Aircargopedia Newsblast: February 2017!
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13th FEBRUARY 2017  

Dear Air Cargo Professional:

I hope you are enjoying the New Year wherever you are. As I write this article, New York has just experienced a major snowstorm, with precipitation of over 12 inches in many towns, and schools and offices closed across the state. Many flights have been cancelled. I hope and pray that good weather will prevail when I leave for Johannesburg next week to attend the much-awaited edition of STAT TIMES bi-annual AIR CARGO AFRICA CONFERENCE & EXHIBITION, starting on February 21st.

It has been many years since I visited South Africa. The last time I went there was to attend TIACA’s Annual General Meeting.
  DJ Ghosh
AIR CARGO AFRICA 2017 is attracting the top echelon of the air cargo industry who will discuss in detail why Africa is the next great frontier. More about that in my report next month.

Last month, I attended a presentation in New York by Copa Airlines CEO Pedro Heilbron. In an industry where airline CEO’s come and go every few years, Mr. Heilbron, COPA’s CEO since 1988, represents a small band of leaders who have prevailed, and provided their airlines with strong leadership over the very long term, with very successful results to show.

Founded in 1947 as the national airline of Panama, COPA began domestic operations to three cities in Panama. In 1980, it abandoned its domestic flights in favor of international flights, followed by a strategic partnership with Continental Airlines in 1988 during which period Mr. Heilbron took the reins as CEO of the fledgling carrier. Today, the airline serves 31 countries in North, South and Central America touching 71 destinations, including remote locations that need an air link. COPA currently has a five-year agreement with United Air Lines which allows passengers to connect their miles.

Located smack in the center of North and South America, Panama is an ideally located to serve as a hub for the Americas, and beyond. In fact, while listening to this presentation, I could not but help draw a comparison between Copa and the other great carrier located at a major hub, Emirates Airlines. Both airlines launched their international operations around the same time, led by visionary CEO’s and promoting their airports as hubs for the region and for the world. However, while Emirates has a major air cargo story to tell, with over US$3 billion in annual air cargo revenues, the world is still waiting to hear the air cargo story from COPA. In fact, when I asked Mr. Heilbron if his presentation would refer to COPA’s cargo operations, he regretted that this was not part of his script. We sincerely hope this will change soon. Every airline CEO should have a cargo story to tell, no matter how short.

COPA continues to deliver a ‘world class’ passenger product with the second best on time performance, two years in a row. Despite a highly competitive market and a challenging growth scenario in many of the countries that it flies to, COPA has held its course, steadily growing its fleet with modern Boeing narrow body aircraft over the years, while maintaining a degree of flexibility through well timed operating leases.

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Pedro Heilbron
Copa Airlines CEO

AIR CARGO AFRICA 2017, JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA: We will attend STAT TIMES’s bi-annual event in Johannesburg from 21st-23rd February, 2017. We strongly recommend that you attend and be a part of this magnificent event hosted by South African Airways. Mr. R.K. Patra and his team at STAT TIMES are without a doubt one of the world’s premier organizers of air cargo conferences and exhibitions with many outstanding events in India and Africa to their credit. Africa is the last great frontier for air cargo, and we know that this event will showcase the true potential of this great continent.

All the best.

Best wishes

D.J. Ghosh
President & Publisher
”The Complete Encyclopedia for the Air Cargo Professional & Investor”


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Ireland continues to build on its reputation as a centre of excellence for aircraft leasing and financing and as a jurisdiction to establish air cargo operations. Its position has been further enhanced in recent years. There are a number of reasons why Ireland attracts investment in this area which include its favourable tax regime, a wide double tax treaty network, the large number of bilateral air service agreements to which Ireland is a party and professional expertise. These factors combined with a government which is committed to growing and supporting the industry mean that Ireland has become the obvious location from which air cargo operators can base their operations.
Read about Irish Air Cargo>>

A non-asset based airline, or NABA, does not own or operate its own aircraft but acts as an airline in all other respects. For some, the concept of an airline without aircraft is troubling – an oxymoron or a misnomer. However, the same people would probably happily sit in a taxi without feeling compelled to enquire whether the driver owned the vehicle, was leasing it or was just using it for the day, provided that they arrived safely and were properly insured. Aviation is necessarily an asset-heavy industry, however it is worth bearing in mind that air cargo is a service. That is a point that can be easy to forget when the operational staff at most airlines vastly outnumber the commercial team.
Read about NABA >>

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ATSG to Webcast Presentation at Stifel Transportation & Logistics Conference

WILMINGTON, OH – February 9, 2017

Air Transport Services Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATSG) today announced that it will webcast its presentation at the Stifel Transportation & Logistics Conference in Key Biscayne, Florida, on Tuesday, February 14, 2017, at 12:15 p.m. Eastern Time.

