Innovative Future

With access to technology getting cheaper, its use is becoming more ubiquitous in different industries primarily to hasten production process without compromising safety and security.

The air cargo industry continues to embrace digitalization and other facets of technology to speed up the process and reach even the farthest shores seeking access to a reliable, safe and efficient mode of transporting goods.

That is also the case in freight and logistics with artificial intelligence being utilized to uplift industry standards. Smart warehouses are now commonly used and so are robots designed to lift, sort, label or pack cargoes for storage and shipment, among many other things.

In this edition, we’ll examine another new logistics trend known as “reverse logistics” which is essentially connecting chain of post-purchase services designed to increase customer loyalty and minimize return costs for merchants.

We’ll also bring you innovations in airports in the Middle East and across the world giving us a glimpse of what the foreseeable future looks when it comes to handling millions of travelers on a daily basis.

Autonomous trains are now the norm in transporting passengers from one point to another around airports. Passengers in search of information now mostly deal with robots or communicate remotely with humans via computers.

Our eyes, faces and fingers are scanned enabling us to seamlessly go through security checks.

Dubai, among the first globally to introduce automated immigration gates in 2002, adopted during recent years the socalled Smart Gates, which can identify travelers through their passports, Emirates ID (for residents), e-gate card or a government-generated QR barcode.

The Smart Gates, now 127 in number across Dubai Airports, can process immigration security check in less than a minute. The system is available to all UAE citizens and residents, GCC nationals and citizens of a number of countries eligible for visa on arrival.

More than 88 million passengers traveled to Dubai in 2017, making it the top airport in the world in terms of passenger traffic. Of the figure, more than 5 million used the Smart Gates. But in the future, the government plans to introduce Smart Corridors to check all at the same time more people using their biometrics.

We’re all heading for an innovative future in different fronts.

Gemma Q. Casas

Lindsey Jalil replaces Kristin Colvile as MD at Delta Cargo

Lindsey Jalil has taken up the role of managing director – commercial at Delta Cargo, replacing Kristin Colvile who has been promoted to chief executive officer and managing director of SkyTeam.

Jalil will lead Delta Cargo’s commercial activities including alliances, distribution, marketing and communications, products, technology, reporting and revenue management.

Delta Cargo vice president, Shawn Cole says, “Lindsey’s strong analytical skills will continue the commercial team’s momentum by championing enhanced reporting tools and technology, as well as the introduction of new industry leading products and services.

“She joins the team at an exciting time as Delta continues to grow its foothold and network internationally, and build closer collaboration with our global partners.”

Jalil joined Delta in 2005, and for the past eight years has been part of the operations analysis and performance (OAP) team, holding the role of managing director since 2015 where she implemented data management systems and supported Delta’s operating divisions.

Prior to OAP, Jalil held roles in revenue management and was cargo manager – revenue forecasting during the Delta and Northwest merger.

Thai Airways finds new member after 2-year search

THAI Airways International recently announced that it has found a new president and chief executive, almost two years after the retirement of the national carrier’s former head.

The board has recommended the recruitment of Sumeth Damrongchaitham, 53, after details such as salary are agreed, the airline said in a statement.

Mr Sumeth is listed on the website of the Ministry of Finance as president of state-owned property manager Dhanarak Asset Development. He was also chief operating officer of music and entertainment group GMM Grammy.

He will take control of an airline struggling for growth in an environment of high fuel costs and competition from low-cost carriers.

The selection is the culmination of a search, which began in September 2016 after Charamporn Jothikastira retired at 60, the compulsory retirement age for employees of state-owned firms.

Aviation Business Unit vice-president Usanee Sangsingkea has been acting CEO while the airline struggled to find a qualified replacement.

Investors and analysts have said potential candidates may have been deterred by the airline’s lack of independence.

Its board comprises civil servants and former members of the air force, in a country ruled by a military junta.

Volga-Dnepr appoints Paul Nolan as fleet development director

Volga-Dnepr Group has appointed Paul Nolan, a leading expert in aircraft trading, remarketing and leasing, as Fleet Development Director.

