No island too far, no cargo to great
A total of 35 AN-124-100s exist in the world. Seven of these belong to Antonov Airlines, of which five are fully operational out of Leipzig for the duration of the illegal Russian invasion in Ukraine, and until Kyiv Antonov Airport near Hostomel can be restored. Ten of the company’s aircraft meanwhile carry the national #bebravelikeukraine resilience campaign message across the world. The AN-124-100s bear Be Brave like Kherson (UR-82072), Be Brave like Bucha (UR82029), or Be Brave like Kharkiv (UR82027) slogans in blue, near the cockpit.
Despite the very difficult circumstances Antonov Airlines’ staff find themselves in, with many serving or volunteering in the war crisis, professional commercial operations are upheld – such as a recent project in collaboration with Air Partner, to urgently transport a spare engine to a stranded aircraft on a remote island in the Azores. The oversized aircraft engine along with required tools came to a total weight of around 75 tons. They were picked up in Luxembourg and taken to Lajes, Portugal. Special OPTG-120M loading equipment and an external crane were required to load and offload the urgent cargo. Air Partner had sourced and supplied the 48-ton mobile crane, driver, and rigger, which were also flown with the engine, to ensure smooth offloading on the island. While a functional engine was delivered to the island, the broken engine was loaded and flown to Stansted Airport in the UK, from where it was trucked to Amsterdam for onforwarding (interesting move due to AMS slot or staffing issues, is the question?). The mobile crane was also returned to Europe.
Serhii Bilozerov, Commercial Executive, Antonov Airlines, said: “It was a very interesting and unusual project. Challenges we met during this transportation kept all the teams on a little stress. Thanks to Air Partner`s and ANTONOV`s highly professional specialists, we successfully delivered the sensitive cargo to the destination.”
Jack Burt, Vice President of Freight US, Air Partner, added: “Air Partner can access any size cargo aircraft to solve any size logistical issue. The Antonov AN-124-100 aircraft was ideal for this charter flight and the service provided by the Antonov airlines staff and crew was world class. We are proud to have worked with such great partners and delivered such a great product for our client with this project flight.”
ITA goes online with WebCargo
Despite the ongoing acquisition dance and ever-recurring rumors of continued Lufthansa interest, Italy’s ITA Airways is forging ahead with its digitalization strategy and ensuring that its capacity reaches a wide audience. It announced last week that it would be going live on WebCargo’s cargo booking platform, thus offering instant eBookings to the more than 10,000 international forwarder offices of 3,500+ freight forwarders. They will enjoy access to rate and capacity information on board of ITA flights leaving destinations in 19 countries such as Italy, Belgium, Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, the United States, and Netherlands, to name just a few. More regions will be added from next year.
According to WebCargo, ITA is the first Italian airline to be joining their platform, and yet Italy is very strong on digital bookings: “This partnership is the natural product of particularly strong eBooking adoption in Italy, which already is one of the most active countries on WebCargo’s eBooking platform, and ITA Airways’ digital channels development strategy.” With its latest partner on board, WebCargo can now boast hosting more than 45% of global air cargo capacity on its platform which is the largest online platform to date.
Camilo Garcia, Global VP Business Development at WebCargo, a Freightos Group company, stated: “We’re thrilled to have the first Italian carrier digitize with WebCargo, and to support ITA in their mission to deliver a world-class customer experience. As we observe the rapid adoption of eBookings, particularly across Europe and the Americas, we’re continuing to see the benefits of digital sales in expanding the ‘shop window’ for carriers, by enabling large and small forwarders alike to discover and access their services, 24/7, through platforms like WebCargo.”
GEORGI Handling grows in LEJ
All the twos on 22NOV22, including the official inauguration of Phase Two of the construction of Leipzig/Halle Airport’s Technology Park. A celebratory event was hosted by Greenfield Development, who are the estate investors, and to which regional VIPs such as the Mayor of Schkeuditz, Rayk Bergner, and Götz Ahmelmann, CEO of Mitteldeutsche Flughäfen (LEJ + DRS), who both held welcoming speeches.
Phase Two includes the construction of a new bonded, handling warehouse meeting aviation security status. It will be operated by GEORGI Handling from early next year. 15,000 m² are available for cargo handling of all kinds of freight, including general cargo, dangerous goods, temperature-sensitive shipments, and other special commodities. Another 1,500 m² will house offices and a communal area.
For GEORGI Handling, this expansion is in line with the growth models it has in place for its two German locations, Leipzig and Frankfurt. Together with DHL, GEORGI Handling will be linking the warehouses at both locations and establishing the environment for integrated logistics solutions along the entire supply and value chain. The additional facilities at Leipzig, which will be known as Halls 6 and 7, will increase GEORGI Handling’s capacities to three times what it was, and enable long-term organic growth.
Diana Schöneich, CEO of GEORGI Handling, commented: “The Leipzig/Halle Airport is THE European cargo airport in Central Europe. Its existing first-class infrastructure and GEORGI Handling’s hall space, which has now been tripled, leads us to expect sustainable growth at this location.”
