Weekly News Roundup 29 August – 5 September

A brief roundup of the news and events that took place last week… all in 2½ minutes…

 

Asia

Hitting the news this week in Asia was the pummelling of parts of Japan, particularly around Osaka where Typhoon Jebi made landfall briefly as a Super Typhoon and then later slightly under that category with 172 km/h wind gusts. Substantial damage occurred as the typhoon made its way across to the western coast of the country, but not before submerging large parts of Osaka’s Kansai International Airport (KIX) due to a massive storm surge.

In Taiwan news out of the typically low key cargo carrier, China Airlines Cargo which announced a new scheduled maindeck charter service to Rickenbaker Airport in the US city of Columbus, Ohio. The carrier will operate three weekly charter flights with B747-400 freighter aircraft. So far this year the carrier – with 88 passenger and cargo aircraft including 18 B747-400F freighters – has been enjoying healthy cargo business with total cargo revenues in the first seven months of 2018 amounting to TWD 26.18 trillion (USD 858.8 billion), an increase of 16 per cent over the same period 2017 and accounting for 27 per cent of total group revenues.

Next door in China, state-owned Air China said it would sell a 51 per cent stake in Air China Cargo to a sister unit – Capital Holding – for 2.44 billion yuan (USD 357 million) as a result of intensifying competition and the ongoing trade war between China and the US. The sale will put Capital Holding’s ownership at 51 per cent of the all-cargo airline, while Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific will retain its 49 per cent stake.

The country’s largest express carrier SF Airlines, a division of SF Express, begins weekly B767F service to Singapore Changi Airport from Shenzhen, China – the first Chinese express airline to operate between Singapore and China. With the addition of SF Airlines’ weekly B767F service, maindeck airfreight capacity to and from Shenzhen will increase by about 16 per cent on this route, the Changi Airport Group (CAG) said.

China’s civil aviation authority has given the green light to China Northwest International Cargo Airlines, the country’s first cross-border cargo airline consisting of joint public/private investment by privately-owned firms and the government. Based out of Xi’an Xianyang International Airport (XIY) in northwestern China, the carrier’s operations will include cargo and mail services to domestic and regional destinations, including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, as well as other international destinations.

Hong Kong-based Kerry Logistics has enjoyed a bumper half year performance, with turnover up 27 per cent and core net profit up 22 per cent, driven by intra-Asian trade which benefited from the ongoing China-US trade dispute. William Ma, Kerry Logistics Group managing director noted that the China-US trade dispute has caused manufacturing capacities to shift from Mainland China to other Asian countries, bringing about an increase in shipping volume and production activities in Asia, particularly Southeast Asia.

Cathay Pacific Cargo is enjoying a “very strong” year in the Americas so far, with the cargo carrier saying its monthly network performance has continued to grow from last year’s base and July was a particularly strong month for transshipment volumes from the US via Hong Kong.

The Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV) says it will upgrade several airports in the country between 2018-2025 to meet rapidly growing demand, while Vietnam Airlines has recently signed an agreement to build a new logistics hub in Can Tho City in the Mekong Delta. Included in this is the first phase of the new Ho Chi Minh City airport – Long Thanh International Airport – where ACV will invest more than VND 92.1 trillion in the passenger terminal, airfield and cargo terminal during the first phase, which will be completed in 2025.

Meanwhile in Thailand, Bangkok-based THAI Airways has awarded Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) with a new five-year contract for cargo handling in the UK and Ireland. Effective 1 September, WFS will provide handling for THAI’s double daily A380 and B777 passenger flights from London Heathrow to Bangkok, as well as regional cargo handling across its UK and Ireland stations and trucking network connecting each airport location.

Shifting focus to Downunder, former Cathay Pacific CEO and International Air Transport Association (IATA) CEO Tony Tyler has been appointed as a non-executive director to the Board of Qantas Airways Limited. Tyler will formally join the board in October 2018 subject to a shareholder vote on his appointment.

