50 years of Avianca Cargo flower transports to the US
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it is high season for flower transports, and as the America’s first IATA CEIV Fresh-certified cargo airline serving some of the world’s largest flower exporters, Avianca Cargo is running at full speed. Not only that, but it is also celebrating half a century of transporting the colorful cargo. This year alone, the airline operated almost 300 freighter flights from Colombia and Ecuador to the United States between 16JAN23 and 08FEB23, totaling circa 18,000 tons of flowers – 2,000 tons more than in the previous year. Roses and carnations topped the deliveries from Bogota, whilst pompons, hydrangeas, and chrysanthemums dominated the shipments from Medellin (which benefitted from its new cooling facility), and gypsophila flew from Quito. Though Avianca Cargo’s first freighter flight in 1973 took off with just 12 tons of cargo on board, over the past 50 years, the annual averages must add up to somewhere in the region of half a million tons! Avianca Cargo commemorated the special anniversary together with authorities and partners.
Gabriel Oliva, CEO of Avianca Cargo, announced: “This new Valentine's Day season reaffirms us as leaders in promoting and strengthening the competitiveness of the Colombian and Ecuadorian flower industry in the world. The transportation of flowers requires a precise coordination along the entire value chain to ensure delivery with the highest quality standards and on time. This year was no exception; hand in hand with our customers, authorities and partners, and a focus on efficient processes and investments in infrastructure, we not only achieved excellent results, but also broke records for the second consecutive year.”
Augusto Solano, President of Asociación Colombiana de Exportadores de Flores (Asocolflores), added: “We’re celebrating 50 years of promoting a competitive and sustainable floriculture together with Avianca Cargo, who has been a fundamental partner in the distribution chain for Colombian flowers to reach over 100 countries around the world. Each flower that reaches the international market has the seal of the 200,000 formal workers in our sector. It is thanks to this hard work and the continued efforts of Avianca Cargo, Asocolflores, and our allied entities, that we have become an example of effectiveness in terms of logistics and foreign trade.”
AWERY appoints industry connoisseurs to its board
Three well-known air cargo industry faces are now connected with AWERY Aviation Software. Arnaud Lambert, Ariaen Zimmerman, and Pascal Morvan have all joined its Advisory Board, the air cargo software developer communicated on 08FEB23, detailing a very exact “combined 74 years' information technology (IT), air cargo, and airline experience”, that the new Advisory Board members bring to the company. The Board will support Awery’s rollout of its flagship online booking portal, CargoBooking. CargoBooking is an online booking portal that allows airlines and their General Sales Agents (GSAs) to provide freight forwarders with real-time air cargo rate distribution, quotes, and bookings (CFG reported).
Vitaly Smilianets, Chief Executive Officer of Awery, commented: “At the core of Awery's growth strategy is the maintenance of balance between digital knowhow and air cargo experience. Ariaen, Pascal, and Arnaud bring tremendous experience that will help Awery further refine its product offering, ensuring that we maintain our position as the leading aviation software company.”
Of those 74 years, Pascal Morvan brings the lion’s share: 31 years of airline and air cargo industry experience, not least the 9 years as Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Air France and then Air France KLM Cargo. He stated: “Awery and CargoBooking are mature products; the ambition is now to promote them and attract a large community of users.”
Arnaud Lambert brings a good third: 25 years of air cargo and IT experience in senior management roles with Cargolux Airlines and, most recently, CHAMP Cargosystems, where he was CEO. His comment upon joining the Board: “Awery's suite of solutions are designed to offer unprecedented user experience and leverage the latest technology. This combination will undoubtedly drive extensive value for many air freight businesses.”
The final 18 years’ air cargo and airline experience are contributed by Ariaen Zimmerman, who is an independent consultant and executive coach. As Cargo iQ’s Executive Director, he led the association's repositioning and rebranding. His statement: “Air cargo service delivery depends on the complex cooperation of many different operators and companies. As such, the industry's ability to innovate and adapt is dependent on its ability to effectively work together and exchange information, making digitalization necessary as well as very complex. Awery is a key player in this, with a radical view on making digitalization and data sharing affordable and feasible. Its software creates better efficiency, more process control and, in the end, the best customer experience.”
A cargo MoU to connect Canada and the UAE
Last year’s strategic partnership between Emirates and Air Canada which resulted in a passenger codeshare agreement spanning 46 destinations across North America, the Middle East, Asia and Africa, and joint miles points, has now been augmented by a cargo Memorandum of Understanding. On 10FEB23, the airlines’ two cargo divisions, Emirates SkyCargo and Air Canada Cargo, signed an agreement to benefit their customers through expanded network operations. The signing took place at Emirates’ headquarters in Dubai, UAE, by Nabil Sultan, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Cargo and Matthieu Casey, Managing Director Commercial, Air Canada Cargo. Both airlines have agreed to collaborate on various initiatives such as the expansion of cargo interline options and blocked space agreements, should regulatory approvals be forthcoming. Air freight customers can look forward to more capacity on a larger combined global network. SkyCargo will have access to capacity on Air Canada Cargo’s fleet of B767 freighters and extensive passenger flights on routes to more than 60 cities in Canada and over 150 cities across five continents. Likewise, Air Canada Cargo will be able to access Emirates SkyCargo’s network of passenger and freighter flights to more than 140 global destinations. “Both airlines bring particular experience in handling unique cargo, such as oil and gas drilling equipment, car parts and pharmaceuticals on their dedicated fleet of freighters or passenger aircraft,” the release underlines.
