Family and people for this serial airline entrepreneur

The global aviation industry remains in a slump due to the pandemic. Not that many people dare fly despite the development of COVID-19 vaccines and new health and safety protocols in place.

But for some entrepreneurs, the situation difficult as it looks, still offers opportunities. And so on May 27, 2021, budget airline Breeze Airways was born to provide flights to underserved cities throughout the United States.

It took off easily with its slogan “Home of Seriously Nice Flights and Fares” backed up with its seamless booking, no change or cancellation fees and customized flight features delivered via a sleek and simple app. As of July, the airline serves 16 cities and nearly 40 routes across the US, with plans for more domestic and international flights.

On September 13, the airline which has a fleet of 13 aircraft, announced an order for 20 more Airbus A220-330 in preparation for its planned longer flights. The new order brings to 80 its total pending aircraft up for deliveries.

Behind this new airline is the entrepreneur who founded four other airlines—Morris Air, WestJet, JetBlue Airways, Azul Brazilian Airlines—within a span of 30 years, the Brazilian-American businessman and serial entrepreneur David G. Neeleman who is also part-owner of Tap Air Portugal.

Neeleman who was dubbed as the “Steve Jobs of the Skies” says he believes flying is the greatest privilege and opportunity that we could all have and that it should be affordable and a genuinely nice experience for everyone.

The Dutch-descent Neeleman was born in Sao Paolo, Brazil where his father worked as a foreign correspondent for UPI and later became bureau chief for Latin America. The family stayed there until he was five before moving back to Salt Lake City, Utah in the US.

At 19, Neeleman served for two years as a Mormon missionary in Brazil, spending time with the poorest of the poor and the downtrodden, an experience he described as humbling that made him vow to serve the Brazilians and others in whatever way he can.

“When I was living there as an expatriate child and visited as a teenager, I ran with the influential people and the rich. Then I went back to Brazil and lived with the poor. And that contrast really annoyed me. It made me want to do something to make a difference for the lower classes and that’s what we’re doing-creating air travel for the bus fare,” Neeleman told the Business Jet Traveller in an interview when asked how his experience as a missionary affected him.

Neeleman would occasionally return to Brazil where he also holds a citizenship. In 2008, he made a milestone when he founded Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras S/A, a low-cost quality carrier. It created jobs and the opportunity for poor Brazilians to travel across the country and overseas.

The airline now has a fleet of 143 planes and account for nearly 24% of Brazil’s domestic and 5% international air market, making it the third largest domestic and second largest international airline in Brazil. Neeleman says he delights in serving others and creating opportunities that benefit people.

Despite his busy schedule, this divorced father of 10, now with 24 grandchildren, always make it a point to spend time with his family, be it in sports, school performances and other activities, where they can connect and exchange ideas.

Always compassionate and a dreamer, Neeleman once told the Deseret News, “The more people you touch, the more good you do, the more lives you change, the happier you are.”


New Generation DAF trucks come alive digitally, an industry first

Multi-layer digital launch for New Generation XF, XG and XG⁺

DAF Trucks made its brand New Generation XF, XG and XG⁺ come alive on computer screens and mobile devices with a stunning augmented reality app and a fully immersive online virtual experience – an industry first. DAF says both applications reflect its New Generation slogan ‘Start the Future’.

With the interactive augmented reality New Generation DAF app – downloadable via the app stores at Google Play and Apple – each detail of the New Generation XF, XG and XG⁺ is just a swipe away on the display of any mobile device.

Using the camera of your mobile phone or tablet, the software can place the truck where you want it. Right on top of a desk, in a parking area or even in a living room. App-users can then explore the truck from all angles, both inside and out, and discover all the details and features without leaving the seat.

“The DAF Virtual Experience has been designed to work on all devices – desktop and mobile. It is responsive, rapid and much more than just a video production, with the look and feel of a high-end gaming environment. The New Generation DAF app and the DAF Virtual Experience are part of a comprehensive digital launch of a new generation of trucks, and at the same time ushers in a new generation in communications too,” said Richard Zink, Director Marketing & Sales.

Virtual drive 

Together with the New Generation DAF app, the DAF Virtual Experience, an immersive and interactive online environment, has been launched, which convincingly emulates its physical equivalent at DAF’s onsite Experience Centre in Eindhoven.

