9th FEBRUARY 2016  
Emirates celebrates 10 years of successful operations in Thiruvananthapuram
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UAE, DUBAI February 8, 2016 - Emirates, the world’s largest international airline, marked 10 years of operations in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala.

Over the last decade, Thiruvananthapuram has emerged as an important passenger and cargo destination for the airline in the region. Since the start of its operations, Emirates carried over two million passengers on the route and moved up to 105,000 tonnes of cargo to and from Thiruvananthapuram.

“Southern India has always been a key market for Emirates and we are proud to complete 10 years of successful operations to Thiruvananthapuram. We’ve had healthy seat load factors on the route since we launched the service in 2006, demonstrating passengers’ demand for Emirates’ unique product and service and our commitment to the market,” said Ahmed Khoory, Emirates’ Senior Vice President Commercial Operations- West Asia and Indian Ocean.

“Whether for leisure, business or medical tourism, the state of Kerala remains one of the most popular destinations in India, attracting travellers from all around the world throughout the year. With 12 weekly flights and 17 tonnes of cargo capacity per flight, Emirates continues to facilitate inbound travel to India, strengthen trade links and connect passengers in Thiruvananthapuram to our expansive global network,” he added.

Located a few miles from the Arabian Sea, Thiruvananthapuram is an ideal gateway to India’s traditional Ayurvedic treatments and palm-fringed beaches of the Southern coastline. With a trading history that goes back a thousand years, Thiruvananthapuram is a melting pot of civilisations, all of which have left their mark- from brightly-coloured churches and hill-top palaces to colonial-housed museums and delectable cuisine.

Emirates also operates chartered freighters to and from Thiruvananthapuram to meet the market demand during local festivals like Kerala’s harvest festival, Onam and its New Year celebration, Vishu. Emirates’ Boeing 777 freighter aircraft is capable of carrying 103 tonnes of cargo, with its main deck being the widest of any aircraft, enabling it to uplift outsized cargo and carry larger consignments.

Emirates completed 30 years of operations in India in 2015, and has since grown its operations to serve 10 destinations[i] in the country. It is now the third-largest international carrier serving India, operating 10.4% of international capacity in the market. According to a recent study released by the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), Emirates' operations in India have contributed over $848 million annually to country's GDP while supporting over 86,000 Indian jobs and generating almost $1.7 billion in foreign exchange earnings.

[i] Emirates Dubai- Kozhikode service is currently suspended until further notice.

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Emirates SkyCargo wins International Air Cargo Carrier of the Year award in India
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Mumbai, India and Dubai, U.A.E., 8 February 2016 - Emirates SkyCargo has been named International Air Cargo Carrier of the Year at the Economic Times Logistics’ Awards in India. Organised by The Economic Times, India’s largest financial daily and the world’s second largest financial daily after The Wall Street Journal, the awards aim to recognise excellence in logistics that can set benchmarks for the respective industries in India.

KPMG India, one of India’s largest auditing and advisory company, rated the nominees on a set of criteria, including connectivity offered, the annual turnover and growth of the company. The winners were selected by a panel of judges nominated by the organisers.

Emirates SkyCargo is one of the key facilitators of cargo from India and operates stations in nine locations, including Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Cochin, Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Thiruvananthapuram. In 2015, the cargo leader transported over 168,000 tonnes of cargo from India. Key exports from this market include pharmaceuticals, chemicals, automotive parts, engineering spares, perishables and electronic items. In addition to belly space in the passenger aircraft, Emirates SkyCargo operates three weekly scheduled freighters from India. It also manages ad hoc charters for Indian exporters and consignees, who have special requirements and want to export special cargo for specific projects, such as local festivals and music concerts.

“Emirates started its cargo operations in India over 30 years ago and our capacity has grown to 183 weekly wide-body aircraft services connecting our customers in India to 150 cities in 80 countries around the world. We are also continually innovating to provide tailored solutions that answer our customers’ cargo requirements. We feel very honoured to have won this award and are pleased to know that our commitment to provide innovative cargo solutions is recognised in the market,” said Nabil Sultan, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Cargo.

Emirates SkyCargo is the world largest international air cargo carrier. Renowned for the highest standards of product quality in supporting business logistics, Emirates SkyCargo uses cargo hold capacity in Emirates’ fleet of 247 aircraft, including 15 freighters – 13 Boeing 777-Fs and two B747-400ERFs.

