aircraft to 40 international destinations out of Heydar Aliyev International Airport. Last year, on 28APR21, it signed a strategic fleet expansion agreement with Boeing for the purchase of five state-of-the-art 777 Freighters. The additional two from this latest agreement, are planned to enter service in 2029 and 2030. “Silk Way West Airlines is the first customer in the whole Central Asia region to order the industry's newest, most capable and fuel-efficient twin-engine freighter. The aircraft can carry over 118 tons of structural payload with a range of over 9,200 km,” the release heralds, going on to state that the freighter’s technology and design alongside its new GE9X engines, make its 30% more fuel efficient meaning less emissions, as well as 25% lower operating costs per ton. An all-round enhancement bringing the airline closer to achieving its sustainability goals.
Zaur Akhundov, Silk Way Group President, said: “We are pleased to announce this order with our longstanding partner Boeing and become one of the world’s first customers for the newest freighter. This year Silk Way West Airlines celebrates its 10th anniversary, and over the past decade we have been operating an all-Boeing fleet. Today’s agreement reflects our ongoing investment in Boeing’s market-leading freighters. Our fleet renewal plans will help to further reduce our operating costs and enhance fuel efficiency as well as make air freight services in our region more sustainable.”
Stan Deal, President and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, confirmed: “With sustained demand for air cargo tied to expanding e-commerce and air freight’s speed and reliability, Boeing expects the global freighter fleet to increase by 60% through to 2041. We are proud that Boeing products, including this order for the 777-8 Freighter, continue to drive Silk Way West Airlines’ expansion plans and help realize the ambition of making Baku a global cargo hub.”
Pioneering partnership announced in Miami
The “world's leading producer of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)”, Neste and “airfreight's fastest growing digital enabler”, CargoAi took to the stage last week at TIACA’s air cargo forum to announce their partnership as a pioneering step in offering freight forwarders and their clients an option to reduce their shipments’ carbon emissions. How does it work? Forwarders can opt to purchase of Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel™ when making a booking or tracking it through CargoAi. Available since the beginning of this month, the partnership is a logical and important next step to CargoAi's Cargo2ZERO sustainability offering which it launched last month, and which won it TIACA’s Sustainability Award at the same event.
Matthieu Petot, CEO of CargoAi, commented: “We are proud of this landmark partnership with Neste, as sustainability is at the core of all our product developments and customer interactions. Building on the CO2 Efficiency Score already available in our Cargo2ZERO solution, will further encourage forwarders to enter into discussions with their own clients about what is needed […] to move forward towards reaching the industry's Net Zero targets together. We are also enabling access for smaller freight forwarding companies in 110 countries to purchase SAF in smaller quantities.”
Jason Reichow, Neste’s Vice President Business Development, Renewable Aviation, stated: “I am excited to announce this pioneering partnership between Neste and CargoAi. […] Through this partnership, Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel is made available to CargoAi customers for any cargo booking to reduce the emissions of their shipment while utilizing CargoAi's innovative digital booking platform.”
Magali Beauregard, Chief Commercial Officer of CargoAi, explained: “We designed Cargo2ZERO as a suite of solutions to integrate and accelerate climate action into the air freight procurement process. Purchasing SAF remained until now a hard-to-navigate, resource-intensive process and often required purchases of large volumes, which made reducing emissions at the transactional level very difficult. With the direct purchase of SAF now embedded in the booking execution and tracking flows, we're taking the next steps to empower climate action by offering our clients straightforward, user-friendly, and verifiable means to ensure reduced emissions. We are extremely delighted about this landmark partnership with Neste and confident that this will enable clients of any size to take effective climate action without further delay.”
DB Schenker embarks on global green network
Following on from its existing weekly full charter SAF route between Germany and China, “launched in Spring 2021 [together with Lufthansa Cargo] and still the only regular air cargo flight in the world to be fully covered by SAF,” DB Schenker is now taking its offer further. Jochen Thewes, CEO of DB Schenker, announced on 10NOV22, that: “We are very proud of the game-changing pioneer project we started with our trusted partner Lufthansa Cargo. Today, we take the next step by starting a global green air cargo network. We have purchased massive volumes of biofuel to push the decarbonization of our industry. Customers of DB Schenker can now virtually book SAF on all trade lanes to thousands of airports. This new flexibility is a success factor and good for the climate. Every ton of biofuel counts.”