Joe Hete, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Quint Turner, Chief Financial Officer, will make a presentation on ATSG’s business, strategy, results and outlook, and respond to questions. ATSG will offer a live audio webcast of the presentation via a link on its web site, or at A replay will be available at the same sites for 30 days.

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Edgewood, Md. – 7 February 2017

Smiths Detection Inc. (SDI) President, Dan Gelston, today issued the following statement in response to a new report from the House Homeland Security Committee entitled, “America’s Airports: The Threat from Within.” This statement includes an announcement of a pilot project with Miami International Aiport on a first-of-its-kind airport employee screening project.

“This report provides further evidence for what experts have known for a long time, that despite employee background checks and access control measures at airports, the ‘insider threat’ remains one of the greatest threats to aviation. As a result, technology solutions must play a key role in addressing this issue. We commend U.S. Representative John Katko (NY-24), Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee’s Transportation and Protective Security Subcommittee, for releasing this important report.

“The report makes clear that only a two-pronged approach to combatting the ‘insider threat’ at airports – namely relying on people (background checks) and process (access control) -- is leaving a dangerous gap in efforts to mitigate the threat. A truly comprehensive approach to preventing criminal and terrorist acts in airports must include threat detection technology solutions with multi-view X-ray and Explosives Trace Detection (ETD), paralleling those seen at passenger checkpoints around the world. Such non-intrusive screening technologies assure greater security without sacrificing speed, accuracy or efficiencies.

“The report also correctly notes that targeted screening, which relies on the right technology solutions with portable capabilities, offers airport operators increased visibility into threats in their facilities. Furthermore, it provides effective deterrence while supporting continued operational efficiency and minimizing costs.

“With over 40 years’ experience, Smiths Detection has insight into the security challenges of regulators, airlines and airport professionals and has helped them to prevent explosives, chemical weapons, guns and other contraband from getting onto airplanes and crossing borders. We look forward to using that experience to work with Congress and airport operators to help them make the critical security improvements called for in this report.” .

Most recently, in a focused effort to assist U.S. airport operators with the myriad complexities associated with employee screening, SDI has partnered with Miami International Airport in a first-of-its-kind employee screening pilot project. The MIA pilot, launched in January of this year, deploys SDI’s latest capabilities in multi-view x-ray and explosive trace detection equipment placed in one of MIA’s industry-leading employee checkpoints. The pilot is designed to help develop a replicable concept of operations and demonstrate high-accuracy threat detection coupled with fast and efficient movement of employees through the screening experience.

“Over a decade ago, MIA made the commitment voluntarily to invest in employee screening absent any federal requirements because we felt it was the right thing to do,” said Emilio T. González, Miami-Dade Aviation Director. “We have renewed our commitment to this important component of airport crime-fighting and anti-terrorism by partnering with SDI in an effort to again raise the bar and demonstrate the art of the possible.”

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IATA: Cargo Chartbook - Q4 2016

Cargo Chartbook - Q4 2016
Released 8th February 2017

Key points from our quarterly report on the air freight industry and markets:

• Industry wide FTKs grew 3.8% in 2016, the 2nd highest growth rate since the 2010 rebound after
   the GFC
• Global economic growth is expected to accelerate moderately in 2017, however world trade
   remains fragile
• But expansion in export orders and strong consumer confidence may boost air cargo demand
• Air cargo profitability outlook under strain due to increase in capacity and rising fuel costs

Download Cargo Chartbook- Q4 2016

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Jettainer launches ULD management for Brussels Airlines

Frankfurt / Brussels, 7 February 2017

Jettainer, the leading international service partner for outsourced ULD management, has taken over the management and maintenance of the containers for Brussels Airlines. A specially designed ULD was handed over to the airline to manifest the start of operations and it will travel as an ambassador for the two companies in future. The change of ULD management provider came into force on 5 February.

Brussels now has a brand-new fleet consisting of about 1,000 ULDs, many of them AKEs. These are all modern lightweight units. The reduction in weight with the same robustness will help reducing fuel consumption thus be beneficial to the environment. Jettainer is continuing to expand its network in a whole range of African regions thanks to its new customer; they are traditionally served from Brussels.

