Etihad Cargo takes up operations to Wuhan
29APR23 saw Etihad Cargo land at Wuhan Tianhe International Airport in the Hubei province of China, for the first time. The inaugural flight kicked off its new twice-weekly schedule from Abu Dhabi (ABU) to Wuhan, which is operated with a B747F every Friday (returning on the Saturday), and a B77X each Wednesday. This latest destination is the fourth mainland Chinese gateway destination in the airline’s network and opens up connections to 25 domestic Chinese, among them Shenzhen, Dongguan, Hangzhou, Chengdu and Nanjing, which can be reached on SF Airlines' road feeder service trucking network. Wuhan’s freighter flights bring Etihad Cargo’s Chinese freighter offering to a total of ten cargo flights per week. The additional 100 tons of cargo capacity into the Hubei Province each week increase the airline’s offered cargo capacity to 1000 tons/week including 850 tons of cargo capacity to Shanghai on eight weekly freighter services and two passenger flights. Etihad also operates five weekly passenger flights to Shanghai, Beijing Daxing and Guangzhou, and aims to increase its Chinese frequencies even further in the coming months, to meet increasing capacity demands from customers in the UAE and China.
Martin Drew, Senior Vice President – Global Sales & Cargo, said: “The addition of Wuhan to Etihad Cargo’s Chinese network is the latest step in enhancing the carrier’s capabilities in the region. These flights will provide greater connectivity, market access and cargo capacity for Etihad Cargo’s customers, further strengthening the relationship between the UAE and China and positioning Abu Dhabi as a global logistics and express hub."
Two new facilities for Bolloré Logistics
In the space of one week, Bolloré Logistics officially inaugurated two new facilities. The first is its latest warehouse and distribution center in Geomdan near to Seoul metropolitan area in South Korea. The opening of the so-called K-HUB, a sustainably built complex, was celebrated on 14APR23. Close to Incheon International Airport, Incheon Seaport as well as Seoul’s center, K-HUB is mainly dedicated to the distribution of Luxury, Perfumes & Cosmetics goods. It measures 9,555 m² and contains a flat storage and operation floor with a staff centric office area. It is equipped with smart LED lighting and gate door system to reduce energy waste, rooftop solar panels for renewable energy generation, reusable storage and packing materials, and electric warehouse vehicles charging stations. It also houses a "B.Lab" space dedicated to innovation and digitalization. Fabien Giordano, CEO of Bolloré Logistics North Asia, said, “We are pleased to celebrate the opening of K-HUB. The launch of this new distribution center is testament to our commitment of developing our operations in South Korea and North Asia region. K-HUB is a combination of innovation and sustainability, as it incorporates modern technologies to ensure highly efficient operations while caring for our people and the environment.” Yoon-Ju CHO, CEO of Bolloré Logistics Korea, commented: “Today, we celebrate another milestone of Bolloré Logistics South Korea. Since our establishment in 1994, we have supported various sectors including Healthcare and Aerospace and automotive verticals keeping leadership in retails and perfumes & cosmetics sectors.”
Over in Germany, Bolloré Logistics Germany launched its first National Healthcare Competence Center on 20APR23. Just 15 minutes away from Frankfurt Airport, close to airline and forwarders, the 1,930 m² new site is also sustainably built and is dedicated to the import and export of healthcare, serving the region’s pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. It includes three temperature-controlled areas, +15°C /+25°C (ambient stabilized), +2°C/+8°C (cooled/chilled) and -30°C (frozen) reserved for value-added logistics operations, a 300 m² office for Bolloré Logistics’ pharma experts, an X-ray machine, and an ambient and refrigerated cooling concept powered by solar panels. Rolf Lucht, Healthcare Director Bolloré Logistics Germany, said: “This new warehouse will allow us to expand our service offering and continue to support our clients in the healthcare industry. We are proud to be able to satisfy all industry needs, delivering tailored and comprehensive solutions that comply with Good Distribution Practices on health products, and their regulations.”
Atlas Air Worldwide has announced its new CEO
Atlas Air Worldwide announced that Michael T. Steen will succeed John W. Dietrich on 15JUN23, to become the airline’s Chief Executive Officer. Dietrich is retiring after almost 25 years with the company in numerous leadership roles since 1999. During this time, the company expanded and diversified its service offerings, building from a single-gauge 747 ACMI (aircraft, crew, maintenance, insurance) cargo business to many gauges of aircraft. It branched out into express, ecommerce, passenger services and aircraft leasing, and continued to expand its military business in both cargo and passenger sectors.
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Spencer Schwartz will also be retiring on 15JUN23. He has served almost 15 years with Atlas and will be succeeded by Artem Gonopolskiy, Senior Vice President, Financial Planning and Analysis, in the interim, until a permanent successor is found.
