Family, countryside and curry keep Koch going

Tristan Koch

American Airlines Cargo, Managing Director for Europe, Africa, Middle East and Indian Subcontinent

Tristan Koch was a policy advisor on environmental issues for the UK government when the urge to move to a more dynamic and challenging industry came up. He found his niche in the air cargo industry.
“I wanted to work at a faster pace and a friend introduced me to the cargo industry. The ever changing challenges that face us are what keep me engaged and enthused,” said Koch who has a degree in geography from the Southampton University before taking up his Master’s in Environmental Studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Since that move in 2011, Koch has been the managing director of cargo sales for Europe and Middle East at American Airlines Cargo.
“There is no typical day in my role. I try and find the right balance between spending time with my customers, my team and still find time to plan our strategy – not an easy task,” said Koch who also served as UK and Ireland sales manager at British Airways World Cargo. He first joined the firm as alliance development manager.
As one who has been exposed to both the public and private sectors, Koch has many insights and philosophies on how to keep going despite the odds on both worlds.
“I have many but my favorites are: “Making mistakes can often be the quickest way to learn, just don’t repeat them too often”; “Rank is not a measure of intellect or ability just a point in a career – don’t be hindered by hierarchy, we all have valuable contributions to make”; “I pinched this one from Einstein, “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination” – be curious.”
“And lastly, take time away from work and have other interests it makes you a better person.”
The jolly cargo executive who loves the countryside shares more of his personal thoughts with Air Cargo Update in this edition of The Lounge with emphasis on “family and curry” as among the things he can’t live without.
When the going gets tough at work, how do you calm yourself?
I rarely get stressed out but if I do need a break I go for a walk in the countryside with my dog and clear my head.
In the morning, do you prefer coffee or tea and why?
Silly question. The English drink (English Breakfast) tea in the morning we all know that.
What is vacation like for you and your family?
Always too short and too expensive – I have 2 teenage daughters that professionally shop. I like to drive somewhere they want to fly, but I fly too much already. We all enjoy doing something active though – ski, swim, sail, fish, cycle…

Which place would you like to live if given the chance and why?
I lived in Australia in my 20s and would love to live there again – I was at The Sheraton Mirage on the beach at Noosa in Queensland. Heathrow as wonderful as it is just doesn’t quite have the same charm/weather.
What sport/s do you enjoy the most and why?
I still like playing football (the proper sort with a round ball) although my appearances and performances are now consummate with my age which is frustrating. But I prefer watching rugby as I had to give it up at a relatively early age and miss it, but it’s more fun watching others getting knocked about. Rugby crowds are also the most sociable you will meet.
What’s the most daring thing you’ve done and how did it feel?
Got married – think I better not comment.
Please name three things you can’t live without?
My family, the countryside and curry.

Fedex : Bringing more innovations in the 21st century

By 2027, it’s expected that
there will be more than 35,000 operational in-service commercial aircraft, of which 58 percent will be new-generation aircraft, designed and built post-2000.

With 600 aircraft of its own, the American multinational courier delivery services company FedEx is like a major airline with a bunch of planes to maintain.
But since its establishment in 1971, the company has branched out to offer different services related to the aviation industry and logistics so much that it’s already considered an expert when it comes to research forecast and market analysis.
Jack Muhs, Regional President of FedEx Express Middle East, Indian Subcontinent and Africa (MEISA), told Air Cargo Update the maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) industry continues to be an important component of the aviation industry with aircraft continuously being replaced by newer models.
In less than 10 years, close to 60 percent of commercial aircraft flying will have more reliability, data collection and measurement tools that can provide advanced prognostics about the planes.
“By 2027, it’s expected that there will be more than 35,000 operational in-service commercial aircraft, of which 58 per cent will be new-generation aircraft, designed and built post-2000,” said Muhs who is based in Dubai.
Muhs leads more than 11,000 FedEx Express and TNT team members and is responsible for providing the strategic direction for the region.
Prior to his appointment in MEISA, Muhs served as President and CEO of FedEx Trade Networks, which specializes in air and ocean freight forwarding, customs brokerage and international trade facilitation solutions.
He also previously served as senior vice president of U.S. international, global planning, engineering, and trade services for FedEx Express, where he was responsible for the company’s U.S. export business, as well as the planning and engineering of the FedEx Express global network.
Read on the rest of his insights on Air Cargo Update’s exclusive interview with Muhs who since joining FedEx in 1984 served as managing director of global operations control; became vice president of global network planning and operations control in 1998; and was bestowed four times the FedEx Five Star Award, the company’s highest award for individual leadership and contribution.
As far as FedEx® Aerospace Solutions is concerned, how big is the UAE as a market and as a jumping point to reach other clients in the Middle East and North Africa?
The UAE is witnessing a growing aerospace manufacturing industry. It is also home to four airlines, of which two are major passenger carriers that operate a fleet of almost 400 aircraft combined. As aircraft fleets in the UAE and the wider region develop in response to consumer demand, and as the aerospace manufacturing industry continues to mature, the requirements for tailored solutions will also continue to grow.
FedEx Express chose the UAE as its headquarters and gateway for its Middle East and Africa operations more than 25 years ago, as the country’s convenient location provides access to markets in the East, West, and Africa.
Through the global FedEx air and ground network, our aerospace customers have access to more than 220 countries and territories.
The central location and connectivity through Dubai assists us in providing round-the-clock services to our aerospace customers. Aircraft on Ground situations can happen anywhere and at any time. An aircraft unable to fly is very costly for the owner, particularly if it happens to be a commercial airline, and resolving the situation as quickly as possible is essential.
Amongst the many services we offer, FedEx can ship aircraft components and other non-standard goods from North America to the UAE quickly and reliably.
Can you please give us a brief overview of FedEx® Aerospace Solutions’ capabilities and its adaptability to meet challenges in delivering vital parts needed in an aircraft?
SenseAware in particular has revolutionized logistics. It sends data from a shipment in near real-time to a powerful online application for monitoring and analysis. This gives FedEx and our customers complete visibility on a shipment at all times, including critical details such as the temperature, light exposure, humidity levels, and barometric pressure that the shipment experiences, as well as its location.
FedEx has a proud heritage with more than 40 years of operations and innovation, and the FedEx® Aerospace Solutions draws on our experience to provide services that make a difference to our aerospace customers.
FedEx® Aerospace Solutions is a portfolio of customizable services designed to address the express transportation and logistics requirements of the region’s growing aviation industry. This solution meets the time-sensitive demands of acquiring components to manufacture, maintain or repair aircraft, and get them back into service.
There are several services within the Aerospace Solutions portfolio that can be combined for a single approach, based on the customer’s requirements. For example, an Aircraft on Ground (AOG) needs a part urgently in order to get the aircraft flying again. Time is of the essence, as the longer a plane is grounded, the more money its owner loses – particularly in the case of commercial airlines. FedEx will work with the aircraft owner to have a solution tailored to their requirements, to ensure the required part gets to them as soon as possible.
Our Aircraft on Ground services include Next Flight Out, where FedEx organizes urgent air transport with a combination of the best available flight, collection and delivery services, and On-Board Courier, where a FedEx Express courier travels with the required part, supported by our special services experts. We can even charter a flight to manage the entire process from aircraft selection to delivery – an ideal solution if oversized or super-time critical parts are required. FedEx also offers airside deliveries, to take critical shipments directly to our customers’ facility within hours of it landing.
The process is monitored from start to finish by a team of our aerospace specialists, who can proactively address any potential obstructions in the shipment’s journey – because when timing is everything, even the smallest delays can be costly.

