Hong Kong Koala, Yani, finds new friends at Longleat, UK
Turkish Cargo has carried out another heartstrings project as part of its “Mission Rescue” initiative. This time, it is a very lonely koala bear that has been rescued from its solitary plight in Hong Kong, and transported to the UK, to find a new home at Longleat Safari Park. This was the perfect move for the female koala, given that the Wiltshire adventure park which opened in 1966 as the UK’s first drive-through safari park, began a focused Koala Conservation Project in 2019. A special enclosure complete with a eucalyptus tree plantation was created to house one male and four female koalas, and last year, the safari park celebrated the birth of the first ever koala to be born in captivity anywhere in Europe. Particularly significant, since koalas are listed as an endangered species since 2022, and it is estimated that the number of koalas still living in the wild is around 10% (between 40,000 and 60,000) of what it was at the start of the 1900s (600,000).
So, Yani has a ready-made family to enjoy from now on. She was originally born in Australia before moving to a park in Hong Kong. When the other koalas she lived with at the park, passed away, she was unable to return to South Australia because of its strict biosecurity regulations. Thus, Longleat Safari Park in the United Kingdom, was chosen as the best place for her to continue and find a mate. “After obtaining all the necessary permits for Yani's transfer, a flight plan requiring extreme sensitivity and care was developed from Hong Kong to the United Kingdom. Longleat park officials reached out to Turkish Cargo for assistance in this journey. Turkish Cargo, driven by its mission of respect for animal life and nature in all transportation activities, joined the process as the sponsor carrier,”, Turkish Cargo’s press release explains. The airline hold IATA CEIV Live Animals certification and operates a moder Live Animal Terminal at its SMARTIST facility in Istanbul. “With meticulous planning for every detail of the operation, Turkish Cargo successfully executed Yani's transfer via an Istanbul layover, in accordance with IATA LAR (Live Animal Regulations). After arriving in the United Kingdom, Yani was placed in quarantine for a period and, following all health checks, was introduced to her new companions.”
Martin Drew joins Atlas Air Worldwide
Another of the many movement rumors over the past few months has been put to rest: Atlas Air Worldwide announced this week, that it had appointed Martin Drew as its Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer with effect from 25SEP23. Thus, Martin Drew leaves Etihad after almost two decades, having joined in 2005, and taking on his previous role as Senior Vice President Global Sales, Marketing, Brand and Cargo at Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E., in NOV20. Those years included an 18-month stint as Vice President, Cargo, at Jet Airways in Mumbai, India. His career includes Vice President positions at Etihad in Europe and Americas, with Passenger Sales, Marketing, and Alliances responsibilities, as well as prior senior positions at Lufthansa and DAS Air Cargo.
Now, at Atlas Air, where he reports directly to Michael Steen, Chief Executive Officer, and serves on its Executive Leadership Team, his responsibilities include driving the company’s comprehensive corporate strategy through geographic expansion, diversification, and partnerships, and with a particular focus on its transformational growth initiatives. Atlas Air’s mission is to be its customers’ first choice and most valued partner.
Michael Steen, Chief Executive Officer, expressed: “We are thrilled that Martin is joining our leadership team at this exciting and pivotal moment for Atlas. Martin is a highly recognized leader in aviation and will be an incredible asset to our team as we leverage our diversified business model, unrivaled global network and best-in-class assets for long-term success. His vast experience in cargo and passenger operations, entrepreneurial leadership style and solutions-oriented approach will help guide the Company to new heights.”
Martin Drew, Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer, said: “I am thrilled to join Atlas, an industry leader renowned for its unwavering commitment to excellence, innovation, and customer satisfaction. The Company’s strong foundation, coupled with its forward-thinking approach, has positioned it as a leading force in the aviation industry,” Mr. Drew said. “I look forward to bringing my passion for driving change and strategic mindset to make a lasting impact on the Company’s continued growth and success. Atlas’ dedication to transformation and its visionary leadership have set the stage for an exciting journey ahead.”
Ukrainian SkyUp Airlines opts for IBS Software
IBS Software will provide a digitally native passenger services system (PSS) to Ukraine's largest airline, SkyUp Airlines (founded in 2017) and its Maltese subsidiary, SkyUp Malta, as the airline prepared to restart its scheduled flights across Europe. The Russian invasion had led to SkyUp normal operations being temporarily halted. The “digital-first airline has attracted widespread attention for its innovative actions since the start of the war, including the evacuation of its aircraft from closed airspace, its pivot to become an ACMI provider, and most recently [MAY23] achieving an Air Operator Certificate in Malta so the airline can operate anywhere in Europe,” the release reveals. “During the years 2022-2023, SkyUp Airlines established partnerships with a total of 15 airlines, [and from 24FEB22-to mid-2023], SkyUp successfully conducted 11,124 ACMI flights and 1,071 charter flights […] across Europe, […] Egypt, Turkey, Tunisia, and several other countries.”