The company is building on a 40,000-ton reduction in CO2 emissions that it achieved with more than 150 Lufthansa Cargo flights, alongside other similar partnerships such as with Singapore Airlines recently. Purchasing over 11,000 tons of SAF “avoids more than 33,000 tons of CO2e this year alone,” the release underlines. Broadcast as “the next chapter of greener transport in air freight,” DB Schenker now gives its customers the option to virtually select Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) for their air cargo shipments “to anywhere in the world and independent of the type of aircraft or airline used,” and avoid up to 100% of their CO2 emissions.
Thorsten Meincke, Global Board Member for Air & Ocean Freight at DB Schenker, illustrated: “Reducing the carbon footprint in supply chains is possible not only in a far-distanced future but already today. Yes, sustainability comes with a price [Currently, SAF is 3-5 times more expensive than regular fossil-based fuel], but now the choice is available: No DB Schenker customer needs to use traditional kerosene for their air freight anymore. We hope that this message will give further momentum towards sustainability in aviation. Customers who have tested or are already regularly using our SAF offer are very satisfied.” The press release emphasizes both the well-test alternative biofuels that DB Schenker supports, and underlines that the company only opts for certified palm oil-free SAF.
Challenge Airlines MT has received its AOC
Mauro Porta, Accountable AOC Manager at Challenge Group, announced on 02NOV22: “A challenge shared is a challenge halved – or, in this case, now shared amongst three strong players! It is the day we have long been waiting for: our new Maltese airline, Challenge Airlines MT, has finally received its AOC and can now officially participate in the many challenging opportunities that are entrusted to the Challenge Group!" The airline can finally celebrate receiving its AOC and is now ready to lift-off with its fleet of two B767-300ERs, each capable of transporting a payload of 60 tons each. Challenge Airlines MT already has a pool of 10 pilots on hand to operate various routes out of Liège Airport (LGG) in Belgium, which is both the Group's hub as well as Europe largest all cargo airport. Challenge Airlines MT iss the third airline within Challenge Group. Alongside Challenge Airlines BE and Challenge Airlines IL, Challenge Airlines MT is planned to operate regular services between Liège (LGG), Tel Aviv (TLV), Sharjah (SHJ), John F- Kennedy New York (JFK), and Mumbai (BOM). “The anticipated commodities on board of these aircraft, will likely be a mix of perishables, pharma, and sea-air connections in the short-term, broadening out to include high yield long-haul shipments such as e-commerce and the Group's known expertise: horses, cars & engines in the long-term,” the release reveals.
Or Zak, Commercial Vice President of Challenge Group, confirmed: “With the official presentation of our AOC, Challenge Group is ready to implement its carefully thought-out network service,” and announced the Group’s thanks to Malta's Civil Aviation, in particular to Captain Charles Pace and his team, for their support, advice and cooperation throughout the certification process. For his part, Captain Charles Pace said that the Civil Aviation Directorate (CAD) was extremely pleased with the inclusion of Challenge Group to the 9H list, also thanking the CAD team led by Ing Connie Di Cesare, as well as the contacts at Challenge for their cooperation and for choosing Malta. “Challenge Group has been present in Malta for some time now and they have presented us with an exciting plan for the coming months. We look forward to the coming months to see the company grow and add additional aircrafts to its fleet.”