FedEx Express invented express distribution. We have more than four decades of global experience behind us, and over 25 years of experience and service to and from the Middle East. FedEx provides access and connects markets that comprise more than 90% of the world’s GDP, in an average of one to three business days.
We are constantly innovating to ensure that we can provide the highest level of experience to our customers. Our exceptional global network connectivity, wide range of customizable service offerings, and our dedicated people are our strengths.
FedEx differentiates itself by offering our customers business flexibility and speed to market using services such as our ‘next day service’ to the GCC, Americas and Europe, while offering 24/7 customer service and Money Back Guarantee for shipments delivered past the committed date. We also provide our customers with innovative solutions, online technology and automation tools that facilitate their shipping process and enhance their experience.
An example of this is the SenseAwareSMdevice we offer our customers. SenseAwareSM is a multi-sensor device that collects and transmits data from inside packages, pallets, trailers, and warehouses, using wireless communication.
The data is available in near real-time, giving our customers a bird’s eye view of their shipment, including location and other parameters such as temperature, light, humidity, and more. The parts shipped using FedEx® Aerospace Solutions can be very expensive, and SenseAwareSM provides our customers with peace of mind by giving them a complete overview of the status of their shipment at any given time.
Please share with us 1 or 2 incidents wherein FedEx saved the day for an airline or aviation client and its impact to its business in general.
While we can’t share details of specific examples for confidentiality purposes, our customers tell us that the timely delivery of replacement parts is crucial to them, and to companies in the aerospace industry.
An AOG situation can cost tens of thousands of dollars a day, and if a passenger aircraft is ground, it would require passengers scheduled on the flight to be either rerouted via alternative flights or airlines, or face time delays waiting for a replacement aircraft to arrive. The faster an airline can get a replacement part, the less the impact a mechanical malfunction can have. Quick resolutions can help save both reputation and costs.

As an expert in this type of industry, what is your general forecast for the need for MRO among freight carriers over the next decade?
The maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) industry as we know it will evolve in the next 10 years. Aircraft are continuously being replaced by newer models. By 2027, it’s expected that there will be more than 35,000 operational in-service commercial aircraft, of which 58 per cent will be new-generation aircraft, designed and built post-2000. These new aircraft offer improved reliability, with data collection and measurement tools that can provide data and advancedprognostics about the aircraft. This should enable operators to sidestep unexpected AOG situations by taking preventative action and scheduling maintenance.
With a fleet of more than 600 of our own aircraft, we understand first-hand not only how the aerospace industry is changing, but how MRO requirements are evolving. Innovation is in the FedEx DNA, and we are continuously developing our portfolio to deliver the quality of service our customers expect from us, no matter what their shipping requirements are.

How is technology changing the way things were for the MRO industry? Can you tell us more about FedEx’s SenseAwareSM product and its many uses? Please explain to us how SenseAwareSM technology can help companies save resources and further grow their business.
FedEx services incorporate innovative solutions to provide our customers with an enhanced experience, ranging from online and automated tools, to breakthrough technology such as SenseAwareSM, a multi-sensor device.
SenseAware in particular has revolutionized logistics. It sends data from a shipment in near real-time to a powerful online application for monitoring and analysis. This gives FedEx and our customers complete visibility on a shipment at all times, including critical details such as the temperature, light exposure, humidity levels, and barometric pressure that the shipment experiences, as well as its location.
This makes it an ideal solution for sectors that deal with highly valuable and sensitive goods, such as the healthcare, oil and gas, manufacturing, fashion, and, of course, aerospace industries.
SenseAwareSMcan be combined with FedEx® Aerospace Solutions and FedEx Priority Alert® servicesto provide additional transparency on any critical shipment’s journey.
Through our online system, customers receive regular alerts informing them of the current status of their shipment and any possible alerts, such as the package approaching its temperature limit or if it has been opened and exposed to the external environment. This gives customers the opportunity to intervene and control their shipment before reaching it reaches its final destination.

Air Cargo India 2018

Connectivity, collaboration &cargo growth

The 7th edition of the international biennial air cargo event “Air Cargo India 2018” yielded to enhancing collaboration and connectivity between the many stakeholders to take air cargo growth in India to the next level.
The Government of India has set the ball rolling as regards creating an eco-system for air cargo growth and it is now the turn of the industry to capitalise on the policies that have been announced. The three-day event, which attracted freight forwarders, airlines, airports, integrators, among others, was a success in setting forth the agenda for the future. The Economic Advisor of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India, Vandana Aggarwal, besides delivering the keynote address, actively participated in the panel discussions.