It aims to restart full-scale operations in EU from its European base with its fleet of 10 Boeing 737 and is committed to being among the first to resume operations in the Ukrainian airspace as soon as it is feasible. IBS Software’s cloud and NDC-native PSS platform will enable SkyUp to react flexibly to changing market conditions, be connected to many distribution channels, and run its core airline plus its Maltese subsidiary from one platform. SkyUp ventured into cargo in 2020. The release does not give an update of the airline’s plans in this direction.
Lyudmyla Slobodianiuk, CCO of SkyUp Airlines, declared: “We are excited to partner with IBS Software, a like-minded partner with innovation at its core, to power the restart of our commercial operations. IBS Software's cloud-native PSS will provide the platform for us to move quickly and adapt to changing market conditions. We are convinced the partnership will be an important foundation for future success.”
Benjamin Simmons, Vice President and Regional Head of Europe and Africa at IBS Software, commented: “We are delighted to be selected by SkyUp Airlines to power the restart of commercial operations. It is an honor to work with such a resilient and innovative airline as it continues to transform its business to overcome the adversity of both COVID and war. By supporting its commitment to replace legacy systems with next generation technology to serve its customers, we look forward to supporting SkyUp as it starts a new and exciting chapter in its history.”
WestJet Cargo now offers a Cuban connection
This month saw the start of a brand-new route in the WestJet Cargo network. The inaugural flight to Havana (HAV), Cuba, set off from Toronto (YYZ), Canada, on 23SEP23, and HAV-YYZ will now be served once a week with a full cargo Boeing 737-800, offering the market 20 tons of cargo capacity each time. Flight WS9154 departs YYZ every Saturday at 08:45, and lands around three-and-a-half hours later (12:22) in HAV. For WestJet Cargo, it is the first time the airline has served the Cuban capital. The connection was taken up to meet the growing demand for cargo transport in Canada. Whether it is General Cargo, Perishables, or certain Dangerous Goods, the airline ensures secure and efficient cargo transportation to Havana. The airline speaks of another milestone reached, having only begun its freighter services earlier this year with a strong focus on North America, initially.
Meanwhile, also over in Canada, Air Canada announced on 25SEP23, that it was substituting its order of two Boeing 777 freighter aircraft with an order for 18 Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner aircraft (and an option for 12 more), and, as a result, it would no longer be taking delivery of the two freighters that had been due in 2024.
Michael Rousseau, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada, showed a clear preference for passenger: “Air Canada has made investing in the passenger experience a core priority. Our experience shows customers greatly enjoy flying on the Dreamliner, so we are pleased to offer them a larger version of this popular aircraft, which will premiere a new, state-of-the-art interior cabin design. As importantly, the 787 is highly fuel efficient and will generate operational savings as well as support our sustainability goals of reducing emissions.” That said, LinkedIn videos showed a long line of Air Canada pilots demonstrating at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport (YYZ) on 29SEP23, calling for better wages and working conditions.
Happy 20th Birthday, Qatar Airways Cargo
What began as a single Airbus A300-600 converted passenger-to-freighter aircraft back in 2003, with first, regular operations from Doha to Amsterdam and Chennai, swiftly followed by New Delhi, has quickly grown into the world’s leading air cargo airline in the space of just twenty years. As Qatar Airways Cargo’s press release titles it: “Two decades of excellence in air freight”.
Nowadays, the cargo airline’s service offer includes over 160 passenger belly-hold and more than 70 freighter destinations, with a fleet of 200+ passenger aircraft and 31 pure cargo freighters. While the word “unprecedented” was hugely overused during the pandemic, it certainly fits when you look at the carrier’s dedication and drive over the past two decades. Alongside constant fleet and network expansion, the cargo airline launched its Next Generation strategy, scrutinizing and enhancing its broad product offering with a focus on efficiency, innovation, and digitalization (particularly its Digital Lounge, new website, and partner online marketplaces), and encouraging a mindset shift across its organization. “With the launch of its Next Generation strategy, Qatar Airways Cargo has defined its role in the air cargo industry by bringing a fresh and innovative approach to business across its network and operations: through enhanced products and services, cutting edge technology, a commitment to sustainability and diversity, investing in existing talent and attracting new ones,” the press release emphasizes, pointing to a celebratory time-line video that can be viewed on its LinkedIn page. It is also the first airline to have been awarded all current IATA CEIV certifications. This year saw it launch the Kigali Africa hub in partnership with RwandAir. Its WeQare Sustainability initiative, launched in 2020, has also triggered change for good across its borders. “As Qatar Airways Cargo enters its next decade, it remains dedicated to digitalization and sustainability and looks forward to continuing being at the forefront of air cargo's innovation and customer-centric solutions,” the release forecasts.