This virtual domain offers shows, presentations, videos, a live chat and even the possibility to register for a virtual drive in the New Generation XG and XG⁺. A visit to the DAF Museum and a virtual web shop are also included. More features will be added during the year.

Discover features 

At the heart of this Virtual Experience is the ‘Start the Future’ showroom. Here, visitors can get up close and personal with the New Generation XF, XG and XG⁺ and discover some of the important features that make this new line of trucks so revolutionary.  Photos & Text: DAF Newsroom

First 1,000 New Generation DAF trucks sold

Less than a month after the official June launch, DAF says it has already received over 1,000 customer orders for its New Generation XF, XG and XG⁺ trucks. The completely new range of vehicles for long distance transport will enter production in October and set a new standard in efficiency, safety and driver comfort.

DAF’s new New Generation XF, XG and XG⁺ are the first trucks on the market to fully benefit from the New European Masses & Dimensions regulations. These allow truck cabs to be longer to achieve next levels of efficiency, safety and driver comfort.

Features like optimal radii, a tapered cab design, a curved windscreen and a 16 cm elongation at the front, have resulted in industry-leading aerodynamics. This contributes to an impressive improvement in fuel efficiency of up to 10%, with similar reductions in CO2.

Unparalleled safety is achieved through extremely low window belt lines and a kerb view window for outstanding direct view, as well as features like the new DAF Digital Vision System and the DAF Corner View. Swivel seats, a superb, fully digital instrument panel, a Relax Bed and ambient interior lighting, not to mention the unprecedented amount of interior space (12.5 m3 for the XG⁺), all combine to deliver unrivalled driver comfort.

In addition, the New Generation DAF represents an entirely new platform, ready for alternative battery-electric and hydrogen drivelines which are currently under development at DAF.

“Never before in our more than 90-year history has the milestone of over 1,000 customer orders been reached so rapidly after the official launch,” according to Richard Zink, member of the DAF Board of Management and responsible for Marketing & Sales. “What makes this milestone even more special, is that the New Generation DAF will only enter production in October and far most of the customers haven’t been able to see our magnificent trucks in real life yet. It shows that we have started the future by launching a series of revolutionary trucks that are genuinely game-changing in terms of efficiency, safety and driver comfort.”

Expo 2020 Dubai: Bringing the world together in the new normal

The first World Expo ever held in the MEASA region kicking-off on 01 October 2021 is seen as a beacon of hope for future generations and the global business community 

The futuristic city of Dubai is welcoming the world on October 1, 2021 as it hosts the first World Expo ever held in the Middle East Africa and South Asia region. Expo 2020 Dubai is one of the first major in-person global events to take place since the pandemic disrupted the world order more than a year ago and ushered what we now observe as the new normal.

Some 191 countries are participating in this major event running through 31 March 2022, in parallel with major businesses, multilateral organizations and educational institutions and other stakeholders, working on the event’s theme, “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.”

Described as the most diverse World Expo ever held, Dubai and the rest of the Emirates in the United Arab Emirates are thrilled to potentially welcome millions of visitors from across the world to the six-month event celebrating human ingenuity, innovation, progress and culture.

Marvelous Logistics

Each of the 191 countries participating in the event must build their own pavilion revolving around the Expo’s key subthemes – Opportunity (unlocking human potential to promote growth), Mobility (movement of people and goods while harnessing technology) and Sustainability (clean environment while protecting the planet).

Inside the Expo site is a city itself—residential areas, parks, entertainment centers and other facilities typically found in an urban smart area.

Since the UAE won the bid to host the Expo years ago, construction had silently begun at the site and so did the work for each country building their own unique pavilions.

This involved massive logistics on air, land and sea transportation to haul construction supplies and building materials. For delicate materials and equipment, including high-value artifact, cargo planes were mainly utilized for different projects and special features that will be showcased throughout the six-month event.

Consider these: 21-meter high portals overlooking the Expo entry ways, giant screens, unique architectural pieces, high-tech robots, pricey artifacts, and so on.

Hundreds of cargo specialists, logisticians, loadmasters, IT experts and other highly-skilled people involved in the air cargo and logistics industries worldwide, were needless to say, silent participants to this global event apart from numerous engineering and architectural firms that were commissioned to build pavilions, and thousands of others in different fields who will run the pavilions once it’s officially opened to the public.

UAE ready to welcome the world

Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has reaffirmed the UAE’s readiness to welcome the world to Expo 2020 Dubai and herald a new era of international collaboration.

