ARAB BANK GROUP REPORTS NET PROFITS OF $544.3 MILLION FOR 2022, 25% CASH DIVIDENDS

Dubai, UAE—Arab Bank Group achieved solid results for the period ending December 31, 2022, with net income after tax of $544.3 million as compared to $314.5 million in 2021. The Group’s performance was driven by robust growth in its core banking business across different markets, as net profit before provisions and tax increased by 23% to reach 1.35 billion US dollars.

Excluding the impact of devaluation of several currencies against the US dollar, loans and deposits grew by 5% to reach $35.4 billion and $ 47.7 billion, respectively, despite the volatile operating environment.
In view of these results, the Board of Directors has recommended to the shareholders, the distribution of 25% cash dividends for the financial year 2022.

Mr. SabihMasri, Chairman of the Board of Directors, commented that Arab Bank was able to achieve several key strategic objectives in 2022 despite the challenges that emerged during the year. He also added that the results reflect the bank’s unique footprint as well as its diversified franchise and rooted presence in several markets.

He said the bank remains committed to its strategic sustainable growth direction centered on serving customers’ evolving needs, and continuing to invest in innovation and digital transformation.

Ms. RandaSadik, Chief Executive Officer, stated that Arab Bank continued to deliver sustainable growth rates during 2022 despite the economic challenges stemming from high inflation, increased interest rates and the devaluation in exchange rates of several currencies against the US dollar. The bank’s net operating profit grew by 23% driven by the growth in revenues from its core banking business, its diversified sources of income, with focus on non-interest income, as well as controlling operating expenses in line with the bank’s prudent strategy.

Ms. Sadik added that the Group’s liquidity and asset quality remains solid where loan-to-deposit ratio stood at 74.2% and credit provisions held against non-performing loans continue to exceed 100%. Arab Bank Group maintains a strong capital base that is predominantly composed of common equity with a capital adequacy ratio of 16.6%

She also highlighted that as part of Arab Bank’s commitment towards Sustainability and its Environmental, Social and Governance (“ESG”) priorities, the bank has launched its inaugural Sustainable Finance Framework, in line with international principles, guidelines and best practices.

Arab Bank is the first bank in Jordan to adopt such a Framework and the bank has obtained a Second Party Opinion from S&P Global Ratings, which has affirmed the Framework’s alignment with the related international principles.

Arab Bank was named “Best Bank in the Middle East 2022” for the seventh consecutive year by New York-based international publication “Global Finance”. The bank also received several awards in recognition of its corporate and consumer digital banking services in Jordan and across the MENA region.The 2022 financial statements are subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Jordan.

Abu Dhabi Airports and Etihad Cargo to co-host World Cargo Summit 2023

Abu Dhabi, UAE—Abu Dhabi Airports and Etihad Cargo are co-hosting the highly anticipated World Cargo Summit 2023, which takes place over three days at Hilton Abu Dhabi, Yas Island, from January 30to February 1.

Under the theme ‘Embracing Opportunities and Challenges’, the event will welcome delegates from airlines, airports, freight forwarders, project developers, aviation service providers and other industry professionals, providing a unique networking platform for attendees to explore the most promising business possibilities in air freight today, as well as present, discuss and debate key industry issues.

This time around, the World Cargo Summit is held onground after two successful virtual events in 2021 and 2022, with a host of international speakers who will be providing insights, information and perspectives on how air freight players can adapt their business models to thrive in the years ahead, in addition to, exploring whether or not the industry will witness long-term disruption.

H.E. Jamal Salem Al Dhaheri, CEO & Managing Director, Abu Dhabi Airports, said: “We are proud and privileged to be hosting this important, influential event alongside Etihad Cargo. The event provides all stakeholders with the perfect platform to come together and explore opportunities. It also lays the foundations for sustainable air freight growth and development, and establishes the most prudent avenues for overcoming barriers to advancement. The World Cargo Summit is the perfect occasion for accelerating progress in this direction. We look forward to the event as we take the next strides forward on route to realising our long-term objectives whilst reinforcing Abu Dhabi and the UAE’s position as a leading regional and international air cargo hub.”

With over 350 delegates from over 35 countries attending the World Cargo Summit 2023, Abu Dhabi Airports alongside co-hosts Etihad Cargo will explore opportunities with investors and further develop an industry now crucial to regional and global trade activities. Abu Dhabi Airports’ commitment to driving air freight development was most recently showcased with the completion of its Cargo Village and Terminal rehabilitation project.