Elisabeth Oudkerk, Senior Vice-President, Cargo Sales and Network Planning, enthused: “As Qatar Airways Cargo celebrates 20 years of freighter operations, we extend our heartfelt thanks to our customers for their continuous trust in our services. We take immense pride in our history and anticipate contributing to the promising future of air freight.”
In other news, Qatar Airways Cargo has added two more Chinese destinations to its (belly cargo) network. Chengdu (TFU) and Chongqing (CKG) are each served with three weekly flights since 23SEP23 and 25SEP23, respectively.
WCAworld users can access Pledge’s emissions calculator
The world’s largest network of independent freight forwarders, WCAworld, has provided access to climate-tech company, Pledge’s ISO 14083-aligned carbon emissions calculator, in an effort to support change for the better. The move is part of the network’s ECO Program, and helps members measure freight emissions to comply with new sustainability reporting regulations such as the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) in the European Union (EU), the EU's recently proposed Green Claims Directive, and the UK's Sustainable Disclosure Requirements (SDRs). WCAworld members can not only determine their freight emissions using the calculator (based on cargo details, origin, and destination, and refined with additional shipment data such as shipment legs, port calls, stopovers, transshipments, and warehousing), but they can also access Pledge’s full Emissions Measurement Platform at a discounted rate, thus getting further support in setting emissions targets and determining reduction strategies.
David de Picciotto, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Co-Founder of Pledge, explained: “New reporting regulations are being rolled out globally, requiring shippers to calculate and report on emissions, including in their supply chains. Pledge is committed to providing industry-wide access to solutions that help forwarders and shippers comply, and embedding our free Freight Emissions Calculator on the WCAworld website is a key milestone in this.”
Dan March, CEO, WCAworld, commented: “Providing WCAworld members with an industry-leading emissions calculation and offsetting tool enables them to offer their customers the data they require and helps the independent forwarding community stay at the forefront of changes required by new environmental regulations.”
Automated forklifts on trial in BCN
Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) has embarked on a seven-month trial of Linde Autonomous Guided Vehicle (AGV) forklift trucks in its cargo terminal at Barcelona Airport. If successful, the AGVs will then be deployed at other WFS stations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Productivity and operational excellence gains are the focus of the trial, which see two types of AGV forklifts being used. They will operate in the inbound and outbound warehouse sections, moving cargo from the breakdown areas to racking storage locations within the warehouse as well as to the cargo delivery area. “We have allocated dedicated pick-up areas `for the trials in addition to 156 pallet storage rack locations,” Barcelona Station Manager, Marc Grau, explained. Hence AGV forklifts capable of providing automated pallet transport and serving both low and high cargo storage positions, have been chosen. “The trial has also integrated WFS’s Cargospot Mobile warehouse management system, supplied by CHAMP Cargosystems, with AGV Robotic WMS to provide a one-system solution,” the release states, continuing: “The AGV forklift trial will explore how the vehicles are able to reduce the number of transport tasks currently undertaken by Cargo Agent personnel, giving them more time to conduct other important duties, as well as assess opportunities for productivity improvements. Safety and security remain the number one priority, and this trial will be done in accordance with Racking Safety Requirements and strictly adhere to safety distances for transportation.”
Jimi Daniel Hansen, Vice President Operational Excellence – EMEAA at WFS, said: “We are very much looking forward to seeing how the use of AGV technology can enhance our cargo warehouse operations. We have chosen to do this first AGV forklift trial in Barcelona because it is a prime cargo station in the WFS network and one of the leading locations supporting our Operational Excellence initiatives. Our team in Spain are helping to drive the introduction of new technologies into our operations and to provide the proof-of-concept we need before we roll out these solutions at other cargo stations in our network.”