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“We’re looking forward to servicing Brussels Airlines. As a result, our network of stations will increase significantly in the African region. We’re very proud to offer our latest customer a range of innovations: In addition to the units themselves, we’re also enhancing our company’s own IT systems. The new JettApp reflects our continual development and our strong innovative capability,” says Martin Kraemer, Head of Marketing & PR at Jettainer.

Jettainer’s own IT solution, JettWare, premiers on smartphones, in addition to the extremely robust, rugged tablets, the JettPads. This meets the company’s requirement for even greater flexibility and simple adaptability by employees at local stations.

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Belgian Prime Minister visits CAL group Israeli HQ

6th February 2017

On February 6th 2017, the Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel paid a visit to the CAL group HQ. CAL group is one of the leading Israeli companies establishing and maintaining strong commercial relationships in Europe and the United States. The strong relationship with Belgium was founded twenty years ago when Cal group purchased LACHS, its advanced logistics hub in Liege (Belgium) and was the first airline to operate out of Liege airport. The respected Prime Minister was eager to get an impression of CAL's unique abilities.

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CAL Group was established in 1976 and proudly maintains three major areas of expertise: (1) CAL Cargo Airlines- an all-cargo airline; (2) LACHS – Ground handling services in Liege cargo airport; (3) Trucking services throughout Europe and the USA. ACE – a separate company, under the CAL Group umbrella, is in the midst of establishing a Belgian AOC in the cargo field. The CAL Group specializes in unique and complex cargo operations and provides door to door service throughout Europe and the US. Its main hub, located in Liege, provides immediate accessibility to all of Europe. Services include scheduled routes as well as ad-hoc and charter missions. CAL is a private company owned by Mr. Offer Gilboa as the controlling shareholder and Viola Credit Fund as a minority shareholder. It maintains offices worldwide as well as a strong network of GSA’s.

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For more information please contact:
Navot Hirschhorn +972526067750

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IATA: Air Freight Market Analysis - December 2016

Air Freight Market Analysis - December 2016
Released 2nd February 2017

Key points from our report on air freight markets in December:
• Global air freight tonne kilometres (FTKs) grew by a solid 3.8% in 2016, following a strong second half of the year.
• European carriers posted the fastest FTK growth (for the first time ever), ahead of airlines from the Middle East
• Business surveys point to near-term momentum for air cargo in early-2017, but the wider trade outlook is uncertain.
• Freight load factor eased in 2016 as a whole, but has risen strongly in seasonally adjusted terms in recent months.

Download the Air Freight Market Analysis

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CHEP Aerospace Solutions set to rebrand as Unilode

2 February 2017

CHEP Aerospace Solutions, the leading global provider of outsourced Unit Load Device (ULD) management and ULD and inflight equipment repair solutions, has been rebranded to Unilode Aviation Solutions following its acquisition by EQT Infrastructure in November 2016.

The name Unilode was created from the first letters of 'unit load device', referencing the essential aviation components at the heart of the business. Coincidentally, 'lode' is an old English word meaning rich source or supply. The phonetic spelling also echoes terms such as load and payload that are widespread across the aviation services industry and references the wider activities of the business concerning inflight equipment solutions.

Given the scale of the business - Unilode owns and manages approximately 100,000 ULDs for more than 40 airline customers across a network of 450 airports and 48 repair and service centres -, the new brand will be phased in throughout 2017. It will be officially unveiled at the upcoming IATA World Cargo Symposium taking place in Abu Dhabi from 14 to 16 March.

The new Unilode logo comprising the picture mark and word mark will appear on containers in the coming months and will retain the current black label which is already familiar to airlines and ground handlers.

London-based corporate branding specialists Spinach, who developed the new name, visual identity and values system following a series of workshops with key stakeholders, will oversee the global roll-out providing full brand guidelines and support to staff in all major hubs.

Unilode CEO and President Dr. Ludwig Bertsch comments, "This is an incredibly exciting time for the business and our new brand will encapsulate the positive energy across our global team. Accessible, memorable and true to our core values, Unilode is a name we are proud to stand behind as we continue to consolidate our position as the world's leading provider for outsourced ULD and inflight equipment solutions."


MIAMI, February 2, 2017

Miami International Airport officials welcomed Mexican low-cost carrier Volaris to the Miami market yesterday, when the airline began four weekly flights to Guadalajara and daily flights to Mexico City on Airbus A320 aircraft. Guadalajara is now the sixth destination in Mexico with nonstop service from MIA, while Volaris is the airport’s fourth airline serving Mexico and its eighth low-cost carrier. Volaris serves more than 60 destinations in Mexico, the United States, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Puerto Rico.