Michael Steen has spent over half his 30+ years of experience in aviation and logistics with Atlas, holding the post of Chief Commercial Officer since 2007, leading the Company’s strategy and growing market share, and developing and diversifying the Company’s blue-chip customers. No new Chief Commercial Officer has been named yet, but will follow after Mr. Steen’s appointment as CEO.
David Siegel, Chairman of the Board, commented: “Michael’s leadership experience, strong track record of innovation and success, and consistent focus on the company’s customer-centric mission makes him the ideal candidate to lead Atlas forward in its next phase of growth. On behalf of the Board, we look forward to working closely with Michael to execute on Atlas’ strategic growth plans and continuing to build on the Company’s strong commitment to safety, quality, and service excellence. We thank John for his leadership of the talented Atlas team and the significant contributions he’s made to build Atlas’ position as a global leader in airfreight. Under his leadership as CEO, Atlas navigated one of the most dynamic and challenging periods the aviation industry has ever faced, affirming the essential role Atlas serves in the global supply chain. Additionally, we want to recognize Spencer for his stewardship of the Company’s financial strategy, helping to drive record earnings and supporting the Company’s growth and diversification.”
Michael Steen stated: “I am thrilled by the opportunity to lead our incredible Atlas team as we design and execute our vision for growth and embark on new and exciting opportunities as a private company. This is a transformative time for Atlas, and the continued support from Apollo, J.F. Lehman, and Hill City, will play an important role as we enhance our capabilities and deliver new solutions for our customers. I am grateful for John’s leadership, and look forward to building on this strong foundation of global success. I also thank Spencer for his partnership and contributions throughout his time with the Company.”
Qatar Airways Cargo and RwandAir launch Kigali Africa Hub
A congregation of local dignitaries, freight forwarders, partners, and customers were present, alongside Qatar Airways Cargo's Chief Officer, Guillaume Halleux, and Yvonne Makolo, Chief Executive Officer of RwandAir to welcome Qatar Airways Cargo’s Moved by People Boeing 777 freighter at 13:00 CAT on 03MAY23, marking the official launch of operations at the Kigali Africa Hub. The hub has been launched in partnership between the two airlines, with QAS Cargo providing consultancy support to RwandAir for its cargo handling processes. QAS Cargo devised a detailed action plan for RwandAir listing operational improvements and handling performance. The two are now working together on a future roadmap, including a proposed improvement plan for warehouse infrastructure, which will form part of a long-term strategic plan for the cargo division of RwandAir.
Kigali Africa Hub is Qatar Airways Cargo's first cargo hub outside Qatar. In collaboration with RwandAir, it forms a strong basis on which to expand a future-oriented African air cargo network and meet the 3%-5% annual economic growth forecast for the continent over the next decade. Qatar Airways Cargo already serves 28 cities in Africa with a mixture of freighter and belly-hold services and is planning to add further African destinations to the network at a later stage.
Qatar Airways Cargo will operate the Doha-Kigali route twice a week. Since March, the airline has been serving an intra-Africa service between Kigali and Lagos (three times per week), and a weekly service from Istanbul via Doha to Kigali, all using an Airbus A310 aircraft. New destinations from Kigali will be announced soon.
Guillaume Halleux, Chief Officer Cargo at Qatar Airways said: “Africa is one of the world's fastest growing economies, yet for it to develop to its full potential requires investment in logistics infrastructures. Qatar and Rwanda have long-enjoyed bilateral trade agreements, with both Qatar Airways and Qatar Investment Authority having previously invested in Kigali International Airport and RwandAir. It was therefore a logical step that Qatar Airways Cargo supports RwandAir in its cargo ambitions. Our customers will benefit from both a reliable intra-African network through our Kigali hub, as well as enhanced service levels and cost synergies. We are proud to partner with RwandAir in establishing Kigali as the Central African hub in preparation for the Next Generation of air cargo on this fast-growing continent.”
Global GSA Group: “The beating cargo management heart of Europe”
Since starting out in The Netherlands, in 1995, and first serving China Southern, Global GSA Group has grown to become an internationally active airline representative, reaching well beyond Europe's borders, and ranking among the world's top 5 global GSAs, with a customer portfolio of 52 airlines. It is particularly strong in Europe, where it employs 224 staff (58% women, 42% men), in 25 European countries. Malta is due to open this summer, increasing that number to 26, and Global GSA Group will continue to expand its teams in Belgium, the Nordics, Italy, and United Kingdom, to meet increasing customer demand. Ismail Durmaz, Chief Executive Officer of Global GSA Group, explains: “Europe is such a multifaceted continent. Our airlines face tough competition and a great deal of capacity in the market, which lead to low yields in comparison to other large and important regions. On the other hand, there is huge cross-border potential, and it is easy to truck to other countries. Global GSA Group has been active in this market for almost 30 years, and we have every conceivable strategy in place to provide the optimum support to our airlines. Our steep and continuing growth curve is testimony to the fact that they work, too.” Digitalization (Global GSA Group recently partnered with CargoTech and deploys the latest in digital optimization and efficiency solutions), and people are the secret of its success: “As a group we have implemented a strategic approach to attracting, maintaining, and developing our staff. We aim to increase the number of employees with certain skills and certifications and provide ongoing training to keep up with these new developments in our field,” he says.