Adam Brownson, Group IT Programs and Business Relationships Manager added: “WFS has worked very closely with CHAMP to seamlessly integrate AGVs into the Cargospot Mobile warehouse management system to ensure we can embrace new AGV technologies with one core operating system. This is especially important in a busy, time-sensitive cargo handling environment and we value their partnership.”
Menzies Aviation gains seven ground handling licenses in Spain
With 7 ground handling licenses awarded by the Spanish Airport Authority (AENA) to Menzies Aviation recently, in a “landmark tender spanning 41 licenses at 43 airports across Spain,” the world’s largest ground handling tender has also become one of Spain’s main ground services partners. It has been operating in the country since 2004, and already provides services at seven other Spanish airports. Menzies will provide full ramp and passenger services from 2024 to 2031 at Barcelona (BCN), Palma Mallorca (PMI), Malaga (AGP), Alicante (ALC), Gran Canaria (LPA), Tenerife Sur (TFS), and Tenerife Norte (TFN) airports, and announced investments in equipment, employees, and facilities to enhance safety, sustainability, and performance. These investments include upskilling new employees, purchasing new electric Ground Service Equipment (GSE), new generation digital aircraft turn-around, and ensuring that its operational IT systems are connected and integrated with airport and airline IT platforms.
Miguel Gomez, Executive Vice President Europe, Menzies Aviation, said: “We are honored that the Spanish Airport Authority (AENA) has awarded Menzies licenses to deliver our safe and trusted services in seven airports across Spain, including two new airports. These stations will complement our existing operations across Europe, which now includes 51 airports in 16 countries, and follows successful acquisitions and partnerships in Montenegro, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Italy. We look forward to welcoming new colleagues to the Menzies team and creating an inclusive environment where everyone can reach their full potential and career goals. We recently agreed a new labor agreement with the main unions in Spain, which complements the handling sector's collective bargaining agreement, creating a great platform for success.”
Philipp Joeinig, CEO, Menzies Aviation, added: “We are extremely proud to be selected as one of the main ground handling partners by the Spanish Airport Authority (AENA). We take pride in providing the safest, most secure, and consistent services tailored to our customers' needs, and look forward to providing a full range of passenger and ramp services at seven airports in Spain and continuing to provide passenger services at a further seven airports. In August, airports in the AENA network hit a historical passenger record, with a 5.7% increase in airport turns. We look forward to working with AENA as a strategic partner, supporting our airline customers to continue this impressive growth.”
2 new airlines on board of WebCargo
Chapman Freeborn and Norse Atlantic Airways have recently both partnered with WebCargo by Freightos, bringing additional pricing, capacity, and instant reservation possibilities to the booking platform that is used by thousands of freight forwarders worldwide. Chapman Freeborn will go live with global capacity in early OCT23, while Norse Atlantic Airways will start offering the capacity of its Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet later this year, beginning with London to Barbados and Jamaica, and Oslo to Thailand. (The latter further expanding WebCargo’s footprint in Asia and the Caribbean), and seven destinations in the U.S. (including Miami, which offers connections to South America).
Manel Galindo, CEO of WebCargo, said: “The addition of Chapman Freeborn’s capacity into WebCargo’s platform means freight forwarders in some 10,000 offices worldwide will gain instant access to their vast and unparalleled global network, covering routes such as Liège to Chicago, Dubai and Singapore. Our combined strengths will provide competitive rates and a seamless booking and payment experience for forwarders who already conduct thousands of bookings every day on our platform.”
Of Norse, he said: “We’re excited to play a supporting role in Norse Atlantic’s growth as their primary air cargo digital sales platform. It’s a win-win for all–the thousands of forwarders currently on WebCargo, who will benefit from the increased cargo capacity, and the speed and flexibility of WebCargo’s unparalleled platform has the power to boost Norse’s cargo sales and brand growth.”
Reto Hunziker, President – Europe at Chapman Freeborn, added: “Chapman Freeborn facilitates 29,000 flights per year and has covered over nine million air miles. We have a track record of providing the best air cargo charter experience, and our strategic focus is on our customers’ air cargo needs. Our partnership with WebCargo by Freightos will create further visibility and awareness of our brand, help us gain deeper market penetration and enable our customers to benefit from the speed and flexibility of WebCargo’s unparalleled platform.”
Jennifer Bendelow, Head of Cargo at Norse Atlantic Airways, explained: “Cargo will play an important role in the future of Norse. Partnering with WebCargo is a testament to our commitment to innovation and to delivering exceptional services to our customers. Our Viking spirit of ingenuity, coupled with WebCargo's platform, will extend our reach to key freight markets.”
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