Jürgen Georgi, Greenfield Development Managing Partner of GEORGI Group, stressed: “Our investments in state-of-the-art materials handling technology and mobile technical equipment allow GEORGI Handling to offer all new and existing customers tailored services at a high international quality level.”
Silky smooth GE engines ensure cleaner skies
Silk Way West Airlines’ two new Boeing 777-8F aircraft will be powered by GE9X engines, following a recent order signed with GE Aerospace. That order is for 16 engines broken down into five GE9X and eleven GE90 engines. The latter will power the airline’s B777F that it acquired earlier last year, in APR21. Heralded as “the world’s most powerful engine models,” particularly the GE9X as “the most powerful aircraft engine in history and the quietest model ever produced by GE,” this move is another step in the Azerbaijani cargo airline's sustainability drive. The GE9X, for example, enables a fuel consumption improvement of up to 10%, compared to the previous GE90-115B model. Both the GE9X and GE90 are compatible with all kinds of approved sustainable aviation fuel, giving Silk Way West Airlines the flexibility of choice as it looks to further reduce carbon emissions.
Zaur Akhundov, President of Silk Way Group, said: “We are pleased to continue our longstanding successful cooperation with GE Aerospace. The signing of this agreement marks the strengthening of our relationship. Thanks to this, Silk Way West Airlines will move confidently into a sustainable future with a more efficient fleet that meets the highest emissions and noise standards. We believe this partnership expansion will help us meet our long-term strategy of sustainable growth as well as our environmental commitments and will continue to improve services for our valued customers.”
Kathy Mackenzie, President and CEO, Commercial Engine Operations at GE Aerospace, explained: “The GE9X engine offers a combination of performance and fuel efficiency that is unmatched in its class. We are proud to expand our relationship with Silk Way West as they continue to modernize their fleet for cargo operations.”
Atlas Air receives the first of two K+N freighters
With the familiar anchor logo now adorning an aircraft, Atlas Air welcomed the first of the two new Boeing 747-8 freighters that will fly for Kuehne+Nagel over the coming years. For Atlas Air, this is already the third of its JAN21 order of four production freighters, which includes the two it has signed a long-term agreement with Kuehne+Nagel for. The four new aircraft, with their 16% more efficient fuel use resulting in a cleaner CO2 footprint, and emitting a third less noise, are part of the company’s sustainability strategy. And then, of course, there’s the favored nose-loading function, too.
John Dietrich, President and Chief Executive Officer, Atlas Air Worldwide, said: “This 747-8F delivery underscores the importance of our long-term strategic partnership with Kuehne+Nagel and our commitment to support their continued growth and expansion. We are pleased to provide their first dedicated aircraft which will proudly fly in a custom Kuehne+Nagel livery. The two 747-8Fs we will operate for Kuehne+Nagel will add more capacity and versatility for their network.”
Yngve Ruud, Member of the Management Board of Kuehne+Nagel and responsible for Air Logistics, commented: “It is a very special moment for us to see Kuehne+Nagel 747-8F ‘Inspire.’ taking off. Together with the very last 747-8F that we named ‘Empower.’, these aircraft will support our customers with reliable and flexible solutions globally, continuing the legacy of the most incredible aviation programs in history. We are delighted to celebrate this with our partners Atlas Air and Boeing and looking forward to seeing our aircraft connecting the world.”
Kim Smith, Vice President and General Manager of the Boeing 747/767 Program, concluded: “With Atlas Air taking delivery of the final 747s for its customer Kuehne+Nagel, this iconic Boeing airplane will continue to move cargo around the world for decades to come. As we say goodbye to the ‘Queen of the Skies’, we’re proud of her legacy as an airplane that propelled aviation innovation and later laid the foundation of our family of freighters.”
cargo.one says Merhaba to Turkish Cargo
When you fly to more countries than any other airline, you need to make sure that your service offer reaches as many potential customers as possible – and one way to do that, is to go digital. cargo.one revealed on 23NOV22, that Turkish Cargo’s capacities will soon be bookable on its marketplace; the carrier having chosen the leading real-time digital platform as an ally in its aim to become one of the Top 3 air cargo carriers worldwide. “The combination of Turkish Cargo's capacities and cargo.one's seamless digital booking experience now offers freight forwarders worldwide a valuable new proposition,” the release maintains going on to inform that it now numbered 40 bookable airlines and thus hosts almost 50% of world’s air cargo capacity for instant booking on its platform.
Freight forwarders can look forward to booking any of Turkish Cargo's more than 340 destinations in the coming weeks. Its fleet of 20 freighters currently serves “more international direct cargo destinations than any other airline,” across North America, South America, Europe, and Asia, and this is planned to grow to 120 by 2025. The airline’s growth has been as phenomenal as cargo.one’s own rise. From 33rd position in 2010, Turkish Cargo grew to 14th in 2017, and is now ranked 5th, globally. Growth that it has fostered through large investments in its Istanbul SMARTIST hub, as well as sustainability, digitalization, and customer focus initiatives.