Paul has worked in aviation commerce for more than 30 years, most recently spending more than 15 years as Senior Vice President, Aircraft Asset Management, for DVB Bank SE, the world’s leading dedicated international transportation finance institution, covering clients in the EMEA region, Japan, India, Russia and the CIS. He has also held management positions at Rolls-Royce, the Royal Bank Canada and the Industrial Bank of Japan.

As one of the most respected professionals in this specialist field, Paul has led international aircraft leasing and investment projects, and also brings to Volga-Dnepr Group long-term experience of commercial and legal consulting on aircraft sales and deliveries. In his new role, Paul will be responsible for the efficient fleet development of Volga-Dnepr Group’s cargo airlines in accordance with their adopted strategies and customers’ and partners’ service needs.

“I am very happy to be joining an ambitious and fast-growing airline Group which is recognized by customers all over the world for the quality of its operations and extensive service capability. Throughout its 28-year history, Volga-Dnepr Group has been successfully implementing its strategic plans steadily and consistently, and I intend to contribute to this ongoing progress by applying my knowledge and expertise to the benefit of the Group’s airlines and their customers,” Paul commented.

He will officially take up his new post on 1 May 2018 and will be based in London.

UPS appoints Warren as Chief Marketing Officer

UPS recently appointed Kevin Warren to the position of Chief Marketing Officer, effective immediately. Warren will report to UPS Chairman and CEO David Abney. He also joins the UPS Management Committee, the most senior leadership group in the company.
“With unprecedented demand from consumer and business customers, it’s critical for UPS to have a savvy leader driving innovative new marketing programs that support one of world’s most trusted and respected brands,” said David Abney, UPS Chief Executive Officer. “Kevin brings a wealth of experience to UPS with a strong global growth focus across multiple disciplines. He will guide critically important marketing initiatives as we continue UPS’s transformation.”
Warren will be responsible for all US and international marketing, including the company’s product development, pricing, customer loyalty, industry segments, customer communications and public relations, among other functions.  He brings extensive senior leadership experience to UPS and possesses a deep understanding of service-based businesses.
Most recently, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer for Xerox Corporation, where he was responsible for worldwide channel strategy, salesforce effectiveness and global client engagement for the company’s diverse portfolio of hardware, software, and services.  Prior to that, he served as president of the Commercial Business Group for Xerox’s services business, driving growth by pursuing new clients and expanding the services the company provides to current clients across commercial industries including: retail and consumer products, commercial transportation, travel, manufacturing, aerospace and defense, high-tech communications, and financial services.
Previously, Warren served as president of Global Growth Opportunities, responsible for accelerating revenue growth outside the United States. In addition, he had strategic oversight for two Xerox operating units, Global Imaging Systems and Xerox Canada, as well as leading the company’s 3-D printing strategy. He has also led the integration activity surrounding Xerox’s $1.5 billion purchase of Global Imaging Systems. In 2007, he was named chairman, president and chief executive officer of Xerox Canada and in 2010, was named president of U.S. Client Operations.

Cargo iQ adds new members to its team

Emirates SkyCargo’s Henrik Ambak has been elected vice chairman of Cargo iQ, and the group has also welcomed board members from Qatar Airways Cargo and Swissport for the first time.

Ambak brings over three decades of air cargo experience with him, having started his career in freight forwarding, moving to ground handling, before joining Cargolux to oversee all aspects of cargo and ground operations.

He joined Emirates in 2014 as senior vice president – cargo operations worldwide, where he is responsible for all Emirates SkyCargo operations at its hub in Dubai, as well as more than 150 stations globally.

Ambak says, “The Cargo iQ journey of close industry collaboration has rendered air cargo as the only mode of transport with a standard cross-industry quality management and measurement approach – quite a feat.”

Qatar Airways Cargo vice president – global cargo operations, Nadeem Sultan and Swissport head of global operations – cargo, Hendrik Leyssens will be a their companies’ first representative on the Cargo iQ board.

Sultan has over 18 years experience in air transport including roles in cargo operations, cargo sales and marketing, safety and security compliance, and freighter operations.

He joined Qatar Airways Cargo in 2014 after working with Atlas Air.

Sultan says, “Like Cargo iQ, Qatar Airways Cargo believes in excellence and along with my fellow board members, we look forward to further paving a successful path of process control, quality monitoring and services improvements for air cargo.”