His Highness made these remarks as he visited the Expo 2020 Dubai site with by H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Expo 2020 Dubai Higher Committee, Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, and Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai, among other officials, weeks before the doors were opened to the world’s largest cultural event.

Sheikh Mohammed praised the efforts of Expo 2020’s employees, and commended all local and federal government entities for their support to deliver a successful mega-event that befits the status and reputation of the UAE.

“We look forward to receiving delegations from 191 countries as well as businesses, multilateral organizations and educational institutions, who will join in the making of a better tomorrow for humanity. Amid this critical phase in the history of mankind, Expo 2020 Dubai will provide a unique opportunity for the world to come together, exchange knowledge and develop innovative solutions for a better future,” His Highness said.

During his visit, Sheikh Mohammed also inspected two new landmarks – the Expo 2020 Water Feature and the Garden in the Sky observation tower. An award-winning composer was involved in crafting the original musical score for the Expo 2020 Water Feature, which includes water, earth and fire features.

Meanwhile, the Garden in the Sky observation tower, built at a height of 55 metres, will offer breathtaking 360-degree views of Expo 2020 Dubai, including the site’s icons and pavilions representing 191 participating countries, many of whom will have their own pavilion for the first time in the 170-year history of World Expos.

The Expo 2020 Water Feature and the Garden in the Sky observation tower are both set to appeal to millions of visitors during Expo 2020 and will continue to serve as major attractions even after the event closes its doors.

Expo 2020 Passport

Dubai residents and international visitors alike will get a special passport as a souvenir while exploring the 200-plus participating pavilions at Expo 2020 Dubai.

The passport will encourage visitors to see as many pavilions as possible during the 182-day event, while allowing them to look back and relive the memories of their experiences after they visit, said a press release issued by Expo 2020 Dubai on Thursday.

Since its introduction at the 1967 World Expo in Montreal, the passport has become one of the most popular Expo souvenirs for visitors who want to keep track of all the different international pavilions they visit, collecting pavilion stamps as a memento.

The Expo 2020 version is inspired by the UAE’s heritage, linking the past with the present. Shaped like an official passport, the 50-page booklet contains designs and pictures of the three Thematic Pavilions (Mission Possible – The Opportunity Pavilion, Alif – The Mobility Pavilion and Terra – The Sustainability Pavilion), as well as Al Wasl Plaza – the crown jewel of the Expo site – plus other Dubai landmarks, such as the city’s iconic skyline, and other elements relating to the UAE.

The yellow, customisable passport also comes with its own enhanced security features – a unique number, an area to include a passport-sized photo, personal details and hidden watermarked images on each of its pages, ensuring that no two documents are alike.

With the UAE currently celebrating its Golden Jubilee year, the passport pays homage to the nation’s Founding Father, His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, with a special page stamped in gold foil, and a photograph dating from 1971, when the UAE celebrated the birth of the nation. On 2nd December, visitors to Expo will also receive an exclusive stamp in commemoration of the UAE’s 50th Anniversary.

Priced at AED20, the Expo 2020 Dubai passport is available for purchase from all official Expo 2020 Dubai stores located across the Expo site, the Expo 2020 Dubai store located in Dubai Airports’ Terminal 3 and Photos & Text Source: WAM

Cargo Drones: New lifeline in the fight against the pandemic & humanitarian crisis

“UAVs play a vital role in disaster preparedness and response, from surveying potential transport bottlenecks, to helping to quickly assess damage after an event. While drones are being used successfully for last mile delivery of small medical packages in countries like Rwanda and Ghana, larger capacity drones are needed to better support humanitarian operations in remote locations.” – George Fenton, Chief Executive, Humanitarian Logistics Association

“Drones are a clear part of the future transport and logistics landscape. There is vast potential when it comes to new cargo and delivery services, as well as other innovative applications, including drone flights with passengers on board in the future.” – European Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean

Indonesia, the world’s largest island-nation with over 17,0000 islands and home to more than 270 million people, continues to be ravaged by the more transmissible and deadlier Coronavirus variant, Delta. The pandemic has so far infected more than 4 million Indonesians and killed nearly 140,000 as of early September.

The newly-industrialized oil-rich Indonesia is still faced with poverty and reaching out to those in remote villages during this pandemic is a major challenge.

But thanks to the emergence of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), more popularly known in the industry as cargo drones, some remote island villages in the country are getting medical help.