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Finnair Cargo Signs Strategic Agreement with Mercator for New Air Cargo Management System
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Helsinki, 4 February, 2016:
Finnair Cargo has signed an agreement with Mercator, a leading provider of software and technology-led solutions to the global aviation industry, for its air cargo management solution, SkyChain. The solution is scheduled to be implemented by October 2016, six months ahead of the opening of Finnair's new cargo terminal in spring 2017.

"We are very pleased to have Mercator as our partner in this important project. SkyChain will be an essential tool for us for years to come,” said Janne Tarvainen, Finnair's VP Head of Cargo. “The new system, alongside our investment in a new cargo terminal, will ensure we revolutionize Finnair’s cargo capability for our customers and partners.”

The new terminal is an integral part of Finnair's future growth plans as the new Airbus A350 XWB aircraft fleet will bring 50% more cargo capacity by 2020. The Mercator platform and new cargo terminal will ensure the smooth scaling and handling of Finnair’s cargo volumes.

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“SkyChain is a next-generation air cargo management solution that supports warehouse automatization, while enabling greatly improved planning and process optimization. Some of the most significant benefits delivered by SkyChain are advanced cargo capacity planning, as well as process steering capabilities,” commented Cormac Whelan, CEO of Mercator. “With partners like Finnair we are well positioned to build the most intelligent and predictable air cargo solution in the market today and more importantly, for tomorrow.”

Contract negotiations were conducted with legal support from Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek, one of the leading commercial law firms in Germany.

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Released 3rd February 2016

Key points:

yellow bullet Air freight volumes expanded 2.2% in 2015 overall, a slower rate of growth than in 2014. Air freight experienced notable weakness during the first half of 2015, but more recent months’ data show that earlier declines have bottomed out and there has been some modest improvement, consistent with developments in world trade.
yellow bullet The first chart below shows that air freight volumes declined gradually throughout H1 2015, mainly reflecting weakness in Asia. More recently, however, we have seen international trade stabilize, and FTKs are now higher than the low point in August.
yellow bullet All the major regions recorded weakness in air freight traffic in 2015. European carriers, for example, recorded a small decline in 2015 overall, contracting 0.1% compared to 2014. Although economic conditions showed some improvement in the Eurozone, trade (mostly exports) was subdued and hampered demand for air freight.
yellow bullet Asia Pacific airlines saw some expansion in air freight volumes, albeit at a slow rate of 2.3% in 2015 overall. Carriers in the region experienced declines in air freight throughout H1 2015, consistent with significant falls in trade to/from Asia. However, the recent trend in monthly volumes for Asia Pacific airlines suggests that the earlier declines have bottomed out, consistent with a slight pick-up in export growth in some Asian nations.
yellow bullet Carriers in the Middle East, by contrast, continued to see strong growth in 2015, with expansion of 11.3% compared to 2014. Airlines in this region have benefited from network expansion into emerging markets like Africa, and have been supported by solid growth in local economies, despite some slowdown due to the fall in oil prices.
yellow bullet Load factors declined in 2015 and during some periods of the year reached lows not seen since 2009. For the year overall, average air freight load factors were 44.1%, compared to 45.7% in 2014. Much of the decline was owing to weakness in demand, but continued growth in capacity also contributed.
yellow bullet The outlook for air freight and world trade remains fragile, but there are now some more signs that earlier declines in FTKs have bottomed out. Indicators in the Eurozone are looking better and globally, export orders have improved slightly. That said, it is too early to know whether this cautiously positive development will be sustained, as the global economy remains fragile.

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Hactl and CKS join forces to develop air cargo support services throughout PRD
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Hong Kong, 3 February 2016) HACTL Development Holdings Ltd (HDHL) – the business development arm of the Hactl Group - has entered into a Memorandam of Understanding (MoU) with Chu Kong Shipping Enterprises (Group) Co., Ltd. (CKS), a Hong Kong listed company.

CKS’ diverse operations include the management of the largest high-speed passenger ferry fleet in Hong Kong. It is also one of the largest inland terminal and logistics operators in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region, with bases covering 20 cities, including Zhaoqing, Qingyuan, Foshan, Guangzhou and Jiangmen. Additionally, it manages and operates several bulk cargo berths in the Hong Kong Public Cargo Working Areas, and owns a private wharf in Tuen Mun together with more than twenty cargo terminals in the PRD region, through its subsidiaries.