The government had earmarked Rs. 88,000 crores for capital projects at airports and this included air cargo infrastructure.

Seven actionable initiatives
Aggarwal outlined the seven actionable initiatives that India has formulated and they include 1) Creating trans-shipment hubs (working with Delhi International Airport Limited – DIAL and Mumbai International Airport Limited – MIAL; 2) Extending regional connectivity for freighters under UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik – the common man will fly) scheme; 3) Modular development of e-cargo platform (contracting, booking portal with access to GST payment); 4) Air-road connectivity in the name of Vahana Sarathi; 5) a digital platform; 6) a frictionless data interchange promoted by blockchain; and 7) a grievances platform similar to ‘AirSeva’.
Reducing logistics cost
The ambitious program aimed at bringing down logistics cost to 9 percent of GDP by 2022. It’s currently pegged at 14 percent and if the cost was brought down, India could save up to $50 billion, thereby, making domestic goods more competitive in global markets.
With investments coming into the sector and manufacturing getting a boost, the cargo and logistics industry is likely to clock a compounded annual growth rate of about 16 percent during the course of the next few years, still behind the air passenger segment which is doing over 20 percent.
Efforts were on to improve the ranking of the logistics performance index (LPI) from 35 to 15 by 2020. Similarly, the plan was job creation in the sector, increasing it to 40 million by 2020 from the present 20 million.
Paperless regulatory environment
Aggarwal said the government is keen on promoting a paperless regulatory environment and reduce cargo release time. The plan is to bring down to 3 days in sea and 2 in air for imports and to 2 days for sea and 1 day in air for exports.
Mumbai and Delhi airports are clearing cargo in about 2 hours and other airports could bring this down if they set their mind to it. As regards e-airway bills, she pointed out that India was doing better than the world average while Chennai airport under the jurisdiction of the Airports Authority of India was way ahead of many world airports.
Agreeing that a lot had to be done to improve air cargo growth, Aggarwal said India’s air trade to GDP ratio had doubled from 4 percent to 8 percent in the last decade. The government had earmarked Rs. 88,000 crores for capital projects at airports and this included air cargo infrastructure.
Aggarwal asked the air cargo industry and the freight forwarders to let the government know how they can collaborate to sustain better business.
Collaboration is key
Acknowledging the efforts of the Indian government, the Global Head of Cargo, International Air Transport Association (IATA), Glyn Hughes, said: “It is always encouraging to listen to a government with a plan.”
In terms of GDP growth, India is turning out impressive figures and exports are expected to get further boost. However, he underscored the importance of collaboration between supply chain as well as industry and government to not only improve infrastructure but also efficiencies in operation. Hughes was the moderator in the panel discussion on “Charting a new flight path for Indian air cargo as a global destination.’
Keku Gazder, CEO of AAI Cargo Logistics & Allied Services (AAICLAS), said air cargo growth in India had been impressive with over 6 million tons of cargo carried in 2017 and in 2018 it was likely to touch 18 percent growth.
AAICLAS, he said, was working with the Civil Aviation Ministry to develop the concept of transhipment hubs and also in digitisation of processes. The plan was to rationalise space at airports and the Common User Domestic Cargo Terminal (CUDCT) was at it, to help improve efficiencies and reduce dwell-time of cargo.
Dheeraj Kohli, Vice President and Global Lead of Travel and Transportation, UNISYS, said in the present times, companies require the backbone of data to move ahead. Predictability of shipment was critical. He mentioned how UNISYS had introduced a unique product – pet travel chip – to help move pets from one location to another, even while the pet owner could track and even have a video chat with his or her pet.
Underutilised belly capacity
Hemanth D.P, Chief Operating Officer, Cargo & Head, Asia Pacific Flying School, GMR Airport, called for exploiting the underutilised belly capacity of airlines and that domestic air cargo needed a big push.
While Manoj Singh, Senior Vice President and Head of Cargo, MIAL, was of the view that there would be a shift from narrow body aircraft to wide body as a few of the metro airports had already reached the saturation point. This would translate to more belly space for cargo.
MIAL, he said, would have an exclusive export pharmaceutical terminal in the next seven to eight months. Also MIAL had innovated ‘cool dolly’, a product that would be a game-changer for the pharma sector. The prototype is ready and MIAL would go in for mass production, bringing down costs considerably. The temperature controlled pharma transport vehicle on tarmac would be ready by March end.
Lessons from China
Dr. Alexis Von Hoensbroech, CEO of Lufthansa Cargo AG, stated that India is an important market for Lufthansa which had 65 weekly flights into India across six destinations, besides 10 weekly freighter departures.
In 2017, the growth was good and the company expected 2018 to be positive as well with introduction of larger aircraft into the market. However, there were many infrastructural and procedural challenges in India which did not augur well for improving ‘ease of doing business’.
There were lessons to be learnt from China which at one point of time was slightly ahead of India but now the former has become bigger by five times, thanks to the booming manufacturing sector.
India’s value of exports is equivalent to six weeks of output of China, indicating the latter’s scale. With ‘Make in India’ the country should get its infrastructure in place and improve efficiencies. Indian bureaucracy was slowing down cargo and economic growth. He said as Chinese workforce was becoming expensive, it was time for India to turn itself into a work-bench
Russi Batliwala, CEO of Chapman Freeborn Group, said freighter flights into India has become easier than in 2006 as the restrictions on Indian air space have been removed.
However, he remains sceptical for fast air cargo growth with many challenges still needed to be addressed. He cautioned the air cargo industry not to go the European way as it floundered in the fourth quarter of 2017 not having a “Plan B” to handle huge fluctuations in air cargo movement.
Digitisation of the supply chain
In the panel discussion on ‘Facilitating global trade – how air cargo is making it happen’— the Director of Business Development Cargo, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Bart Pouwels, navigated the discussion towards three key aspects of cargo movement – reliability, transparency and predictability.
Underscoring the importance of collaboration in the supply chain, he suggested quicker digitisation of the chain. Expressing similar argument, Rainer Mueller, Vice President Commercial Saudia Cargo, said not much had been achieved with regard to data flow and reducing total transportation time.
Global carriers, he said, need to take the lead by offering solutions to the e-commerce industry which has been growing rapidly and is in need of quick and innovative solutions.
Justin Carr, Vice President Cargo Etihad Airways, said there is a need for standardisation in the airline industry and also greater collaboration. On similar lines, Adrien Thominet, CEO of ECS Group, emphasised that communication is the key, noting that a lot of progress had been made on the passenger side to ensure seamless connectivity but not for the cargo community.
Most of the speakers and attendees at the event were gung-ho about the prospects, in light of many emerging markets putting in place infrastructure and opening up their economies. It is now up to the air cargo industry how to get its act right, using data analytics and above all, collaborating with different partners.