In partnership with Etihad Cargo and Etihad Airport Services, the company re-launched these facilities with vital new infrastructure, including a state-of-the-art 3,000 sqm pharmaceutical cool chain facility at Abu Dhabi International (AUH). This facility has doubled the airport’s cool chain capacity and enhanced capabilities to handle temperature-sensitive cargo such as pharmaceuticals, healthcare and life sciences products and support logistics requirements.

Martin Drew, Senior Vice President – Global Sales & Cargo at Etihad Aviation Group, said: “Etihad Cargo is pleased to co-host World Cargo Summit 2023 alongside Abu Dhabi Airports, bringing a highlight of the air cargo sector’s event calendar to the UAE’s capital for the first time. The air cargo industry has shown tremendous resilience in the face of very challenging market conditions. World Cargo Summit 2023 provides stakeholders with the perfect platform to come together and explore how the sector can achieve sustainable growth through collaboration and the power of partnerships. Etihad Cargo looks forward to welcoming airlines, airports, freight forwarders, project developers, aviation service providers and other industry professionals to Abu Dhabi for an event that promises to offer unrivalled knowledge-sharing and networking opportunities.”

SEKO Logistics announces new senior vice president, global ecommerce

SCHAUMBURG, ILLINOIS—SEKO Logistics(SEKO), the leader in end-to-end global logistics, announced its latest advancement in its global ecommerce business with the appointment of Richard MacLaren as the new Senior Vice President, Global Ecommerce.

MacLaren will be responsible for enhancing and executing the overall strategy and structure for the SEKO ecommerce business. He will lead the SEKO team in delivering high-velocity ecommerce logistics solutions for clients to excel global supply chain growth, quickly and sustainably.

Richard brings over 20 years of experience in supply chain, logistics, contract logistics, ecommerce, and cross-border ecommerce to this position. Prior to joining SEKO, Richard was the global senior vice president for consumer goods and ecommerce at Hellmann Worldwide Logistics (Hellman).

He led teams across the world, including Asia, Oceania, Europe and the Americas. He was also part of the global leadership team reporting into Hellmann’s supervisory board in Germany. Following an early career in finance, Richard transitioned into sales and commercial roles followed by a leadership role involving the creation of a North American third-party logistics (3PL) and supply chain consultancy business.

“Global ecommerce demand only continues to increase,” said Steen Christensen, Chief Operating Officer at SEKO. “To efficiently and successfully cross borders, retailers are looking to partner with logistics providers who are prepared to meet their needs around on the world and in individual local markets. Richard brings that leadership expertise. He’s the right person to lead the future of our ecommerce business and help our clients move their supply chains forward.”

SEKO is a leader in ecommerce fulfillment, becoming one of the first companies to enter the market in 2011. Since, the company launched its dedicated business unit focused on global ecommerce solutions, called SEKO Ecommerce, in 2022, and monthly, SEKO ships over 10 million parcels around the world. With over 150 locations across more than 60 countries, SEKO prides itself on delivering consistent ecommerce shipping solutions locally, as well as providing access to the resources and expertise of a single, seamless worldwide logistics company.

“The global supply chain and ecommerce market is rapidly evolving, but the SEKO team has built a foundation to respond to these changes effectively. This team moves fast, with sound strategy, and I feel energized to be joining this group of logistics experts,” shared Maclaren. “Already, SEKO’s multi-channel fulfillment centers span the globe and allow clients to open up sales strategies to new markets and scale business with a single integration. Through our network of ecommerce hubs and multi-user logistics sites, we’re currently giving our clients the ability to maximize their global footprint effortlessly. My vision is to continue to hone that strategy and identify new opportunities to help our clients even more.”

CEVA Logistics integrates GEFCO brand with its growingglobal business

MARSEILLE, France—The GEFCO brand built in 1949 by French automaker Peugeot is now CEVALogistics.With their integration, a dedicated Finished Vehicle Logistics (FVL) organization has been created.

The French automotive logistics specialist was acquired in July 2022 by the CMA CGM Group, a global player in sea, land, air and logistics solutions, to which CEVA Logistics belongs.

GEFCO’s remaining business, mostly in contract logistics and ground transportation, is being integrated into CEVA’s existing operations. CEVA says it plans to finish integration activities and replace the GEFCO brand worldwide in 2023.