Leyssens joined Swissport in 2012 to develop and implement quality standards and KPIs at Swissport Cargo Services, and now oversees the global management of cargo processes, standards and systems, including Cargo iQ.

He says, “Swissport was one of the first members to join Cargo iQ and our commitment to quality delivery in our cargo operations is well recognized.”

KLM Cargo’s director – performance management, Rutger Jan Pegels, and Panalpina’s global head of airfreight procurement and product management, Markus Muecke also joined the board and will continue to hold the seats for their companies.

Kuehne + Nagel vice president and global head of carrier and gateway air logistics, Max Sauberschwarz, Lufthansa Cargo vice president performance management, Jens Appel, and Ambak have been re-elected to continue to represent their companies.

Think-A-Thon provides impetus for innovative business models

Blockchain technology offers enormous possibilities. This has been successfully demonstrated by Jettainer’s three-day Think-A-Thon at this year’s transport logistic China, which took place from 16 to 18 May 2018. In order to use this technology for logistics in the future, around 25 logistics students from Shanghai’s Tongji University were looking for new applications in global supply chains under the guidance of Jettainer at the industry fair in Shanghai. Finally, the groups pitched their creative ideas to the industry on the last day of the fair. This included, for example, a blockchain-enabled database for ULD tracking.

“With the Think-A-Thon we have taken a new path and it has paid off. The cooperation with the students has been excellent and so many creative ideas for blockchain applications in worldwide supply chains have emerged. We will now evaluate them one by one in order to further develop the topic in our company,” sums up Carsten Hernig, Managing Director of Jettainer GmbH.

During the Think-A-Thon, the students were divided into groups that dealt with the topic of blockchain in logistics from various perspectives. Among other things, the idea has been developed to implement a blockchain-compatible database for ULD tracking. This would have the advantage that information from airlines, ground handlers and forwarders would be stored in one place and would be easily accessible to all parties in the supply chain. This would make it possible to react quickly in the event of damages, but also to avoid future damage by means of analyses. Another idea was to integrate digital contracts into blockchain, which are forgery-proof and individually adapted to the respective customer needs. In particular, this is intended to simplify the acquisition of small customers, as marginal costs are reduced on the one hand and transparency between the contracting parties is created on the other.

“The successful cooperation on the Jettainer Think-A-Thon is a good example of the exchange between business and science. As a trade fair organizer, we strive to develop new, innovative formats together with our exhibitors and thus promote such cooperation,” says Gerhard Gerritzen, Managing Director of Messe München GmbH.

Jettainer GmbH, which planned the Think-A-Thon in cooperation with Messe München, initiated the project and the PR agency Medienbüro am Reichstag.

DTP, Quintiq announce partnership for MENA aviation industry

Dubai Technology Partners (DTP), recently announced that it is has signed a partnership agreement with Quintiq, a Dassault Systèmes company and global leader in supply chain planning and optimization (SCP&O).

Since 2004, DTP has acquired extensive knowledge and skills to cater to the continuously evolving airport technology requirements. Due to the rapid growth of the aviation industry in the MENA region, this strategic alliance will allow DTP to extend its solution offering and provide its aviation customers with Quintiq’s world-class, innovative planning and optimization solutions that will help to improve operations efficiency, increase productivity and ultimately positively impact passenger satisfaction and retention.

“We collaborated with Quintiq in 2017 to deliver planning solutions to one of the biggest hub airports in the world to manage its fixed resources; including airport stands, gates, baggage belts and check-in counters. That successful implementation has improved the airport’s overall efficiency, reliability and passenger satisfaction,” said Abdul Razzak Mikati, Managing Director at DTP. “Through that collaboration, we recognized our complementary capabilities and synergies, and collectively, we believe that the formalization of our partnership will result in the delivery of much-needed, high-tech aviation optimization solutions to stakeholders across the region.”

“DTP has impressed us with over a decade’s experience in aviation know-how, project management, delivery capability and high standards of service quality. On merit, DTP is our clear choice for a strong partnership in order to further strengthen Quintiq’s presence in the Middle East and North Africa’s aviation market. Our shared vision, goals and expertise will allow us to make day to day business easier for airports, airlines, ground handlers and ATCs and in doing so, set the highest industry standard,” added Henk De Bruin, Director Delivery, EMEAR at Quintiq.