Durmaz concludes. “There's a saying: 'If you want a job done well, do it yourself!'. When an airline outsources its cargo management to us, we strive to modify that saying to 'If you want a job done exceptionally well, give it to Global GSA Group!'. Our role as a GSA is to provide the ultimate all-service airline representation in the air cargo market, while fully maintaining the airline's unique identity. Each and every one of our employees has three winning passions: cargo, innovation, and top-quality service. And, since Europe is where Global GSA Group began, any airline partnering with us can be certain that they are buying into unparalleled local expertise coupled with a proven successful global management vision. Despite the air cargo market suffering a significant downturn in the first quarter of this year, Global GSA Group is proud to have performed above market, ensuring that our partner carriers' market shares increased. Our company motto is 'We make the impossible possible', and that is what we live up to, every day.”
Carousel now offers HAJ-DUB night connection
European time-critical in-night logistics specialist, Carousel has plans for Dublin, having acquired the Dublin-based full-service transport and logistics company Alltrans at the end of last year. It recently announced the successful mutual integration of their IT and operational systems, and is now investing in additional operational sites at Dublin airport. On 02MAY23, it announced its first Hannover/Germany-Dublin/Ireland connection, created to meet the customer requirements arising from bilateral discussions. The request was to offer a service that could enable the shortest possible time between order placement and delivery to the end customer. This has resulted in a daily (Monday to Friday) service, operated by a 9-ton aircraft, which should meet customer demand for greater speed from Northern Germany to Ireland. It is also part of Carousel’s drive towards enhanced time-critical in-night coverage across Europe.
Lars Ryssel, Group Chief Solutions Officer (CSO), Carousel, declared: “We are focused on creating solutions tailored to our clients' end-customer needs and this new route is tangible evidence of this. The additional growth delivered by this new route is exciting and we are in a good position to react swiftly if we need to increase capacity or frequency. Our customers in the Automotive and Agricultural parts sector will benefit from this new route, as well as those in the Medtech, Construction, and Materials Handling Equipment (MHE) sectors. Carousel is also making significant inroads into the E-Commerce sector thanks to our ability to offer extremely attractive late cut-off times, and we look forward to developing these opportunities.”
Big money for a new runway at Maastricht Aachen Airport
A whopping €34 million, a third of the €100 million infrastructure investment plan laid out for the next few years, is being invested in Maastricht Aachen Airport’s runway. Renovation work kicked off last week in the Netherlands’ second largest cargo hub airport, and one that has much to gain from the restrictive policies surrounding Schiphol. In addition to its upgraded runway, which should be complete by JUN23 (preparing it for an extension project that will see the extension of its operational length to 2,750 meters by JAN25), it is also free of slot restrictions, offers full Fifth Freedom of The Air rights, and has its own maintenance, repair, and overhaul facilities. Turkish Cargo and Royal Jordanian already use the airport as their European base, while for Emirates, Qatar, and Saudia, it is an online station in the network.
Jos Roeven, Chief Executive Officer, MST, illustrates the airport’s many USPs: “Maastricht has much to offer the Dutch air cargo community, with no slot restrictions or congestion at the airport and now a significant infrastructure investment program. We are CEIV-Pharma certified and the preferred station for flower imports into the Netherlands, as well as specializing in handling dangerous goods and e-commerce, and we will be focusing on further developing our facilities with this investment. There is a fantastic opportunity in the current market for regional airports to step up for the cargo industry and help drive a more sustainable future for freight, whilst at the same time creating job opportunities for our local communities.”
ECS Group has a new Group Commercial Director USA
Coming over from Qatar Airways Cargo where he was Vice President Cargo for the Americas since 2014, Ian Morgan has now taken up the position of Group Commercial Director in the USA at ECS Group, effective 01MAY23. It is a new function for the group, as it strategically develops its footprint in the country, and already has an increase in the number of contracts in the pipeline. Morgan’s tasks include a wide range of commercial responsibilities. From ensuring the Group's commercial performance to managing the interface with USA based customers with high growth potential, the position will also involve contributing to the Group's business development.
Adrien Thominet, Executive Chairman of ECS Group, explained: “Our wish was to benefit from the support of someone who would not only have a solid cargo experience but who would also share the values of our group. Ian was the ideal candidate.” His deep expertise within the American air freight industry is complemented by a huge network and a solid ability to meet the requirements of the GSSA's customers.
Ian Morgan, ECS Group's Group Commercial Director, USA, stated: “The opportunity to join the premium GSSA in the business, and to work for two people I respect immensely, was something that professionally I knew was the right step in my career. I look forward to collaborating with the ECS team to further develop and enhance the excellent brand and reputation that ECS has globally as well as regionally.”
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