After a press conference featuring remarks by officials from the Miami-Dade Aviation Department (MDAD), Volaris, and the Guadalajara Convention and Visitors Office (OFVC), there was a ceremonial ribbon-cutting and refreshments for passengers and guests before Volaris’ first departure from Miami to Guadalajara.

“We welcome Volaris and their passengers to Miami-Dade County, and we wish them success as they begin to serve our community,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Giménez. “Our residents will also certainly benefit from another air service option to MIA’s second-busiest international market.”

Volaris is the first of four passenger airlines to announce Miami service launches in 2017. On February 4, Canadian airline First Air will begin charter passenger flights from Ontario, on behalf of Celebrity Cruises. In April, low-cost transatlantic airline WOW air will launch thrice-weekly service to Reykjavík, Iceland. Lastly, Aer Lingus, the national airline of Ireland, will launch first-ever service from Dublin, Ireland in September, with three weekly flights. The four new airlines will add to MIA’s current total of 107 carriers – the most of any U.S. airport.

“We are honored that Volaris has chosen to expand its South Florida operations to MIA, and we look forward to welcoming their additional passengers from Guadalajara and Mexico City,” said Miami-Dade Aviation Director Emilio T. González. “Mexico continues to be a growing international market for us, and we are proud to offer local residents more service to these two popular destinations.”

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Mumbai International Airport joins Pharma.Aero initiative

February 2, 2017

Brussels Airport (BRU) and Mumbai International Airport (MIAL) proudly announce their partnership in the recently launched Pharma.Aero initiative focused on improving pharma handling and quality in the air cargo industry. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was formally inked during the first edition of Pharma Logistics Summit, organised by Indian Transport & Logistics News (ITLN) held in Mumbai on Thursday.

With the signing of this deal, MIAL is the first airport in India to embark on a community approach for the IATA CEIV (Centre of Excellence for Independent Validators) Pharma certification, thereby raising the local community’s handling standards and capability for temperature-sensitive pharma cargo.

Speaking on the partnership, Nathan De Valck, Chairman, Pharma.Aero, “We are thrilled that Mumbai Airport has confirmed their keen interest on becoming the first Indian airport to join the Pharma.Aero initiative as a strategic member. So they will take the co-ordinating role within the Indian subcontinent in bringing the shippers together and creating end-to-end pharma lanes together with us. So the benefit for all participating airports and shippers is that we will collaborate on creating end-to-end certified pharma lanes, sharing best practices in improving the overall handling quality of pharmaceutical shipments.”

Steven Polmans, Head of Cargo, Brussels Airport Company, said, “In the not too far distance, selective gateways will handle more pharmaceuticals in a better way. Brussels Airport wants to be one of these selective gateways. And I am sure Mumbai Airport shares that desire. For that reason, Brussels Airport took the initiative together with some other important airports to create a new organisation: Pharma.Aero. This organisation was created to offer you, the shipper, dedicated pharma lanes around the globe.”

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On joining the Pharma.Aero initiative, Manoj Singh, Senior Vice President and Head of Cargo, Mumbai International Airport said, “We are very pleased to sign the MoU with the Pharma.Aero team. It is something very different from any other associations, which is more focused on the airports and shippers connecting. We believe this will really add value, quality and safety standards in the entire pharma industry. This focused product management will grow leaps and bounds and the airports are going to be informed through shippers what exactly the quality they demand. This will open communication channels among stakeholders of pharma supply chain.”

Pharma Aero, the new umbrella organisation initiated by Brussels Airport and Miami International Airport, was officially kicked off at the TIACA Air Cargo Forum in Paris. One of the prerequisites for Pharma.Aero membership is a certification and full endorsement of the standards set out in the IATA Pharma CEIV scheme.

PHARMA.AERO is a collaboration of pharmaceutical shippers and airport community stakeholders that embrace the IATA CEIV Pharma program and that are focused on further building on the expertise gained in the program. Members of this organization will share a common goal of strengthening pharma certified trade lanes and extending pharma cold supply chains to reach new international markets.

While Brussels Airport and Miami International Airport led the foundation of Pharma.Aero, other stakeholders of the air cargo supply chain soon joined the initiative to give it global identity. Singapore Changi Airport (SIN) is the first airport in Asia to join Pharma.Aero as a strategic member. Sharjah International Airport (SHJ) became the first airport in the Middle East to join the initiative. Other members include Brussels Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Brinks Life Sciences and Johnson & Johnson.

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