Camex Airlines has been on a focused expansion and development course since it received its AOC in AUG22. From inaugural flights to new destinations, to becoming ACC3 validated, to recruiting new staff, two recent news items in Business Media Georgia and Slovenia’s Sierra5 online news portal are particularly worth highlighting: a warehouse and another airline.
2022 was already a milestone year for CAMEX Airlines, given that it officially received its AOC in AUG22. The airline spoke to CargoForwarder Global that month, outlining some of its plans: https://www.cargoforwarder.eu/2022/08/21/all-good-cargo-things-are-three/ . It went on to become ACC3-approved in NOV22, following a validation audit carried out by a member of the Latvian Civil Aviation Agency. The validation confirms CAMEX Airlines’ compliance with EU cargo security requirements and that it is able to correctly handle cargo and mail flights to EU Member States airports out of Tbilisi Airport.
USD 10 million transshipment warehouse
And to handle those shipments and encourage more, it looks like CAMEX Airlines now has plans to create a transshipment hub near Tbilisi Airport. On 15JAN23, Business Media Georgia reported that CAMEX Airlines is starting construction on a USD 10 million investment, transshipment warehouse, for the distribution of import cargo. Though initially intended to support CAMEX Airlines, it will eventually be open to other local and international airlines, too, for the delivery of import and export cargo, but with a focus on transit cargo, which currently does not appear to be an established service. According to George Seturidze, “In Georgia, foreign companies leave cargo on the way, but these are not transshipment cargoes that will go on to another country.” The potential in the market for such transports appears to be large, and he is convinced that cargo turnover can be increased. “A terminal is needed, and we are working on it. We hope that the infrastructure will be ready to respond to these challenges. [A] transshipment hub for international cargo turnover, i.e. the transshipment warehouse, where the cargo will be distributed.”
Construction on phase one has already begun and is planned to be completed by the end of this year. The project itself will likely take five years to complete and will help to attract more cargo-operating airlines and flights to Georgia.
Welcome, CAMEX Adria Airlines
A surprising move and one that has met with mixed reactions in certain Facebook pages, is the CAMEX Airlines’ announcement of that it has now also established a subsidiary airline in Slovenia, and given it the name CAMEX Adria Airlines. The result of its Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) application, which was presented to Slovenia’s Civil Aviation Agency in NOV22, is currently pending. The airline expects that the assessment and review should be finished by APR23, by which time it hopes to be airborne. The subsidiary company, itself, exists since JUN22 already, and is headquartered in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
A single B737-800BCF
Like its parent airline, CAMEX Airlines, CAMEX Adria Airlines will also start with a fleet of one: In this case, an 18-year-old aircraft on lease from Icelease, that has changed hands a number of times. According to Sierra5, the Boeing 737-800BCF aircraft temporarily still bears the Austrian registration OE-IBB, and serial number MSN 33973. As a passenger aircraft, it flew for Spanish carrier, Air Europa, and for the Egyptian airline, FlyEgypt. Right now, it is parked at London Gatwick Airport, where it underwent conversion to a freighter. Apparently, it will receive a Slovenian registration: S5-ACS and will be based at Ljubljana Jože Pučnik Airport.
More European flexibility through Slovenian AOC
CAMEX Airlines’ own Boeing 738BCF freighter currently flies between the Middle East, Caucasus, and Central Asia. Social media shows landings in Uzbekistan, Türkiye, Israel, and France, for example. Once CAMEX is also in possession of a European AOC, this will facilitate its expansion to other countries in the European Union as well as attract new business partners, Sierra5 explains. CAMEX Adria Airlines’ cargo flights from Slovenia will feed into the CAMEX Airlines’ network and services.
Still mourning Adria Airways
Sierra5 points out that CAMEX Adria Airlines will become the second Slovenian air cargo operator after Solinair d.o.o., which deploys its own fleet of two Airbus A300 aircraft. “Cargo flights with a leased Saab 340 plane from Estonian Airest between Ljubljana and Sarajevo are also operated by Lipican Aer,” it states, going on to say: “The editors of the Slovenian aviation portal, Sierra5.net, congratulate the new Slovenian airline and, on behalf of all fans of Slovenian aviation, look forward to its further strengthening.”
Over on a few aviation Facebook pages, the reactions from Slovenian aviation fans are mixed, and it is very apparent that the loss of Adria Airways in SEP19, is still a very sore point.
Cargo, not passenger!
Many of the Slovenian posters fail to realize that CAMEX Adria Airlines is a cargo airline. They can perhaps take solace in the announcement made by the incoming Slovenian Minister for Infrastructure, Alenka Bratušek, on 15JAN23. She revealed that a task force is currently looking into the feasibility of setting up a new national passenger carrier and expects to have a result by the middle of this year. Positive movement on the passenger side was made at the end of last year, when Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines, and Air Serbia stated that they would be increasing their frequencies to the Slovenian capital this year, and just a few days ago, Finnair announced that it would be reinstating its services from 01APR23, too.
Meanwhile, CAMEX Airlines goes from strength to strength. Just a few days ago, it posted another job ad on its LinkedIn page: “CAMEX Airlines is actively looking for Cargo Sales Manager”. The airline has plans and ambitions.
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