CEVA Logistics offers a full range of global logistics and supply chain services, including contract logistics and air, ocean, ground and finished vehicle transport. With the acquisition and integration of GEFCO, CEVA is now the largest France-based logistics company and a global leader in automotive logistics solutions. The company moved its global headquarters to Marseille in 2019.

Former GEFCO COO Emmanuel Cheremetinski will lead the new product organization, leading a global team of about 4,000 employees.

GEFCO’s former FVL division transported approximately 4 million vehicles a year using its fleet of 1,600 trucks, nearly 3,000 vehicle transport wagons and more than 100 vehicle compounds. CEVA’s existing FVL solutions in limited geographies have been integrated into the new product organization.

Prior to the GEFCO acquisition, CEVA already supported 14 of the top 15 global automotive manufacturers and many global automotive parts suppliers with logistics solutions, including inbound to manufacturing, component and aftermarket services. With the addition of full vehicle distribution and transport, CEVA can offer full lifecycle solutions to the global automotive industry.

“Our promise of Responsive Logistics requires high levels of industry know-how, so we are growing in both scale and expertise to co-create value with our customers. With our new CEVA colleagues who came from GEFCO, we are able to offer extensive global capabilities to a wide range of industries, including the automotive industry. Backed by the CMA CGM Group, we expect our growth to continue as we target becoming a Top 3 global 3PL,” said Mathieu Friedberg, CEO, CEVA Logistics.

Guillaume Col, Deputy CEO, Regions and Products, CEVA Logistics,noted:“With the automotive industry undergoing significant transformation, integrating a mature finished vehicle organization puts CEVA in a very strong position. With a unique depth of expertise and solutions at all stages of the automotive supply chain, we are already developing comprehensive, end-to-end solutions for this sector.”

Saudi investing $2.4 billion in a new venture with DP World

Dubai, United Arab Emirates—Saudi Arabia-based Hassana Investment Company, on behalf of the Saudi Arabian pension and social insurance organization, General Organization of Social Insurance, will invest approximately US$2.4 billion in a new joint venture with DP World, through which it will hold a stake of approximately 10.2% in Jebel Ali Port, Jebel Ali Free Zone, and the National Industries Park.

The investment by Hassana implies a total enterprise value of approximately US$23 billion for the three flagship assets.

This investment is the second tranche of the sale by DP World, a global infrastructure-led supply chain solutions provider, of a strategic minority stake in these three UAE assets, following the first tranche US$5 billion investment which successfully closed in June 2022.

Jebel Ali Port, Jebel Ali Free Zone and National Industries Park together comprise a best-in-class group of infrastructure assets, with a solid long-term track record of growth. Combined, they form a world-class integrated ecosystem for the supply and logistics chains of over 8,700 companies from around the world, serving more than 3.5 billion people globally. The three assets will remain fully consolidated businesses within the DP World Group, and their day-to-day operations, customers, service providers and employees will not be affected.

The Addleshaw Goddard team, led by partner Ian Le Pelley, acted as co-advisers to DP World alongside Clifford Chance. The DP World legal team was led by James Pointon, with assistance from Angela Wang.

“It was a real pleasure advising DP World on this complex second tranche investment in three of their key UAE assets. Jebel Ali Port is the largest international gateway port in the Middle East, and Jebel Ali Free Zone is the largest free zone, and these critical infrastructure assets play an important role in the global economy. This partnership will serve to enhance DP World’s assets and allow DP World to capture the significant growth potential of the wider market. In addition, the investment will further strengthen DP World’s balance sheet and support its target of achieving a strong investment-grade rating for the DP World group,” Pelley said in a statement.

SITA partners with Zamna to digitise travel processes for airlines, airports, and governments

GENEVA: SITA is innovating with cutting-edge technology to strengthen its airline, airport, and border solutions in partnership with travel identity company Zamna Technologies. Zamna’s solution uses a decentralized blockchain based model to transform how passenger data, such as passport, visa, and health information, is verified and handled, bringing security, ease, and efficiency benefits for travelers airlines, airports and governments. The first deployment will be focused on AACO’s 30+ airlines.

Instead of passengers presenting travel documents repeatedly to every touch point, each time they fly, Zamna’s ability to verify and securely persist such data will provide SITA customers with ongoing automation enhancements, supporting SITA’s vision of a completely digital travel experience.