For instance, in Makassar, the capital of Indonesia’s South Sulawesi province, a group of civilian drone enthusiasts have been using their drone skills to provide contactless medicine and food delivery to COVID-19 patients isolating at home, the media reported. The group works 24/7 for what they view as critical life-threatening mission using just five drones.

Garuda Indonesia, the country’s national carrier, has explored the possibility of increasing its cargo fleet by using 100 drones to haul cargo to different islands as early as 2019, in partnership with a Chinese firm.

Rise of Cargo Drones 

Time-bound and faced with limited manpower, governments and healthcare companies have found ways to reach out to more patients this pandemic using cargo drones.

The last-mile delivery of essential medical supplies and products can be very challenging in remote or hard-to-reach areas where there are inaccessible roads, shortage of vehicles and inefficient supply chains.

This pandemic, these cargo drones have become very essential in picking-up and delivering lab samples, medical supplies, transport vaccines, among other medical essentials, saving time and money while saving lives.

In some cases, drones are also used to spray disinfectant in public places or monitor movement of people while providing guidance during lockdown and quarantine.

According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the global agency responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide, at least 18 countries have so far used drones for delivery and transportation purposes during this pandemic.

“Some of them did it as part of experimentation and tests, while others maintained their regular drone delivery operations. Three countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, namely Rwanda, Ghana and Malawi reported the use of drones to deliver regular medical commodities, COVID-19 supplies and medical samples since the beginning of the pandemic,” UNICEF said.

But the agency cautioned, while the right drone solution could really offer a breakthrough helping to handle the pandemic crisis, “it also needs to be supported by appropriate regulatory framework, local skills and sustainability plan. Seeing the full picture is essential to enable supply chain managers make cost-efficient and impactful decisions as part of their COVID-19 response.”

Ghana has been using Zipline drones to deliver tens of thousands of temperature and time-sensitive COVID-19 vaccines since the WHO approved its roll-out in late 2020. Canada has also been using drones to reach out its remote communities.

And so does the United States. The US Federal Aviation Authority has so far selected 10 companies for airworthiness certification to use drones for deliveries. These include Zipline, Amazon Prime Air and Wingcopter.

Among air carriers, UPS has intensively used drones during this pandemic taking advantage of its FAA certifications allowing it to deliver short and longer-distance as well as nighttime flights.

COVID-ravaged India where the Delta variant was first discovered is also anticipating to see more cargo drones working. In June, cargo carrier SpiceXpress and e-commerce logistics platform Delhivery, announced their joint venture on cargo drones.

“We are very excited about this project as it promises to be a game-changer in times to come. The MoU is a win-win for both companies leveraging their strengths to deliver great synergies,” SpiceXpress CEO Sanjiv Gupta said in the statement. His company was among the key consortiums shortlisted by India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation to conduct trials on Beyond Visual Line Sight (BVLOS) drones in the country.

Crucial to last-mile delivery

Faced with the challenges of reaching out to communities, patients and healthcare facilities in remote areas, specialists from across the pharma air cargo supply chain had since launched an extensive review on how drones can be used to address the issue.

The nonprofit groups Pharma.Aero and Humanitarian Logistics Association (HLA) had since launched a joint project aimed at developing a strategic roadmap to enable effective transportation of pharma and humanitarian medical goods to remote areas using UAV and drone technology.

The results of the survey and insights gathered amongst the presenters, the attendees and the project group were outlined in a White Paper, marking the completion of their joint project’s first phase. The White Paper examined the competitive positioning of UAV against other transportation modes, the regulatory framework for drone operations and applications of UAV in the Pharma and Humanitarian Air Cargo sector.

Their survey indicated that UAV would become the preferred and efficient transportation solution compared to traditional modes of transport for last-mile delivery, into remote and hard-to-access areas within certain concentration of health facilities like hospitals, health centers, clinics, etc.

But the groups noted for UAV to become an integral part of air cargo, industry and regulatory bodies must work for common goals and standards.

“Countries across the globe need to align on standards, regulations and guidelines to ensure safety of UAV for final mile deliveries. With this, there could be higher understanding and acceptance from the pharma and air cargo industry to increase the use of UAVs as a form of freight transportation in the pharma supply chain,” Pharma.Aero and HLA jointly said in a statement.

“The second phase of the project will involve a UAV flight in Germany capturing different steps of the supply chain journey. The demonstration flight will be filmed and showcased in an interactive and immersive 360° learning video giving our members and other interested parties the opportunity to explore the features and capabilities of drones and UAVs,” they added.