Fuel Economy crucial to air cargo’s sustainable future

The fuel economy of international flights is even lower, 0.27 mpg, due to heavier jets. Yet, these numbers represent significant improvements since 2000, when US domestic fuel economy was 40% lower and international fuel economy was 12% lower.

When considering that airplanes carry large numbers of passengers across large distances, the fuel economy per capita becomes more reasonable. Air travel currently accounts for about 2-3% of global CO2 emission, but emissions may to grow 500% by 2050 due to rapid increase in air travel. Fuel accounts for the airline industry’s major expense, constituting about 40% of operation costs.

Commercial air travel underpins the modern global economy, but at no small cost to the environment, with airplanes recognized as a major contributor to global climate change.
In 2012, commercial aircraft emitted about 700 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) worldwide. If commercial aviation was counted as a country, it would rank 7th after Germany in terms of CO2 emissions, experts said.
Aviation fuel use and CO2 emissions,
including those attributable to military and general aviation, quadrupled between 1960 and 2006, and are on pace to triple again by 2050, a time by which many developed countries hope to reduce their emissions by up to 80%, various studies showed.
The fuel economy of air travel may sound dreadful when compared to ground vehicle performances. Whereas hybrid cars can achieve 50 mpg and pick-up trucks average around 20 mpg, the fuel economy of US domestic airliners averages 0.54 aircraft miles/gallon.
The fuel economy of international flights is even lower, 0.27 mpg, due to heavier jets. Yet, these numbers represent significant improvements since 2000, when US domestic fuel economy was 40% lower and international fuel economy was 12% lower.
When considering that airplanes carry large numbers of passengers across large distances, the fuel economy per capita becomes more reasonable. Air travel currently accounts for about 2-3% of global CO2 emission, but emissions may to grow 500% by 2050 due to rapid increase in air travel. Fuel accounts for the airline industry’s major expense, constituting about 40% of operation costs.
The US airline industry spent $47.3 billion on jet fuel in 2012, prompting aircraft manufacturers to search for transformative innovations that will heavily improve their fuel economy.
Many of these innovations could dwarf the improvements made in Boeing 787 Dreamliner, currently the world’s most fuel-efficient airplane. The composite materials used for the airplane skin and the application of batteries to run airplane electronics drive the 787’s improved fuel economy.
Air Cargo Update interviewed Georgi Mitov, director product marketing, Honeywell’s Go Direct Flight Efficiency solutions and with Bettina Jansen, Lufthansa Cargo Head of Environmental Management to discuss why fuel economy is necessary for the stability of the air cargo industry.
Stability of the air cargo industry
With fuel an important contributor to overall airline operating costs, aircraft and engine manufacturers have an incentive to improve the fuel efficiency of their products, thus, reducing CO2 emissions.
“Fuel costs are one of the aviation industry’s largest expenses, making up approximately 20-40 percent of total costs for an airline. Ensuring aircraft are running as efficiently as possible with the fuel they use can help maintain stability in the cargo industry. This helps reduce the amount of capital spent on each flight, and these cost savings can subsequently be reinvested back into the business,” said Mitov.
Burning any amount of fuel has an impact on the environment, but by using fuel efficiency software, Honeywell can determine where an aircraft can make changes to their routes to be more fuel efficient, requiring less fuel to make the same trip. Deploying a strategic plan to decrease usage results in a lessened impact on the environment through decreased emissions and using less fuel to reach destinations.
By 2020, Lufthansa Cargo seeks to reduce specific carbon emissions by 25 percent based on the level for 2005. This goal is to be met by all kinds of operational and technical measures.
One of these measures is their OMEGA software (Ops Monitor and Efficiency Gap Analyzer). It collects real data directly from the aircraft and in large quantities. For each flight, it gathers 20,000 lines of data multiplied by 80 parameters.
Lufthansa Cargo’s Bettina Jansen says: “With OMEGA, we are seeking to identify patterns within the generated big data that can assist pilots in finding the most efficient route. By comparing projected, actual and optimal values, it provides key information for reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Pilots can use the analysis to optimally prepare for a flight and identify any possible deviations from the plan early on.”
Software specialist Aviaso together with Lufthansa developed the software. Special applications have been added for Lufthansa Cargo such as in the area of trim evaluation.
Last year, Lufthansa received the German Aviation Innovation Award in the Emissions Reduction category for the OMEGA tool. Lufthansa’s cargo arm was also named one of two runners-up in the ‘CO2 avoidance as a contribution to climate protection’ category with its “OMEGA – using big data to reduce CO2′ project.
Energy sustainability
About one quarter of oil imported costs the global economy roughly $116 billion in 2014, experts said.
Most of the world’s oil reserves are concentrated in the Middle East, and about 73% are controlled by Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members.
“By analyzing fuel consumption and determining better, more efficient ways to fly, operators are reducing fuel costs because they are using less fuel on traditional routes.Less fuel consumption means that the stocks of fuel that operators have can last longer, which helps sustain the component parts of fuel, particularly oil, which is a volatile commodity in today’s market.”
“By analyzing all the data that relates to a flight it is possible to extract patterns and trends that impact the efficiency of a flight. Operators can then focus on negating those impacts to drive efficiencies.”
With its wide-ranging catalogue of measures aimed at reducing its freighter fleet’s CO2 emissions, Lufthansa Cargo has made it possible for its customers to lower the annual CO2 emissions relating to their shipments – and namely by 1.35 percent per year on average since 2005.
To take an example, a five-ton shipment from Frankfurt to New York would have generated 17.03 tons of CO2 in the Lufthansa Cargo freighter network in 2005. By 2015, the level of emissions for the same weight on the same route had been reduced by 2.28 tons of CO2 to 14.74 tons.
In the first year of OMEGA, Lufthansa Cargo already implemented a handful of additional measures for further reducing CO2 emissions per transported tons, totaling over 10,000 tons of CO2 per year. Another dozen or more specific and very promising ideas are currently being investigated and evaluated.
Big Data & Analysis
Digital transformation is forcing businesses of all stripes to rethink what their customers value and how to meet those needs. The real time analysis of big data is a technological innovation, as it can provide new ways of thinking about issues and identifying opportunities.
“By analyzing all the data that relates to a flight it is possible to extract patterns and trends that impact the efficiency of a flight. Operators can then focus on negating those impacts to drive efficiencies.”
Honeywell’s GoDirect Fuel Efficiency software collects information from various sources on the ground and from the aircraft itself.
Typical sources for data are Flight Schedule System, Flight Planning System, data recorded during the flight (QAR data), weather data, weight and balance data, fuel uplifts data. The GoDirect Fuel Efficiency software can be configured to take advantage of multiple data sources within the airline, which provide efficiency, related data.
“The GoDirect Fuel Efficiency software has several features specifically designed to address needs of cargo airlines. For example, for cargo operations, having detailed information about load distribution by cargo compartments and load index positions, can be used to identify further efficiency opportunities related to lateral or longitudinal balance of the aircraft,” explained Mitov.
With Big data’s new tools, the cargo industry actually uses the huge mass of data more intelligently. They fetch the data, analyze and then offer something valuable back to the customer so they can make decisions in the field to improve efficiency and save money. Data is used to make real, tangible improvements to the services we offered to the clients.
“Nowadays, a single flight produces terabytes of data and millions of data points, which should be analyzed for the purposes of accurate efficiency analysis. Data analytics is an obvious strategy to use in this instance because of the quantity and quality of the data available,” Mitov noted.
Impact of oil prices
As with any industry consuming considerable amounts of fuel, the fluctuating price of oil can have an adverse effect on costs, particularly air cargo, which has to fly long haul frequently.
However, with fuel efficiency software, there is an opportunity to plan ahead and use the solution to make the most of the situation, according to Honeywell.
“Fuel purchase is very complex process, which we don’t influence. We help airlines reduce the amount of fuel spent, but we don’t deal with the fuel purchasing / hedging / etc,” Mitov said.
Deploying fuel efficiency strategies is a great way for operators to take control of their fuel consumption and boost savings as a result. Besides supporting fuel efficiency initiatives within the airline, the GoDirect Fuel Efficiency software serves as a flight data analytics platform which supports the decision-making process in variety of situations.
“Given the fact that fuel costs are 20-40% of the operational expenses – yes, the fuel efficiency has direct impact on the operational cost”.
Major changes required
A welcome change in the aviation industry would be the standardization of the interfaces for collecting data produced during flight. Having a standard data bus, which provides all efficiency related data, would be highly beneficial for the industry.
Deploying the latest technology in any setting means that you have the most up-to-date features, software and capabilities to improve efficiency. Newer technologies have also a better ROI, due to lower maintenance and support costs associated with it.
“The GoDirect Fuel Efficiency is a pure software solution which doesn’t require any aircraft modifications or reconfigurations. The only necessary change is for operators to deploy the software necessary to make the analyses. This is a huge benefit, as no major installations will be required to update the fleets,” concludes Mitov.