Airlines and airports will benefit from a tested and verified technology for reduced processing times, and less infrastructure needed to process passengers. At the same time, border agencies will experience fewer exception cases and fewer passengers requiring on-site processing as the border checks are completed pre-departure.

Across the journey, the passenger will enjoy peace of mind that the data is being handled even more securely and that they have satisfied all regulatory requirements to travel. The solution also enhances security for SITA’s clients, whose data is managed in a safe, private, and decentralized manner.

Airlines, airports, and governments can drive operational savings by having confidence in the accuracy and timeliness of traveler data. Verified traveler data will be securely shared throughout the journey, eliminating duplicate processes, increasing trust, and improving the passenger experience.

This approach is a paradigm shift to fundamentally change data management within the aviation industry, elegantly ensuring that the individual traveler has minimal impact and that their documents are read and verified once and put to work many times. SITA’s scale and expert work with 1000+ airports and 70+ governments uniquely position the company to lead this industry-wide commitment to transformation.

David Lavorel, CEO, SITA, said: “The partnership with Zamna Technologies powers the next step in the journey to SITA’s vision of enabling a truly connected and digital travel experience along with all the benefits it will deliver: efficiency, improved passenger experience, and increased security.”

Irra Ariella Khi, CEO, Zamna Technologies, added: “SITA has already made great strides into making seamless travel possible with their innovative digital travel solutions. We’re excited to partner with them and leverage their unrivaled experience in the industry to take the next step and transform journeys. Together we will leverage Zamna’s digitization of travel documents and processes through Identity Rails, to make travel significantly more efficient, and deliver secure travel identity for all — through airports and across borders.”

Passenger volume at Munich Airport grows sharply in 2022 to 31.6m

MUNICH, GERMANY—A busy summer has gifted Munich Airport massive growth in all traffic figures in 2022: Passenger numbers rose by 19 million year-on-year to a total of 31.6 million. The airport has thus regained two-thirds of its record-breaking pre-pandemic result from 2019.

The number of aircraft movements nearly doubled compared with 2021 to more than 285,000 take-offs and landings. The seat load factor of the aircraft in Munich equalled the record figure of 77.5% from 2018. With a total of 210 destinations in 63 countries, Bavaria’s aviation hub now has excellent links with the global route network once again.

“The gradual lifting of travel restrictions has re-awakened people’s desire to travel. This has prompted airlines to significantly expand their flight capacity. The bookings received by the airlines indicate that traffic growth at Munich Airport will continue in 2023,” said Jost Lammers, CEO of Munich Airport.

After a weak first quarter, which was still influenced by the pandemic, demand for flights increased enormously. While only 4 million passengers were counted at Munich Airport over the first three months, the busiest third quarter saw traffic of more than 10 million travelers.

The pent-up demand has been particularly noticeable in long-haul travel: Since July, traffic between Munich and destinations in the US has already been higher than the 2019 level. From the start of the 2022/2023 winter flight schedule, this also applies to traffic to destinations in India, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand.

Air freight has also benefited from the boom in traffic at Munich Airport. In 2022, freight volume increased by 55% to a total of around 259,000 metric tons.

FIFA World Cup fuels nearly 600% growth at Qatar Executive’s FBO in Doha

DOHA, Qatar – Qatar Executive (QE), the private jet charter division of the Qatar Airways Group, posted a record year-over-year (YOY) growth in flight arrivals and departures at their exclusive Premium Terminal FBO (Fixed Base Operator) during the completion of the historic FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.

Qatar Executive’s FBO, located at Doha International Airport (DIA), saw a record-first YOY increase of 595 percent for arrivals and 574 percent for departures between November and December in 2022, the Group announced.

Between 18-19 December, after the FIFA World Cup Qatar™ Final, 296 jets departed from DIA. In the lead up to the first FIFA World Cup™ in the Middle East, QE renovated the existing terminal in Doha, revitalizing the FBO, thus, offering customers a seamless journey both on the ground and on-board.

This included upgrading their F&B and baggage handling services, training additional staff members and renovating on-site facilities. Qatar Executive also deployed the latest Wi-Fi and streaming capabilities both within the terminal and onboard their fleet, providing football fans great connectivity to stream the World Cup matches uninterrupted.