Trevor Caswell, Manager (Demand & Product Development), Edmonton International Airport and Vice Chairman, Pharma.Aero, is convinced that drones will become an integral part of the air cargo industry given today’s situation.

“With the advancements in drone technology coming so far in recent years, the future of UAV is here. Drones being used for last mile delivery is here to stay, and projects like this will provide insights to our members and industry on how drone technology could become more integrated in the pharmaceutical supply chains, delivering life-saving products directly to the end user. It is very exciting for Pharma.Aero to be working with our partners on such a groundbreaking project, where we can incorporate both humanitarian logistical needs and advanced technology to ensure low-cost, reliable and just-in-time delivery of essential goods to where they are needed,” said Caswell.

George Fenton, Chief Executive, Humanitarian Logistics Association, noted, “UAVs play a vital role in disaster preparedness and response, from surveying potential transport bottlenecks, to helping to quickly assess damage after an event. While drones are being used successfully for last mile delivery of small medical packages in countries like Rwanda and Ghana, larger capacity drones are needed to better support humanitarian operations in remote locations.

“More support is needed to help develop the national regulatory frameworks required to ensure effective use of UAVs. The HLA is keen to help generate and share knowledge in the endeavor and is pleased to be collaborating with Pharma.Aero on this project.”

 U-Space package

Last April, the European Commission adopted the U-Space Package—three regulations that essentially creates conditions necessary for both drones and manned aircraft to operate safely in the EU airspace known as the U-Space.

These regulations will become law on 26 January 2023. Essentially, they introduce new services for drone operators, allowing them to carry out more complex and longer-distance operations, particularly in congested, low-level airspace (below 120m), and when out of sight.

The EC believes the U-space creates and harmonizes the conditions needed for manned and unmanned aircraft to operate safely, to prevent collisions between drones and other aircraft, and to mitigate the risks of drone traffic on the ground.

“Drones are a clear part of the future transport and logistics landscape. There is vast potential when it comes to new cargo and delivery services, as well as other innovative applications, including drone flights with passengers on board in the future. This has clear added value in terms of achieving our decarbonization, digitalization and resilience ambitions, and the U-Space package is an important step towards creating the well-functioning, trusted and safe enabling environment that we need to develop a competitive EU drone services market,” said Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean.

For the pharma industry, the U-Space is a milestone in creating conditions necessary for both drones and manned aircraft as the law is expected to leverage worldwide harmonization of drone operations, considering the potential experiences and foreseen needs to connect with non-European countries.

With cargo drone use likely to increase further for medical and humanitarian reasons, experts predict the drone market to reach $6.15 billion by 2023 from only $3.64 billion in 2020.

Afghanistan gets vital humanitarian aid as Talibans take over

War-torn Afghanistan finally received its first shipment of humanitarian aid on 30 August since the Taliban took over control of the government following America’s withdrawal on its longest war.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said the successful airlift meant that it could “partially replenish” health facilities’ reserves and ensure that services can continue, for now.

Some 12.5 metric tons of supplies arrived in the northern airport of Mazar-i-Sharif, aboard a plane provided by the Government of Pakistan. WHO said the shipment consisted of enough trauma and emergency health kits to cover the basic health needs of more than 200,000 people, as well as provide 3500 surgical procedures and treat 6500 trauma patients.

The supplies will be delivered immediately to 40 health facilities in 29 provinces across Afghanistan, the UN agency added.

Airbridge vital

The plane was loaded with the supplies by WHO’s logistics team at the International Humanitarian City in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

It is the first of three flights planned with Pakistan International Airlines to fill urgent shortages in medicines and medical supplies in Afghanistan.

“The support of the Pakistani people has been timely and life-saving,” said Dr Ahmed Al Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean. While WHO is working with partners to ensure more shipments to the country, the agency said a reliable humanitarian air bridge is urgently required, to scale up the collective humanitarian effort.

Tens of millions of vulnerable Afghans remain in the country and the work of meeting their needs is now just beginning, said the agency adding that the world cannot now divert its attention from the people of Afghanistan at this critical time.

International community must act

Adding his voice to the appeal, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi has urged the international community to help the many millions in need in Afghanistan and in neighbouring countries.