Adnan Karaismailoğlu, Senior Vice President of Cargo Business Development and Organization at Turkish Cargo, stated: “Turkish Cargo's partnership with cargo.one will be expanding our digital footprint and improve sales capabilities. We, as Turkish Cargo, are firmly on a trajectory towards our target to become one of the top three air cargo brands in the world in line with the strategic vision. We believe that cargo.one will support us to drive this growth and further raise the bar for our customers, with enhanced innovation standards for delivering the best new digital alternatives to empower success.”
Moritz Claussen, Founder and Co-CEO of cargo.one, said: “We are delighted that with Turkish Cargo, yet another major cargo airline trusts in cargo.one as a core component of its digital strategy. This is great news for every freight forwarder - no other platform offers more airlines for live booking than cargo.one, making it not just the most user-friendly, but also the most useful platform out there.”
320 years between the first and the second shipment
“320 years ago, these valuable Flemish Tapestries made their way by ship from Belgium to Malta. Today, we are honored and delighted to have been chosen to return them again to their home in St John's Co-Cathedral, Valletta,” Yossi Shoukroun, CEO of Challenge Group, stated recently at a welcoming ceremony on 15NOV22, held in Malta to welcome the return of the Flemish Tapestries from Liège, Belgium, where they been carefully restored. At the same event, Owen Bonnici, the Maltese Minister for National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government, explained that “These tapestries have been a property of the Co-Cathedral for 350 years. The finished restoration of these tapestries is certainly a step forward for the wider appreciation as well as a unique experience for those who will see them in the coming years.”
Minister for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade, Ian Borg, stated: “It is a pleasure for us to see that, with a strong intervention from our Embassy in Belgium, through Clint Tanti and the rest of the employees, we were able to bring these tapestries to Malta without any costs for the Maltese Government. Above all, these can now be enjoyed by the public and the tourists who choose to visit the St. John's Co-Cathedral in Valletta.”
The special freight had flown under special conditions, namely free of charge, including the logistical support. This was due to the fact that the cargo was making history for Challenge Airlines MT, too, since it was the airline’s inaugural flight since receiving its Maltese Air Operator Certificate (AOC) on 01NOV22.
Yossi Shoukroun commented: “Not only do we have the utmost respect for this priceless and unique cargo but, in a way, these tapestries also reflect Challenge Group, since they depict Christian art scenes from Jerusalem, Israel, and were carefully woven over a period of four years in Belgium for Grand Master Fra Ramon Perellós y Roccaful of Malta. Hence, they combine the three countries where Challenge Group has set up hubs and for which we hold Air Operator Certificates.”
Challenge Airlines MT, (reg. 9H) has two B767-300ER and a pool of ten pilots stationed at the Group's headquarter in Malta, who will be operating its schedule of flights between Liège (LGG), Tel Aviv (TLV), Sharjah (SHJ), New York (JFK), and Indian Sub-Continent (ISC), in the coming future.
Wallenborn buys into road feeder fleet services Down Under
Based in Luxembourg, founded in 1920, and marketed as Europe’s largest (as fastest-growing) air cargo feeder Service, Wallenborn has now chosen to acquire a share in Skyroad Logistics over in Australia, thus adding Oceania to its network of Europe and the Middle East. Skyroad Logistics, founded in 2015 and part of Skyroad Group, is specialized in road feeder and other air logistics services, catering for freight forwarders, airlines, and air cargo charter operators, and operates a network linking all major airports across Australia. It is considered the market leader when it comes to road feeder services in Australia.
Wallenborn’s strategic investment was announced at Skyroad Logistics’ ‘Next Chapter’ customer and supplier event in Melbourne on 11NOV22. Operationally, Skyroad’s co-founder, Peter Assel, will remain on as a shareholder and Managing Director, and Skyroad Logistics will carry on operating out of its head office in Melbourne, as well as its Sydney and Brisbane service depots.
Frantz Wallenborn, President & CEO at Wallenborn Transports, commented: “Skyroad is a perfect fit in our portfolio of quality-focused organizations providing a full spectrum of products and services.” Applauding the company’s pioneering and can-do spirit, becoming “the first TAPA TSR certified company in Australia” and “dramatically chang[ing] the air-cargo landscape since 2015.” Promising “more acquisitions on the horizon,” he declared “We’re already number one in Europe and the Middle East, and now we’ll be delivering new benefits and opportunities for our customers in Australia.”
Skyroad Group Managing Director, Peter Assel, echoed the perfect fit message, stating that Skyroad had “achieved its goal of market leadership in Road Feeder Services in Australia within just seven years, and with strong growth and a strong future investment plan in place including record fleet orders from Kenworth, it was timely to seek further investment partners.”
Co-founder, Anthony Clark, had passed away to cancer in early 2020, therefore a strong, similar partner was required. “It was especially apparent to me that Frantz Wallenborn held very similar values with respect to customer service, striving for the best even with strong challenges before them, and providing strong value to customers,” equally praising Wallenborn’s executive team, and intending to learn from the company “to bring even better services and capabilities to Australia and to extend our lead in service capability.”
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