UPS Enabling growth across borders

Our job is a big one: We’re here to help businesses connect with the many growth opportunities in the region. You could call us trade enablers, I suppose, as we connect the Middle East to China and wider Asia well as Europe with what you’ll hear more people at UPS refer to as our “smart global logistics network.
-Jean-Francois Condamine, UPS President of Indian Subcontinent, Middle East and Africa

“Most people don’t know that at any given moment on any given day, there is a UPS plane in the sky. Our smart global logistics network is always moving for UPS customers.” – Ismet Demirel, UPS Network Development & Procurement Manager, ISMEA

In 2017, UPS received about 142.8 million tracking requests in a single business day peaking at 275.4 million, the company disclosed.
That’s a staggering number but not quite surprising as the US-based cargo carrier and logistics company accounts for move approximately 3 percent of the world’s GDP through its smart global logistics network on a daily basis with its fleet of 581 aircraft and 2,242 flight segments connecting779 destinations in over 220 countries and territories worldwide.
In Dubai, the regional hub of UPS in the Indian Subcontinent, Middle East and Africa (ISMEA), which since inception in 2013, had seen a double-digit growth with potential for more with business activities steadily increasing in the region, at least 42 UPS brown tail flights per week are dispatched at the Dubai International Airport (DXB).
Jean-Francois Condamine, UPS President of ISMEA, told Air Cargo Update, UPS has actually been in the region since 1989 first opening up offices in the oil-rich Nigeria and the trade-friendly India. It decided to increase its presence in recent years. And Dubai, as the financial and logistics hub in the Middle East, was an obvious choice for UPS regional headquarters given its proximity to connect to Africa, Asia and Europe within just a matter of hours.