In an appeal for long-term solutions for Afghans whose lives have been blighted by 40 years of war, the UN Refugee chief said that although thousands had managed to escape via Kabul airport, “there will still be millions who need the international community to act”.

Millions of Afghanistan were displaced this year. Their priorities include shelter and non-food aid; water, sanitation and hygiene, collectively known as WASH; health, protection, and humanitarian assistance in border areas, as well as emergency livelihood support and social cohesion.

Currently, some 5.5 million Afghans are internally displaced, including more than 550,000 who were newly displaced this year, almost half of whom fled their homes since July.

More than 18 million Afghans, or nearly half the population, already required humanitarian assistance, including 10 million children, with needs expected to rise. Source: UN

ANA offers SkyCell pharma containers to its customers

All Nippon Airways (ANA) will begin offering SkyCell pharma containers to its customers.

The partnership will give ANA access to SkyCell’s hybrid containers that are able to maintain internal temperature stability in external conditions from as low as -30°C to as high as +70°C, as well as its deep-frozen container that is able to maintain internal temperatures between -80°C and -60°C for extended periods of time.

Dai Yuasa, senior vice president of global marketing, ANA Cargo, said, “We are very glad to announce our new partnership with SkyCell. As the first Japanese IATA CEIV Pharma certified airline since 2017, we have been expanding our capabilities to transport temperature-controlled pharmaceuticals at the global standard and beyond.

“Especially through this Covid-19 situation, now more than ever, transporting pharmaceuticals safely is a social mission for every process involved in the chain. We want to provide every customers’ needs for various pharmaceuticals including vaccines. The addition of SkyCell to our product lineup is our commitment to our valued customers.”

Aliscargo starts flying to China twice-weekly

New Italian cargo carrier Aliscargo has started flying twice-weekly to China.

The new carrier received its AOC in July and its first commercial flight took place between Milan Malpensa and Jinan in August utilizing a B777-200 in a preighter configuration.

Since the first flight, the carrier has been operating the Milan-Jinan flight twice per week and has also operated a spot charter flight to Gaborone.

Aliscargo also took delivery of its second B777-200 preighter aircraft in August.

The airline eventually hopes to launch services to North America and has two well-known industry names amongst its management team: chief executive Francesco Rebaudo and chief commercial officer Ulrich Ogiermann.

In July, chairman Fulvio Gismondi said the company was hoping to capitalize on the bouyant air cargo market: “Airfreight transport in the world during the two-year period 2020-2021, with the high need for urgent shipments of medical supplies for the pandemic, recorded a surge in significant volumes and turnover compared to previous years.

“A trend that has also been reinforced by the continuous and constant expansion of e-commerce. Today, the need to offer customized cargo services, depending on the product and the destination, is increasingly being verified.”

Amazon Air’s flight activity increases by 17% in the 6 months with continued expansion of fleet & network

Amazon Air’s flight activity increased by more than 17% over the last six months as the e-commerce giant continued to expand its fleet and network, according to a new report from the Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development.

The report, written by Joseph Schwieterman, Borja González, Mitchell Hirst and Abby Mader, shows that in August Amazon Air operated an average of 164 flights per day compared with 140 in February.

The increase comes as the number of aircraft in Amazon’s fleet increased from 59 in February to 73 in August. The company also started operations in Canada during the period through a tie-up with Cargojet.

“The US and US Caribbean portion of Amazon Air grew 14% between the February and August periods, whereas Amazon’s newly added intra-Canada operation now accounts for 3% of its daily flights,” the report said.

Looking ahead, the writers expect Amazon Air to increase its daily flights by a further 12-14% by January, bringing its average number of daily flights to 180.

Meanwhile, its fleet is expected to reach 80 aircraft.

As a result of the network expansion since February, the share of the US population that lives within 100 miles (by air) from an Amazon Air airport increased from 60.1% in February to 70.2% in August.

The report explained: “Amazon Air has put much emphasis on closing gaps in its U.S. network, adding regular service to seven airports, Charlotte, NC, Fairbanks, AK, Kansas City, MO, Pittsburgh, PA, San Bernardino, CA, St. Louis, MO and Toledo, OH (serving Detroit, MI) since our February report.”

The report also found that Amazon Air is increasingly relying on flights of partner carriers that are not part of the Amazon Air fleet, such as ATI, ABX and Atlas.

The writers estimated that partner airlines operate 20-30 daily flights in the US domestic market, while flight itineraries in Europe suggest there is also a “sizeable supplemental operation across the Atlantic” in addition to its own flights on the continent.