It’s all cool over in Abu Dhabi
The pharma announcements have been coming in thick and fast this week. The UAE airport announced its Pharma.Aero strategic membership. With its expertise as a global healthcare and life sciences hub, as well as a driver of the HOPE Consortium (created during the pandemic as an Abu Dhabi-led public private partnership to distribute vaccines), Abu Dhabi Airports is a valuable addition to Pharma.Aero’s global network. His Excellency Eng. Jamal Salem Al Dhaheri, Managing Director and CEO of Abu Dhabi Airports, stated: “We are pleased to join Pharma.Aero as a strategic partner for the Middle East, representing the global cross-industry network of Life Science and MedTech air cargo industry stakeholders in the region. Along with Etihad Cargo, we look forward to collaborating with industry leaders to contribute to the overall development of the pharmaceutical supply chain.” The airport plans major air cargo infrastructure expansion projects aimed at improving the efficient handling of time and temperature-sensitive cargo. One such project is the joint endeavor between Etihad Cargo, Etihad Airport Services, and Abu Dhabi Airports to launch a new state-of-the-art pharmaceutical cool chain facility at the Abu Dhabi hub, which Etihad Cargo also announced this week. The 3,000 m² addition of a new pharmaceutical facility, due to go into operation soon, will double Etihad Cargo’s cool chain potential output from more than 50,000 tons in the past 12 months, to 100,000 tons.
Trevor Caswell, Chairman of Pharma.Aero, welcomed its latest member: “We are thrilled to have Abu Dhabi Airports join Pharma.Aero as a strategic member for the Middle East region. We look forward to a strong, active and collaborative partnership with them as we welcome them on board.”
Frank Van Gelder, Secretary General of Pharma.Aero, added: “Developing active and far-reaching airport pharma communities are essential to the core strategy Pharma.Aero – therefore, it is with great pleasure to welcome Abu Dhabi Airports as the new strategic partner for the Middle East region. We are confident that their participation, along with Etihad, will pave the way for the future of our association in the region.”
Referring to the imminent inauguration of the new pharma facility at Abu Dhabi Airports, Etihad Aviation Group’s Senior Vice President Global Sales & Cargo, Martin Drew, stated: “Etihad Cargo is proud to have collaborated closely with Etihad Airport Services and Abu Dhabi Airports to launch the new pharmaceutical storage and handling facility. The expanded [3,000 m²] infrastructure will offer best-in-class pharmaceutical shipment solutions to Etihad Cargo’s customers and is the latest step in supporting Abu Dhabi's vision to cement its position as a global pharmaceuticals and life sciences hub,” also underlining the carrier’s expanded International Air Transport Association (IATA) Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) Pharma certification.
All the As: Awery Aviation, Airnautic, and A.D. Aviation
Awery Aviation Software has added another two customers to its portfolio, enabling it to push forward in advancing the air cargo industry’s digital transformation. On 07NOV22, it announced that it had signed separate agreements with the world’s oldest GSSA, Airnautic, which was founded in Switzerland in 1958. It boasts three Swiss offices in Zurich, Basel, and Geneva, as well as two Italian locations: Milan and Rome, and is a fully independent/family-owned company that offers complete, tailored solutions to international freight forwarders and airline partners aimed at optimizing their cargo revenues and services. Awery’s other new signatory is the Israeli GSA offering air cargo management, sales, and operations company, AD Aviation International Services Ltd (A.D.), established in 1991.
Both companies have opted to integrate Awery’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platform into their current software, thus streamlining their sales, operations, and finance functions, as well as enabling bookings through Awery's CargoBooking system. They can also look forward to the benefits of real-time analytics as well as Artificial Intelligence which will improve their efficiency by automating manual tasks, and enable better customer service, flight management, and commercial decisions.
Vitaly Smilianets, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Awery, explained: “Over recent years the speed of air cargo digitization has been relentless as the measurable benefits for both GSAs and GSSAs have been indisputable. Awery's tech was designed and created as a tool to drive efficiencies for GSAs and GSSAs and these two new agreements are indicative of just that.”
Philippe Queloz, COO of Airnautic, said: “Our goal is to reach the next level of operational excellence and to serve our customers in the best possible manner. Our partnership with Awery Aviation Software will integrate their latest technology to our service enabling us to further grow and expand our business overall.”
Udi Dror, General Manager at A.D. Aviation, stated: “We found in Awery a partner who understands our changing needs, with high flexibility in delivering a tailor-made solution for our operation from A to Z.”