“UPS has been here in the region since 1989. We decided on Dubai as the headquarters for our Indian Subcontinent, Middle East and Africa business that we at UPS simply refer to as “ISMEA.” It’s our largest region in terms of geography – we have over 70 countries in which we operate,” said Condamine who has been with UPS since 1991 after the company he used to work for, the French package firm Prost Transport, was acquired by the American cargo carrier.
“The decision to choose Dubai wasn’t all that difficult for us. We’re a logistics company so when you consider that 2/3 of the world is within an 8-hour flight from here, Dubai made sense. And our office actually sits within the free economic zone in the Jebel Ali area at the far western end of Dubai. It’s more than just symbolic,” he added.
The ‘trade enablers’
Working his way through school in France by delivering packages, Condamine takes the business seriously and likened their roles at UPS as “trade enablers” facilitating businesses and help creating jobs in a wide spectrum of industries.
“Global trade is in our veins at UPS – we move 3% of the world’s GDP every day so it’s only fitting that we come to work every day in a trade hot spot that gives direct access to a market of over 2 billion people. Our job is a big one: We’re here to help businesses connect with the many growth opportunities in the region,” said Condamine who has a Master’s in Economics from the Université de Reims in 1984.
“You could call us trade enablers, I suppose, as we connect the Middle East to China and wider Asia as well as Europe with what you’ll hear more people at UPS refer to as our ‘smart global logistics network.’ We plug in small companies and can help them scale and grow. And, of course, we work with every size of company right up to the largest of the multinationals.
“Regardless of size, there is something that these companies have in common: They are increasingly seeking growth across borders. You simply can’t do that without world-class logistics. UPS’s expansion strategy is rooted in helping its customers meet their local, regional and global ambitions.”
Ismet Demirel, UPS Network Development & Procurement Manager, ISMEA, adds growth is very much visible that the company decided to allot one of its 14 newly ordered Boeing 747-8 cargo planes to the region.
The new plane would mean a day faster in terms of transporting goods between Dubai and the United States.
“When you ask someone about growth, it’s often measured in numbers. So it’s actually pretty fun to count growth in airplanes in our business. We have just announced that UPS ordered 14 more Boeing 747-8 cargo jets to provide additional capacity in response to accelerating demand for our air services,” Demirel shared. “I couldn’t be happier to say that one of these planes – the biggest that UPS has ever flown – has just been allocated to a new daily non-stop flight to Dubai from the U.S. – this is in addition to a flight to Dubai that comes out of our European hub in Germany. The new flight comes from Worldport, our global air hub in Louisville, Kentucky straight to Dubai.”
The UPS executive said this would mean faster service for their customers in the region which would help them realize more business.
“That’s exciting for us because we have new planes coming into our fleet. But it’s much more interesting to our customers spanning from North and South America whose goods can now reach the UAE an entire day faster. Global trade waits for no one, as our customers know. So we’re already helping customers reach this high growth region more quickly for amazing B2B opportunities that come from serving businesses here in full expansion mode,” said Demirel.