Frequentis to upgrade communication infrastructure at SIA

Frequentis and its partner Bayanat Engineering UAE have secured a contract to modernise voice communication infrastructure at Sharjah International Airport.

Under the terms of the agreement, the existing Schmid Telecom system will be replaced. Additionally, Frequentis’ end-to-end IP communication solution for air traffic management, known as VCS3020X, will be installed at the airport’s tower.

The VCS3020X will ensure that the airport benefits from the air traffic control voice communication solution, with rapid deployment.

“The Frequentis system has many positive references, both globally and in this region, as well as its experience with similar projects.”
It features a number of workload sharing and networking capabilities making it a critical element for any successful implementation of dynamic sectorisation, or Virtual Air Traffic Control.

Bayanat Engineering CNS, ATM & MET Division general manager Johnson Philips said: “The Frequentis system has many positive references, both globally and in this region, as well as its experience with similar projects. We are looking forward to a successful project completion.”

The Frequentis system helps to combine the existing analogue and digital radio infrastructure, which will allow the Sharjah airport to manage all communications between the tower and the cockpit with minimal air-ground delay.

The solution also features a number of interfaces to external systems and is ready for future IP radio and telephone connectivity. It is compliant to the European Organisation for Civil Aviation Equipment (ED-137B EUROCAE) standard.

Frequentis ATM Civil vice-president Hannu Juurakko said: “We are proud to have been selected by Sharjah Airport to provide the latest voice communications technology for this tower project.”

Frequentis and Bayanat finished similar projects at Al Bateen and Delma Airports in the UAE last year.

Dubai Airports’ roll out cloud-based technology

Dubai Airports, in partnership with Samsung Electronics and AirportLabs has achieved another first in the region by rolling out an advanced cloud-based Flight Information Display solution along with System on Chip (SoC) display technology at Dubai International (DXB) and Dubai World Central (DWC) airports.

The upgrade is the result of an initiative undertaken by Dubai Airports in 2016 to adopt cloud-based FIDS to replace a fragmented system across the facility and achieve flexible, environmentally sound and cost-effective operations. By upgrading the system with Samsung’s SoC based displays, Dubai Airports team can now operate its new VisionAir FIDS software without external PCs – a consolidated approach that is already reducing both the airport’s electrical footprint and operational costs.

Commenting on the project, Michael Ibbitson, Executive Vice President of Technology & Infrastructure at Dubai Airports said, “As the world’s busiest international airport that is operating at nearly full capacity, we understand that the most efficient way to accommodate growth without physically expanding the infrastructure is by deploying smart technologies and enhancing processes. Information and communication are critical elements of airport operations and we are positive this new display system will go a long way in helping us deliver a smooth experience consistently for the millions of customers that pass through our airports each year.”

“By offering a single, dedicated platform for cloud based content management, FIDS solution boosts customer service with timely, efficient and visually impactful information delivery,” said Seog-gi Kim, Executive Vice President of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics. “We are thrilled to partner with Dubai Airports and we look forward to demonstrating how our Smart Signage displays and VisionAir FIDS solution can revolutionize communications and productivity within the transportation industry.”

Some of the advanced capabilities of the new system include the ability to run it from an Internet browser without the need for any local software installation. It allows enabling of screen layouts and content for specific zones within the airport from a mobile device or from the control room. The system allows collaborative content management giving airlines, ground handlers or other airport service partners some level of control in managing different types of content such as branding, passenger advisory, as well as operational messaging, flight information and advertising. The system can also help reduce energy consumption through control of backlight.

“Bogdan Stănescu – CTO AirportLabs said, “When we built VisionAir we saw it as a key building block for the next generation travel experience and so we are truly excited to be working with such a forward-thinking organization as Dubai Airports to get closer to this vision. We are sure that our system coupled with Samsung’s SoC based displays will be a great contribution to the airport’s operational efficiency whilst at the same time ensuring that their passengers have a consistently seamless and rewarding experience.”

As part of the project a total of 2,700 display screens were also replaced across Terminal 3, Concourses A, B and C.