Unilode extends partnership with its largest customer
Another 5 years are in the bag. Cathay Pacific and Unilode recently agreed to extend their existing ULD management partnership to 2027. For ULD repair, maintenance, and management provider, Unilode Aviation Solutions, this is a particular success, since as one of the world’s leading cargo airlines, Cathay Pacific is its largest customer to date. The two companies have collaborated since 2014 on a number of ULD-related services and innovation projects. The airline adopted Unilode readers at its stations, enabling full coverage of its ULD fleet across its worldwide network of 120 stations, and thus “creating the world’s largest digital ULD solution utilized by an airline,” according to the release.
The next five years will see both partners engage in various joint digital cargo projects, “to improve operational efficiencies, transparency, and data accuracy throughout the supply chain”. The release points to Cathay Pacific as being “the pioneer airline in feeding use cases for digital projects to Unilode, generating solutions which will benefit the entire aviation industry”.
Frosti Lau, General Manager Cargo Service Delivery, Cathay Pacific, commented: “Cathay Pacific Cargo is pleased to renew its contract with Unilode. The refreshed partnership goes beyond traditional ULD leasing and management, with increased commitment from Unilode of digital resources to facilitate Cathay Pacific Cargo’s agenda to further drive productivity, efficiency, and safe operations through digitalization initiatives. Hong Kong is a global hub for specialist and high-value cargo shipments, and Unilode’s digitalization solution will enable us to offer additional benefits to Cathay Pacific’s special-cargo customers.”
Ross Marino, Chief Executive Officer, Unilode, said: “Cathay Pacific is Unilode’s largest ULD management customer, operating a fleet of approximately 26,000 containers and pallets. We are delighted and proud to continue providing our full-service ULD management solutions to Cathay Pacific. We are also excited to broaden the scope of our partnership as we explore new products and services together in order to enhance our service offering. We concluded several trials together in the early stages of our digital development and Cathay Pacific has always been supportive and cooperative in our digital journey. We thank Cathay Pacific for their loyalty, trust and confidence in Unilode, and we look forward to working together for many more years to come.”
Katharina Prost is AeroLogic’s new Finance & Admin MD
Not only is there movement in Lufthansa Cargo’s management levels, but also over at its joint venture with DHL Express. The two companies announced this week that Katharina Prost took up the position of Managing Director Finance and Administration at AeroLogic GmbH on 01OCT22. Coming over from Aeroflot and LSG SkyChefs’s Russian joint venture, Aeromar, where she also held the post of Managing Director. Before that, she held Cost Controlling positions at Condor Flugdienst GmbH. Prost has now filled the position previously held by Martin Hirsch, who left AeroLogic to join Austrian Airlines as Head of Finance in JUN22.
The same release explained that AeroLogic’s Managing Director Operations and Accountable Manager, Joe Moser, would continue in his position which he has held since MAR17, having had his contract extended. Prior to that, he managed the 2007-founded airline’s Flight Operations and Crew Training for its now 21-strong fleet of Boeing 777 freighters (of which five are chartered from and operated by AeroLogic but fly under a Lufthansa Cargo flight number.)
Dorothea von Boxberg, Chairperson of the Executive Board and CEO of Lufthansa Cargo, said: “With Katharina Prost, we have been able to win an experienced manager for AeroLogic and welcome her warmly. We are also pleased to continue the very good cooperation with Joe Moser. We can now look back on fifteen years of the joint venture and are very proud of what we have achieved together: safe and reliable flight operations and steady growth in the fleet by both partners. In the future, we will continue to rely on the good cooperation in the joint venture and an excellent offer for our customers."
Travis Cobb, Executive Vice President Global Network Operations & Aviation at DHL Express, announced: “We warmly welcome Katharina Prost to AeroLogic. She brings a wealth of valuable experience and perspective. At the same time, we are delighted that Joe Moser has agreed to extend his appointment. It provides AeroLogic with both stability and continuity, and sets it up for further growth.”
We welcome and publish comments from all authenticated users.