Amazon’s international expansion is also expected to continue: “Amazon Air will make more deliberate moves into international markets, although the direction this will take remains unclear,” the report states.

“We anticipate Leipzig to be a focal point of that expansion, although Amazon’s apparent penchant for using contractors makes tracking its European moves more difficult. Amazon’s operation within Europe may already be larger than many realize.”

Elsewhere, the writers expect “robust expansion” at its recently opened Cincinnati CVG hub and San Bernardino International Airport, “resulting in what could become two superhubs”.

And Amazon is expected to increase its use of turboprop aircraft as it looks to reach mid-size destinations.

Texel Air to operate Boeing 737-700FC from Bahrain International Airport

Pemco Conversions has delivered a second Passenger-to-FlexCombi (FC) converted aircraft to Bahrain-based Chisholm Enterprises.

Chisholm subsidiary Texel Air, a non-scheduled cargo airline, will operate the Boeing 737-700FC from Bahrain International Airport.

The aircraft offers three configurations a 24-seat cabin plus a 2,640-cubic-foot cargo hold for up to 30,000 pounds of payload in six pallet positions; a 12-seat cabin plus a 3,005-cubic-foot cargo hold for up to 35,000 pounds of payload in seven pallet positions; or full-freighter mode consisting of a 3,370-cubic-foot cargo hold for up to 40,000 pounds of payload in eight pallet positions.

“The FlexCombi’s range is ideal for supporting Texel Air’s operation with up to six-hour non-stop routes,” said Mike Andrews, director of conversion programs for Pemco.

The delivery comes a little over a year after Texel took delivery of the world’s first Boeing 737-700 FlexCombi from Pemco.

The Chisholm Enterprises-owned non-scheduled airline and MRO firm said at the time the aircraft meant it could switch between “humanitarian, government, express integrator and commercial flights from major airports to smaller remote runways” without compromising cargo volumes.

Volga-Dnepr supports Haiti aid efforts with transportation of essential cargo to the earthquake hit island

Volga-Dnepr has transported essential cargo to Port-au-Prince in Haiti to support aid efforts since the earthquake that hit the island recently.

To help those affected by the earthquake, the Group organized two special charter flights using its An-124-100 and Il-76TD-90VD aircraft.

Cargo delivered to Haiti included tents, water purifiers, mobile kitchens and general cargo.

Pauli Immonen, deputy director of healthcare and humanitarian at Volga-Dnepr Group, commented: “Thanks to aligned and long-standing relations with freight forwarders, brokers, non-government organizations (NGOs), humanitarian agencies, airport authorities and other stakeholders we guarantee a fast and seamless response and organize life-saving air transport to almost any region or country of the world.”

The magnitude 7.2 earthquake, which struck Haiti in August, has killed hundreds of people.

Last month, Chapman Freeborn Australia partnered with Volga-Dnepr Group to charter an Antonov AN-124 aircraft, carrying four helicopters to Athens, to support Greece’s fight against wildfires.

The flight marked the first time that four Bell 214B helicopters had ever been transported on a Volga-Dnepr AN-124 in a single operation.

Chapman Freeborn said it cooperated with freighter operator Volga-Dnepr Airlines, helicopter firm McDermott Aviation, airport teams, handling agents, freight forwarders, and government authorities to “seamlessly” complete the project in a timely manner.

Air Malta extends its GSSA agreement with NAS for 2 years

Air Malta has extended its GSSA agreement with Network Airline Services (NAS) for a further two years.

The Total Cargo Management (TCM) Agreement includes functions such as sales, marketing, pricing and revenue management, cargo reservations, revenue accounting, back-office administration, IT systems, cargo handling and interline contracts.

The partners said that since they began working together the airline’s cargo business has “vastly expanded”.

John Gilfeather, sales director of NAS, said, “We are very proud to be extending the TCM agreement with Air Malta. We are all looking forward to continuing working with the Air Malta staff, suppliers and customers to further our relationship with them. Air Malta provides excellent customer service to companies and individuals, sending goods to and from Malta.

“NAS has a proven track record of growing airlines cargo revenues through its global network of offices and IT teams to build a carrier’s cargo brand as well as target new revenue streams on their behalf. NAS looks forward to diversifying Air Malta’s product range and global coverage even further, the extension of this TCM agreement allows us to do so”