Nabil Sultan, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Cargo, explained: “Emirates SkyCargo is committed to being a leading player in the global air cargo industry providing our customers with the highest standards of products and services. Cooperating with Air Canada Cargo will offer our clients’ added value through more rapid reach to new destinations in Canada via our Toronto and US gateways.”
Matthieu Casey, Managing Director, Commercial, at Air Canada Cargo, stated: “We are thrilled to be further strengthening our cargo relationship with Emirates SkyCargo. This agreement enables both carriers to work more closely to optimize our respective freighter and belly capacity throughout each of our extensive and complementing global networks. Customers will benefit from these additional synergies by having access to an even greater array of options, destinations and streamlined handling when shipping globally.”
330 cows are flown to West Africa
Two special charters took off last month to West Africa on behalf of Chapman Freeborn and Avia Solutions Group’s specialist for animal transports, Intradco Global. On board were a total of 330 cattle from Europe from a longstanding customer. Intradco Global ground staff supervised the entire operation at the origin and destination airports. The cows are part of a largescale governmental initiative to increase dairy production yields in the undisclosed West African country. With around 300 million cattle, the African continent is home to 20% of the world’s cattle population. Of these, around 75 million are in West Africa alone – 63 (out of Africa’s 150) indigenous and 23 (of 30) exotic breeds are located here. Cattle play major social, economic, and cultural roles, representing major sources of protein (dairy and meat), fertilizer, fuel, and power in crop farming. Yet, their milk production is often inadequate to meet the region’s demand and thus various government genetic modification initiatives have been set up to readdress this imbalance and avoid expensive milk product import costs. The recently imported cows are able to produce around 40 liters of high-quality milk per day.
Hayden Edwards, Cargo Account Manager – Commercial at Intradco Global said: “Being involved in an important project that will have a positive and tangible impact on the local community is a great feeling, and so is knowing that our longstanding client once again trusted Intradco Global to deliver their precious cargo. We look forward to working with them again in the future.”
ECS Group takes stock of its TCE service
“I'm very proud of the constant evolution I have witnessed at TCE since its beginnings. To top it all off, 2022 has been an amazing year. Thanks to our expert staff, we have performed flawless services and we need to carry on building on this momentum. That's why I'm very excited to expand our team in order to provide continuous support to customers and to satisfy all their requirements with regards to ground operations,” says Sarah Scheibe, Managing Director of TCE, who is delighted by the current state of affairs. She refers to ECS Group’s TCE ability. It stands for Total Cargo Expertise and offers a comprehensive range of quality, safety, and security services to airlines. A product that was well-received in 2022, and further developed. “In addition to its existing services, ranging from auditing to risk assessment and from operational process standards to dealing with the legal aspects of cargo, some new services were introduced due to the growing demand from airlines,” the release reveals, citing on-site freighter turnaround supervision, and on-site third-party supplier audits at warehouse and ramp handling agents, and a dedicated customs reporting team, as examples. It aims to continue adding to its offer this year. Robert Van De Weg, Chief Commercial Officer of ECS Group underlined the need for flexibility: “In these changing times, keeping abreast of the market shift has never been more essential to GSSAs. Taking our customers' needs into account and implementing solutions to solve their challenges can only impact our business positively.”
Adrien Thominet, Executive Chairman of ECS Group says: “The role of GSSAs has evolved from agents who arrange cargo bookings for airlines to strategic partners. By bringing its customers its full support and top standards of safety, TCE guarantees them the total peace of mind that they need to focus on their core business.”
GCL’s expansion now includes classic car expertise
Los Angeles, USA-based Global Critical Logistics (GCL) with its widespread specialization in logistics for live events, fine art, classic and high-value automobiles, film, television, broadcast, sports and motor sports industries, has now acquired 1989-founded, Chedburgh, U.K.-based Classic Automotive Relocation Services (aptly acronymed as CARS). CARE specializes in multimodal logistics of historic, rare and prestigious vehicles, and has branches in the U.K., U.S., Middle East, Netherlands, and Japan. It also operates a network of specialist storage facilities, and provides high value, onsite services including Carnet de Passages, registration, and various OEM testing options. This network and product pallet now reinforces GCL's position as a global specialist freight forwarder for high-end and high-value automobiles, complementing its own Cosdel International Transportation brand. CARS will continue to operate under its own business name as a member of the GCL group of companies.
Paul J. Martins, President & CEO, GCL, stated: “This acquisition extends the GCL group's service offering and proven operational capabilities across key strategic growth markets, both in terms of customer industries and geographic presence. CARS offers highly bespoke, tailored services and their global team has an incredible passion to always exceed their customer's expectations. All companies of the GCL group share these core values, and we are very excited as this addition will further drive meaningful value for both customers and shareholders.”