“Qatar Executive’s operations grew significantly during the World Cup period, demonstrating the division’s robust FBO services, while offering the most advanced flying solutions to valued customers. Qatar Executive’s continuous growth trajectory reflects the trust of our clients and is also a testament to our commitment to innovation and excellence,” said Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker.

In December, Qatar Executive received a new Gulfstream G650ER jet, bringing to 15 its fleet of the model and making the company the world’s largest owner and single commercial operator of the G650ER. QE also currently operates two Bombardier Global 5000s, one Airbus A319ACJ and another Airbus A319 Air Ambulance aircraft, bringing to 19 its current fleet of aircraft.

Magma Aviation ships for free 1000 kg of plastic-free biodegradable flip-flops for UK charity Sea Sense

GATWICK, ENGLAND—Specialist air cargo management company, Magma Aviation, says it has transported over 1000kg of flip flops on a pro bono basis for UK-based Non-Profit Sea Sense.

Sea Sense produces plastic-free biodegradable flip flops, of which the sales fund the prevention of plastics from reaching our oceans. They work with grassroots organisations and communities in Sierra Leone, Kenya and Indonesia to reduce plastic pollution whilst also providing a vital income for plastic collectors in developing countries.

Logistics are crucially important for Sea Sense, as the more cost-effective and efficient the process, the more funds and time they can dedicate to plastic collection. Magma Aviation stepped in to donate their time and resources in transporting the flip flops from the point of manufacture in Fuzhou, China to the point of sale in the United Kingdom using multimodal transport solutions.

“We are grateful for Magma Aviation’s efficiency and their eagerness to assist our cause. By donating their time and resources we were able to transport our flip flops across the world quickly, and as a result we have been able to free up funds to employ more plastic collectors in Sierra Leone, providing them with a truly vital income,” said Sea Sense Founder Luke McMillan.

Magma Aviation Operations Manager James Le Poer Trench commented: “We had two priorities with this charter: the first was to ensure the transport was as quick and easy as possible, reducing Sea Sense’s lead time. The second was that Magma Aviation would pay for the transport, end-to-end. Profits from each pair of flip flops enable 500 ocean-bound plastic bottles to be removed from some of the world’s most polluted waterways and coastlines, so we are delighted to have transported over one tonne of flip flops to their point of sale to fund this amazing endeavour.”

Emirates completes engine ground testing with 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel

DUBAI, UAE—Emiratessays it has successfully completed the ground engine testing for one of its GE90 engines on a Boeing 777-300ER using 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).

The airline said the objective of the ground testing and analysis is to demonstrate the capability of the GE90 engine to run on the specially blended 100% SAF without affecting its performance, requiring no modifications to the aircraft systems, or special maintenance procedures on the Boeing 777-300ER or GE90 engine to operate. SAF reduces carbon emissions over the fuel’s life cycle by up to 80%.

The ground test results will now pave the way for the airline’s first experimental test flight using 100% SAF in one engine, which is due for take-off this week. The testing activities involved running one engine on 100% SAF and the other on conventional jet fuel to better analyse the fuel system´s behaviour and performance under each fuel type, compare specific outputs of each engine, and ensure seamless operation of the aircraft’s engine and airframe fuel systems during the planned test flight.

During the ground testing at the state-of-the-art Emirates Engineering Centre in Dubai, the aircraft first went through its standard pre-inspection activities. After that, the stationary operating testing began by first running the Honeywell 331-500 auxiliary power unit (APU) on 100% SAF. The APU was then put under full load with SAF to start the engines.

The left engine was exercised through its full power range, utilising the same settings that will be used for the experimental flight. This included idle, ‘take-off’ and ‘climb settings’ at full flight profile durations, running at maximum speed and intensity. Engines were then run at ‘cruise’ settings for 15 minutes. After the simulation ended, the engines were cooled down.

Fuels were isolated in separate fuel tanks to maintain segregation of test fuels. Upon completion of the ground test, engine data was downloaded for review, comparison, and analysis.

At the Dubai Airshow 2021, Emirates, GE Aerospace and Boeing signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop a program for conducting a test flight using 100% SAF on an Emirates 777-300ER powered by GE90 engines.

Emirates has been working with its partners GE Aerospace, Boeing, Honeywell, Neste and Virent Inc., a subsidiary of Marathon Petroleum Corp throughout 2022 on SAF fuel blend testing.