Indian Subcontinent

India’s low-cost carrier SpiceJet will launch its dedicated cargo operations using maindeck equipment in September, becoming the first domestic airline to start dedicated freighter division. SpiceJet will be leasing B737-800BCF, with a capacity of up to 24 tonnes.

Middle East

Emirates SkyCargo has successfully transported the first group of 67 horses – the first of 19 flights – for the FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018. The horses were flown from Liege (LGG), Belgium to Greenville-Spartanburg (GSP), US in an Emirates SkyCargo B777 freighter aircraft. With over 500 horses being flown for the Games, this is the largest air horse charter that has been undertaken for a single sporting event.

Etihad Cargo and Trinity Logistics USA have announced the multi-year renewal of their partnership that will see the airline continuing to operate three weekly B777 Freighter services into Rickenbacker International Airport (LCK) in Columbus, Ohio, on behalf of Trinity.

The Investment Corporation of Dubai, the country’s state investment arm, is launching ISS Global Forwarding, a wholly-owned subsidiary focused on supply chain logistics. The establishment of ISS Global Forwarding is the result of a strategic directive by the Government of Dubai to separate Inchcape Shipping Services, into two standalone companies

Europe

Turkish Cargo continues its network expansion with the latest destinations being Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, and Muscat, the capital of Oman, to its direct cargo flight network. Following launch of these new cargo flights, Turkish Cargo increased the number of its cargo flights destinations to 85.

Worldwide air cargo yield dropped slightly to USD 1.88 in July 2018, 0.6 per cent lower than in June, but still 12.2 per cent higher than in July 2017, according to the latest analysis from WorldACD Market Data. Measured in Euro’s, the yield decreased by 2.2 per cent month-over-month (MoM), while the year-over-year (YoY) increase was 10.5 per cent.

Kuehne + Nagel (K+N) is investing in its European Pharma fleet to strengthen the KN PharmaChain overland service in the Europe region, the global forwarding and logistics company saying it is “well prepared for the peak season ahead”. Kuehne + Nagel has successfully deployed 35 new pharma trailers and before end of the year another 45 will be added to the existing fleet, with a further planned expansion of 200 trailers in the coming years to meet what is says is the ongoing market growth for temperature-controlled shipments.

CEVA Logistics has been appointed to operate the first distribution centre in Asia Pacific for Honeywell Aerospace Trading (HAT), based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Located within the Bukit Jelutong Industrial Park, the new distribution centre provides supply chain solutions for HAT’s pre-owned certified parts to end users.

Aerospace logistics company, B&H Worldwide, has signed an agreement to handle AOG and routine traffic as service cargo to and from London Gatwick on behalf of airBaltic.

Hermes Germany is acquiring US-based SEKO Logistics’ German business as it seeks to leverage the combined competencies in e-commerce B2B and B2C businesses. The acquisition is effective from 1 September.

FinnaiFinnair Cargo has appointed Air Logistics China Ltd. as General Sales and Service Agent (GSSA) in mainland China. The agreement in Guangzhou (CAN), Xian (XIY) and Chongqing (CKG) will be effective from 1 September. In Nanjing (NKG) the agreement has been in place since 1 August. Meanwhile on the Indian Sub-continent, Finnair Cargo extends its long relationship in India with Global Aviation Services to its operations in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka where Global Aviation Services will handle GSSA actives on behalf of the Finnish carrier.

Kuehne + Nagel says it will establish an integrated region of Europe, as of 1 January 2019 in order to “further increase the growth momentum”.

Americas

Chile-based carrier LATAM Cargo has launched a dedicated offline pharma hub in the Danish capital of Copenhagen from 1 September. LATAM cited “strong demand” on air cargo routes between Europe and Latin America for the opening of its 10th pharma hub.

Africa

Ethiopian Airlines has launched the first of two weekly freighter flights between the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa (ADD) and Miami, creating the first-ever all-cargo route between the African continent and Miami International Airport (MIA). The scheduled flights will operate on a route that includes intermediate stops in Spain (ZAZ), Colombia (BOG) and Belgium (LGG) on inbound and outbound services. All flights will utilise B777-200LRF freighter aircraft.

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