Jeremy Barker, Co-Founder and Managing Director, CARS, commented: “By joining the GCL group, we gain access to additional resources that will turbo charge our service offerings to better serve our existing customers and to reach more customers across the globe. We are thrilled to be part of a major logistics group whose operational ethos and end-market focus so closely matches our business culture.”
Goa’s 100% digital cargo ops thanks to Kale Logistics
Goa’s new airport, GMR Goa International Airport Limited (GGIAL), a subsidiary of GMR Airports Limited (GAL), was inaugurated in December 2022 by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. Just one month later, Kale Logistics Solutions (Kale) fired up its GALAXY cargo management system at the interim facility where GMR Goa Air Cargo (GGAC) is handling domestic air cargo operations at the moment. GALAXY CMS is already deployed in a number of international hub airports and cargo terminals, as well as over 100 air cargo stations across the globe. It enables transshipment and direct delivery processing alongside inbound and outbound cargo operations, and now enables sustainable, end-to-end digital processing for all domestic outbound cargo at GGAC: from acceptance to loading and departure, plus for domestic inbound cargo from flight arrival and flight check through to cargo delivery at the warehouse. The system will support Goa International Airport in its strategy to become a key cargo hub alongside Mumbai and Bengaluru in Western India.
Vineet Malhotra, Co-Founder and Director, Kale Logistics Solutions, announced: “GMR Goa Air Cargo has set a new record, going digital from the start button. Our longstanding strategic partnership with GMR Cargo and deep understanding of their business, challenges, and market dynamics positions Kale well to help them meet higher customer expectations. Supported by our fully digital solution, we are confident that GGAC will exceed its cargo handling estimates, and look forward to supporting its commitment to sustainable operations.”
EFW signs USD 80 million supplier contract
Euro-Composite will be supplying Elbe Flugzeugwerke GmbH (EFW) with honeycomb products following the agreement on a long-term USD 80-million-dollar supplier contract. This secures reliable and regular supply to the EFW competence center for Airbus Aircraft Conversion (P2F) and for lightweight components, which requires vast quantities of this material for the production of its lightweight aerospace products, such as floor panels, for example, which are used in all Airbus aircraft. Cargo lining, aerospace interiors, and other products are also dependent on honeycomb supply at EFW’s production sites in Dresden and Kodersdorf.
Jordi Boto, CEO EFW, said: “We are very pleased to take another step in our long-standing, close cooperation with Euro-Composites with this contract signing. Longstanding cooperation based on trust pays off especially in turbulent times like today, where quality, delivery availability and cost efficiency are important elements of success. In addition, the cooperation also strengthens our joint innovation activities on honeycomb technologies for the aerospace industry."
R.M. Alter, President, Chairman & CEO EC, added: “I am honored that Elbe Flugzeugwerke, a traditional, major customer of Euro-Composite, has placed a long-term order with us. The order of over $80 million for the supply of honeycomb products for EFW's aerospace operations is by far the largest order we have received in our company's history of serving the aerospace industry for over three decades now.”
Etihad Cargo and Astral Aviation sign MoU
Just one week after signing with Kenya Airways, Astral Aviation’s next partner is Etihad Cargo. The two signed an MoU on 07FEB23, aimed at enhancing the cooperation between the UAE Emirate of Abu Dhabi and Kenya’s Nairobi airport. Building on their existing SLA partnership from 2021, Astral Aviation will operate a number of flights between Abu Dhabi and Nairobi, and the two airlines will share up to 50% of all available capacity on additional flights between Nairobi and Abu Dhabi. This will open up greater access to the African market for cargo and air mail customers. The additional services from Nairobi to Etihad Cargo’s hub in Abu Dhabi will commence on 01APR23. For cargo coming into the UAE via Etihad Cargo’s Abu Dhabi hub, the carrier will utilize its expansive road feeder service network to transport cargo to destinations throughout the UAE and other offline stations, or feed the shipments into its international network.
Martin Drew, Senior Vice President – Global Sales & Cargo at Etihad Airways announced: “The signing of this MoU demonstrates Etihad Cargo and Astral Aviation’s shared commitment to joint network development and providing a more comprehensive solution to international cargo transportation between Nairobi and Abu Dhabi. The partnership will enable Etihad Cargo to expand its African network and offer increased cargo capacity both into and out of Nairobi, strengthening the connection between the two cities via this key route and further developing this critical African gateway.”
Sanjeev Gadhia, CEO of Astral Aviation, commented: “We are truly honored to enter into a MoU with Etihad Cargo as a part of our strategy to expand our network globally, which will enhance accessibility and connectivity via Etihad’s Abu Dhabi Hub. We look forward to transporting Perishables from Kenya into Abu Dhabi and beyond on Etihad’s network, and on the return with cargoes from Asia, USA and Europe to connect into Astral’s Intra African network in Nairobi. This cooperation will create new opportunities for our respective clients and will be a win-win partnership.”
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