The objective of the MoU is to explore the joint development of logistics links and infrastructure in and around Hong Kong International Airport and the PRD region, supporting the air cargo sector. The cooperation aims to leverage CKS’ comprehensive logistics network, and Hactl’s expertise in operating a world class air cargo terminal.


CKS and Hactl (through its value added logistics subsidiary, Hacis) have a long history of cooperation; they were formerly partners in Hong Kong’s Marine Cargo Terminal.

Following the signing of the MoU, CKS and Hactl will form a working group whose first task will be to conduct a feasibility study focusing on opportunities within Hactl’s existing air cargo business in HKIA, and CKS’ logistics business in Hong Kong and the PRD region.

Mr. Xiong Gebing, Chairman / Managing Director of CKS, says: “This MoU with HDHL provides us with a welcome opportunity to work more closely with the leading force in air cargo handling in Hong Kong.

“This new agreement will see us diversify and develop our group’s logistics activities, while helping to underpin the status of Hong Kong International Airport as the world’s largest air cargo hub.”

HDHL Chairman, Mark Whitehead, adds: “We are delighted to join forces with such a strong and professional partner, and are greatly excited by the many potential opportunities to expand our respective activities and geographic coverage.

“We are open to all forms of cooperation with CKS related to air cargo operations in the PRD region, and the collaboration could involve Hactl, Hacis, HDHL or all three companies.”


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Warburg Pincus Appoints Cormac Whelan as Mercator CEO
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Dubai and London, 3 February 2016: Mercator Solutions (“Mercator”), a leading provider of technology-enabled solutions to the travel, transportation and logistics industry, backed by Warburg Pincus, a leading private equity firm focused on growth, today announced that Cormac Whelan has joined as Chief Executive Officer.

Whelan brings to Mercator an enviable track record founding and developing market leading companies known for innovative products and services, along with extensive experience and expertise in the airline and travel markets. He is currently the Chairman of Boxever, a fast-growing data science and customer intelligence platform, and previously the CEO of Datalex PLC, the largest digital retail platform provider to the global airline industry.

At Datalex, Whelan led a team that transformed the way over 500 million travelers purchased travel and travel related products and services, and helped change the way travel companies inspired and engaged their customers. Leading organizations, ranging from US West Coast based start-ups and public companies to European private and listed corporations have benefited from his blend of innovation, leadership, sales, marketing, and finance expertise.

Whelan said, “With Warburg Pincus in partnership with Mercator, the company is uniquely poised to become a disrupter in the global travel and transportation industry. There is untapped opportunity to harness the power of technology to transform the passenger experience and the way cargo is managed and delivered. Our vision is to capitalize on the power of Mercator’s market position, its software platforms, products, and managed services capabilities to drive the next level of innovation and engagement for travelers, shippers, and carriers alike.”

“Cormac is the right CEO to drive our growth following Mercator’s successful carve out from the Emirates Group last year. We are delighted to attract a leader with the vision to challenge current industry thinking and the ability to lead a team to design and deliver the right solutions.” commented Joseph Schull, Chairman of Warburg Pincus International LLC.

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MTU Aero Engines completes first turbine center frame for GE9X
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Munich, February 2, 2016 – The achievement is no mean feat: MTU Aero Engines in Munich has completed the first development turbine center frame (TCF for short) to go into the GE9X engine. “In this engine program, we are not only responsible for the manufacture of the TCF, but also assumed responsibility for its development right from the outset,” explained Dr. Jörg Henne, Senior Vice President Engineering and Technology, on the occasion of the last bolt ceremony held in Munich in late January. “On another positive note, to make the deadline, we have completed the first GE9X TCF within record time,” according to Theodor Pregler, Senior Vice President Commercial Programs at MTU in Munich.

The new GE engine has been selected to be the exclusive propulsion system for the Boeing 777X. Delivering more than 100,000 pounds of thrust, the GE9X will be the most fuel-efficient engine ever produced by GE Aviation on a per-pounds-of-thrust basis. The schedule is as follows: The first run of the engine is slated for this spring, and entry into service is expected for 2020. To date, firm orders have been received over 300 of the aircraft.