Elsewhere in the region, Demirel shared UPS also inaugurated a new airside facility at the Mohammed V International Airport in Casablanca in Morocco where it also launched a chartered flight dedicated to UPS volume from the company’s European hub in Germany to Morocco.
“Here again, we are improving time-in-transit by 24 hours. Morocco serves as a gateway to Africa for Europe to reach 1 billion consumers – that’s 60 percent of the world’s GDP. Improvement and expansion of our smart global logistics network remains a strategic focus for UPS’s and our customers’ growth,” explained Demirel.
Expo 2020 Logistics Partner
With billions invested in new infrastructure in the UAE in recent years in anticipation of the more than 20 million tourists expected to flock to Dubai in less than two years for the much awaited Expo 2020, a reliable way of moving things on time and efficiently are crucial in making the six-month event an unforgettable experience for participants who will stay and visit the country.
UPS knows that too well and it had since agreed to become the event’s official logistics partner.
The UPS President for ISMEA described the upcoming event as having complex logistics projects but one that UPS is familiar with having participated in several high profile global events in the past.
“With more than 180 countries participating and millions of people visiting, Expo 2020 will be one of the most complex logistics projects UPS has tackled, encouraging it to rely on expertise gained as logistics sponsor in the 2012 Olympic Games in London and the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. An undertaking of this scale and sophistication requires a next generation network that is smart, efficient and integrated,” said Conamide.
“UPS is proud to share Expo 2020’s vision; “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future,” and three pillars: Sustainability, Opportunity and Mobility. For example, we have more than a decade of experience in solar energy and about a year ago announced plans to increase our investment in solar power, starting with at least eight UPS facilities in the U.S. We are passionate about adopting alternative fuel for our fleet, including hybrid and electric vehicles. Additionally, we have immense experience in enabling commerce around the globe, connecting and serving 220 countries and territories, which allows us to play a key role in the theme of mobility,” he stressed.
Fast forward after Expo 2020, the UPS executive disclosed the company has bigger plans to make the UAE’s vision of business connectivity going.
“We are excited to play a key role in connecting people, goods and ideas, and providing easier access to markets, knowledge and innovation through its partnership with Expo 2020 that will last long after April 2021. We share a vision with the UAE of what the logistics of tomorrow will look like and are honored to be on the front line of change,” he said.
“I spoke about the past but let me tell you about the future: We plan to expand our presence in the region by establishing capacity, technology and staff capabilities to serve customers shipping to and through Dubai – well after Expo 2020 sees its last visitors. We certainly share Expo 2020 Dubai’s views on sustainability and will contribute to the legacy of this historical undertaking by continuing to plan for the future,” he noted.
Jean-François Condamine, the President of UPS Indian Subcontinent, Middle East, and Africa (ISMEA) region, is highly regarded for his astute business acumen and concern for people who run the establishment.
When UPS tapped him in 1990 to restructure Prost Transportation which the firm acquired, he managed to grow it to 61 offices across France securing jobs for 2,000 more people.
In 2013, the French executive was again tapped to take on another challenge—to lead UPS’s headquarters in the region in Dubai. Today, UPS ISMEA deals with 70 high-growth markets dispatching as many as 42 brown tail planes out of Dubai to different countries in the region.
Condamine shares more of his insights with Air Cargo Update in an email interview.
What were some of the challenges you encountered when you first set up UPS here?
The ISMEA region has long been a key market for UPS and eyed carefully for expansion. I mentioned that UPS was first established in the region in 1989, setting up in Nigeria and India. Back in 2013 when we designated Dubai as the new regional headquarters, the big challenge UPS faced when we initially moved into this part of the world was the size of the region. This is a big region for UPS. We had to bridge time zones, cultures, distances and languages over such a large landscape. We have rapidly expanded and cemented our presence in Africa by implementing a “4 corners” strategy to ensure seamless coverage across the continent. This is important for customers who expect us to meet their needs by providing UPS’s level of service over a wide area.
We have achieved this by strengthening our partnerships with leading logistics providers to operate a comprehensive network of Authorized Service Contractors. We are able to combine UPS’s global reach with expert local knowledge. Today, UPS serves 104 airports in ISMEA and operates 42 UPS brown tail flights per week through Dubai International airport. I think Dubai’s reputation as a key node in the global trade game is pretty well cemented!
While setting up in the region UPS also needed to actively focus on integrating markets and employees across this large landscape. We quickly leveraged the company’s “One UPS, One World” initiative to make connections and drive the development of a comprehensive enterprise-wide diversity and inclusion strategy. It has helped us to focus on aligning our many capabilities and investments in human capital. UPS is an organization that embraces and celebrates diversity. We use this combined strength to expand our employees’ professional networks to help them develop new skills to serve different parts of the business.
Please tell us more about the types of services that you provide in the UAE and the Middle East in general.
We are happy to recently announce the latest expansion UPS Worldwide Express™ package service to reach 124 countries and territories – including Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. The service provides an earlier delivery option for customers to more locations, which comprise nearly 96% of the global gross domestic product and 93% of real imports. UPS now reaches more countries and territories with express midday than any other carrier.
UPS’s Worldwide Express service will contribute significantly to the e-commerce market in the GCC countries, which is expected to grow to $20 billion (Dh73.4 billion) by 2020.This announcement follows the expansion in 2017 of our popular UPS Worldwide Express Freight™ service to nine new countries, including Bahrain, Bangladesh, Kuwait, Malta, Morocco, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Tunisia. The service is now offered in 66 origins and 64 destination countries and territories.
But at UPS, we go further than helping our customers stay head in the global trade arena. By being based in Dubai, a world humanitarian hub, we have the opportunity to continue demonstrating a real commitment to the communities we serve by delivering aid during humanitarian crisis in the region.
From the UAE, UPS has assisted Syrian refugees and victims from the Nepal and Haiti. We worked with partner organizations to provide relief supplies and logistics support after the devastating earthquake and hurricane. Also, through UPS’s partnership with the International Humanitarian City (IHC) in Dubai, we convene dialogue around pandemic preparedness. We are constantly looking for innovative ways to enhance humanitarian logistics to help save lives. UPS has also partnered with Gavi the Vaccine Alliance and Zipline to deliver an operational lifesaving drone program that will distribute blood supplies in remote areas of Rwanda, a “world first”. If we can make life-saving blood deliveries in challenging conditions posed by the Rwandan countryside, we can help customers anywhere. It’s truly a virtuous circle of learning and application of acquired expertise. It’s also the right thing to do.
How many offices and employees do you have in the UAE right now and what’s the possibility of them increasing in the future? Please elaborate.
A company cannot be successful without a strong and collaborative culture. We at UPS ISMEA are part of a global workforce of 454,000 employees. We count around 2,175 employees working in our owned entities in ISMEA. These people are extremely passionate about collaborating to solve customers’ challenges. UPS’s success is as much about its human network as its smart global logistics network.
In the UAE specifically, UPS has over 500 dedicated employees who ensure the hub of UPS’s ISMEA operations runs smoothly and efficiently. As we embark on the exciting journey of being Expo 2020’s Official Logistics Partner, we plan to expand our presence in the country and region by establishing capacity, technology and staff capabilities to serve customers shipping to and through Dubai. UPS expects to provide a team of up to 1,000 employees during the undertaking. Keep your eyes on us, Expo 2020 Dubai and the other companies involved in this historic undertaking.
Is UPS planning to expand its presence in the Middle East? Why or why not?
We are expanding. Our role as Expo 2020’s Official Logistics Partner is already allowing us to further establish Dubai and its neighboring countries as a transportation hub for global commerce connecting trade from all corners of the Middle East to China, Africa, Europe and the U.S. And Ismet mentioned the new around-the-world flight helping to expand capacity for customers.
The UAE remains a growth market for international companies over the medium and long-term as a result of its focus on advanced industries and knowledge economy sectors, particularly technology, water, aerospace, health care, transport, renewable energy and education. UPS continues to invest its capabilities to expand its footprint in the Middle East and support trade with other regions such as Africa, India, Asia and the Americas.
UPS’s expansion strategy is rooted in helping its customers meet their local, regional and global ambitions. The new route, establishing UAE as the U.S.’ largest export destination in the Middle East, is in line with great growth potential for companies wishing to better access the UAE as its economy grows. Not only they can ship to key destinations in the region faster than ever, but this flight is operated with one of UPS’s new Boeing 747-8F aircraft with 50 percent more capacity than before, ensuring space for customers’ shipments. UPS’s smart global logistics network, which carries three percent of the world’s GDP every day, constantly evolves to service increasing international trade demands.
What are your concerns as far as the region is concerned?
I come to the office every day and want the best for my people so that they can do their best to help our customers. If you are able to focus on the important parts of the business – our people and our customers – you are already well poised to stay ahead of customer needs in a constantly changing market. The Middle East region is a global hub for logistics, and while broader macroeconomic factors may potentially soften demand in some areas, we are bullish on the region – and see plenty of opportunity for economic growth.
The logistics landscape is constantly changing, especially in this region. Staying ahead of the trend, we are globally exploring cutting-edge technologies such as drones and autonomous vehicles, and using alternative fuels to move goods faster, safer and greener. UPS works hard every day to meet the needs of customers in the e-commerce retail, high-tech, industrial manufacturing, automotive and healthcare industries. We’re in a great industry space and UPS is well-positioned to enable and capture the opportunities presented.

Air Partner appoints Vasset as freight charter sales manager for France

Air Partner has picked Romain Vasset as freight charter sales manager for France, support freight account manager Thierry Zemouli from the Cologne office.