Said Pregler: “We have a stake of four percent in the GE9X program. This secures MTU a significant market share in one of the most important next-generation engines in the upper thrust category.” Long-haul commercial transports are considered a rapidly growing segment of the airliner market that is only moderately exposed to economic fluctuations. Taken over the entire life of the GE9X, MTU expects the program to generate revenues in the amount of some four billion euros. The TCF for the GE9X is the most highly sophisticated turbine center frame in MTU’s portfolio from a technology point of view. “Starting from the basic architecture of the TCF for the GEnx, we’ve made some comprehensive optimizations,” reported Henne. These improvements include enhanced constructions and a new suspension concept for the first LPT vane.

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A sophisticated engine component
The turbine center frame is the duct for the hot gas flowing from the high-pressure turbine into the low-pressure turbine. The structural component is essentially made up of two groups of parts: the hub strut case (HSC) and the flowpath hardware (FPH). The HSC is the main structural element and consists of a casing containing a number of support struts assembled around a hub with an integrated bearing chamber. The FPH is made up of castings that form the gas-flow duct. “The TCF is a highly engineered engine component serving a multitude of functions and is manufactured to tight tolerances,” explained Henne. Pregler added: “Thanks to our many years of experience in the field of TCFs, we’ve succeeded in further expanding our close and trustful partnership with GE.”

Germany’s leading engine manufacturer began to produce turbine center frames when it took a stake in the GP7000 engine powering the A380. Next in line was the TCF for the GEnx, the engine that powers the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the Boeing 747-8 long-range widebody airliner. MTU took on responsibility for the development and production of the GE9X module in July 2014.

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Towards a lighter, greener future: CHEP Aerospace Solutions and Fiji Airways renew ULD management partnership
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1 February 2016

CHEP Aerospace Solutions, the leading global provider of outsourced ULD pooling and repair solutions, is delighted to announce the renewal of its ULD management partnership with Fiji Airways, Fiji's national airline and proud flag carrier, for a further five years.

As part of the new contract, CHEP will introduce new lightweight containers from its 80,000 strong pool of assets to support Fiji Airways in reducing their fuel costs and lowering their CO2 emissions and help towards their sustainability targets.

Reflecting on the current and continued success, Fiji Airways General Manager for Freight, Watson Seeto, said: "Our outsourcing agreement with CHEP has returned the expected benefits of reduced costs and improved efficiencies and we are pleased to continue to entrust our ULD supply and management requirements to CHEP. As we would like to equip our fleet of modern aircraft with lightweight containers, we value the benefits of utilising a common pool of fuel-efficient composite units. CHEP's worldwide network also provides significant overlaps with other pool customers which means that we don't need to invest in more ULDs than absolutely necessary for our operations and we only pay for the assets that we actually use."

CHEP Aerospace Solutions President, Dr. Ludwig Bertsch said: "We have worked in partnership to develop a range of tailor-made solutions that support Fiji Airways' growth at the lowest total cost whilst delivering significant improvements in sustainability, and look forward to our continued relationship."


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22 January 2016

Cathay Pacific Airways today welcomed its first freighter showcasing the airline’s brand new livery. The freshly painted freighter, a Boeing 747-400ERF (Extended Range Freighter) arrived in Hong Kong from the HAECO facility in Xiamen on 19 January.

The new Cathay Pacific livery was first unveiled on one of the airline’s Boeing 777-300ER aircraft at a special event held at Hong Kong International Airport on 1 November 2015. A continuation of the work that began in late 2014 to refresh Cathay Pacific’s brand identity, the livery is a vital part of the airline’s brand image and a symbol of the company’s values displayed on its most important asset.

The new livery comprises three key design elements: the incorporation of the updated and streamlined brushwing; a simplification of the colour palette to Cathay Pacific green, grey, and white; and a more prominent display of the Cathay Pacific wordmark and brushwing. These updates are most evident on three areas of the aircraft: the nose, the fuselage, and the tail. Overall, these elements give a more contemporary feel to the livery, which is better aligned with the direction of Cathay Pacific’s overall brand redesign.

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Cathay Pacific General Manager Cargo Sales & Marketing Mark Sutch said: “We are delighted that a freighter was chosen as the second in-service aircraft to get the new Cathay Pacific livery. We have one of the world’s most comprehensive international cargo networks and it will be pleasing to see our Boeing 747-400ERF showcasing the airline’s new livery around the world. This livery refreshes our brand and symbolises our continuing efforts to consistently deliver excellent service to our customers.”

Cathay Pacific currently operates freighter services to 46 destinations and also carries freight in the bellies of its 140-plus passenger aircraft that serve a growing global network. The new livery will be progressively introduced onto all the aircraft in both its passenger and freighter fleets.

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