Before joining Air Partner, he gained experience within the aviation and charter industry at PRO SKY as a project manager and at Evolution Jet International as an account manager, with other roles including assistant to the global sales director at IER (Bollore).

He holds a BA in Business Administration and a MSc in Management from EDHEC Business School in Lille, France.

Commenting on his new role, Vasset says, “I am delighted to be joining Air Partner’s Freight division as the team continues to build on the momentum from a successful 2017. The company has an excellent reputation in the cargo market, and I look forward to building on this going forward.”

Alexis Labonne takes Hermes helm as new CTO

Hermes Logistics Technologies (HTL), a leading provider of cargo management systems for the airfreight industry, has appointed Alexis Labonne as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) as it prepares to roll out its latest version, called Hermes 5 (H5).

The United Kingdom-headquartered tech leader, which has been pioneering digital solutions for airlines and air cargo handlers since 2002, will roll out H5 this year, with a leading European handling agent amongst its first customers to deploy the innovative new version.

Alexis Labonne has over 20 years’ experience in technology, most recently with Hitachi Consulting working on Security and Customs, Education and Government projects, as Architect and CTO.

“Hermes has invested considerably to advance our technological infrastructure, as well as the Hermes functionality,” said Yuval Baruch, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Hermes Logistics Technologies.

“Our H5 version is proof of our innovation-focused approach to the industry, aimed at ensuring that our customers keep benefitting from the best Cargo Management System (CMS) and Hub Management System (HMS) in the world.

Alexis Labonne, who takes over from Oded Lavee, comes from a software development and architecture background, and has worked as Chief Architect/CTO and as Enterprise Architect for a number of companies, including Hitachi Consulting, BT, GSK, UK Council, Pfizer and KPMG.

Alexis Labonne will head the HLT team of air cargo technical experts, who are now following a digital roadmap to use the power of Cloud services, IoT, AI and blockchain technologies.

Shawn Richard joins SEKO Logistics as global airfreight VP

SEKO Logistics has appointed Shawn Richard to the newly-created post of Vice President Global Airfreight as cross-border eCommerce now accounts for 50% of SEKO’s airfreight volumes and customer demand increases for Final Mile and traditional international and domestic airfreight services.

Reporting to Terry Unrein, SEKO’s Chief Commercial Officer, Americas, Shawn is responsible for strategically driving SEKO’s international air procurement as well as maximizing SEKO’s air carrier utilization globally.

Shawn joins SEKO with 30 years of logistics industry experience and brings extensive knowledge of carrier management, procurement and cross-border e-commerce. He began his career managing inbound and outbound handling operations for air carriers at New York JFK before joining the predecessor to DHL Global Forwarding in Miami and played an important role in the successful integrations of Danzas, Exel and Airborne Express into DHL. He later moved back to the U.S. Northeast with Geodis and, prior to join SEKO, held the posts of Chief Operating Officer at Worldnet Shipping USA and as Northeast Regional Sales Manager for Delta Airlines Cargo.

Terry Unrein commented, “SEKO’s roots are in airfreight but the real significance today is how it is driving the growth of our cross-border eCommerce business and encouraging us to introduce home delivery products like our new Airfreight+ Final Mile service in North America. This comes at a time when our traditional omni-channel and white glove business are increasing our domestic and international heavyweight airfreight volumes and exceeding our expectations. This is leading to some very interesting conversations with carriers that can see the growth we’re generating and want to be part of it. 2018 is already on track to be a record year for our airfreight volumes so having Shawn leading our Global Air strategy and developing our airline partnerships is perfect timing given his broad experience and, especially, his cross-border experience, which is key for us.”

“This is a great time to be joining SEKO. Our focus on airfreight has never been greater and we are a leader in a part of the market where airlines also see great growth potential, notably cross-border eCommerce. The fact that SEKO has a fast-growing client base of retailers and etailers – as well as in other industries such as automotive, aerospace, energy, medical, technology and tradeshows and events – means we’re looking to build stronger relationships with forward-thinking airline partners that want to talk to us.”

Pharma.Aero announces Frank Van Gelder as new secretary general

Pharma.Aero has announced the appointment of Frank Van Gelder as their new Secretary General.
Nathan De Valck, chairman of Pharma.Aero says, “Over the past year we have expanded our Pharma.Aero global network, created awareness in our industry and facilitated the collaboration among the members. With the appointment of the Secretary General, Pharma.Aero is gearing up to further develop into a unique platform for cross industry collaboration.”

Frank Van Gelder has an extensive experience in senior management positions within the air cargo industry, and specifically in relation to special products such as pharmaceutical products and perishables. He has become an international reference in the industry.

Frank served in different boards and presented on different international conferences.

Being active on an extended international level within global healthcare R&D, he served as an expert in the field for the development of business projects, educational training programs, research programs and management of acute time critical processes and logistics in the medical and pharmaceutical field. Supply chain improvement and innovative approaches towards time and temperature critical commodities through cross sectional industry exchanges underlines his vision. During that time he was an early believer of airport community approaches and the CEIV training program of IATA.

Skycell appoints Marrie Groeneveld as CCO

Skycell has appointed Marrie Groeneveld as Chief Commercial Officer, effective February 1st, 2018. Based in Switzerland, SkyCell is a leading provider of temperature-controlled container solutions and services with a special focus on serving global pharma companies and sustainability.

Continuously growing, SkyCell operates today the 4th largest pharma airfreight container fleet. Further on, it is expanding its team on multiple levels, especially in sales.

Marrie Groeneveld has a 30 years track record of successful experience in the contract logistics and healthcare supply chain industry with some of the largest international logistics companies like, DHL, UPS, Movianto and Expeditors.

“Marrie is a natural choice for the new commercial leadership of SkyCell, as he has a proven track record, having worked in both commercial and executive leadership roles with internationally well-known service providers”, said Richard Ettl, CEO of SkyCell.

Next to Groeneveld, SkyCell has appointed Marcus Schubert (Global accounts EMEA), and Larry Tillem (Global accounts North America). To respond to the rising client requests, SkyCell will continuously expand and hire further team members in the course of the year.