1st Belgian airport to offer SAF to its customers

Cargo-specialist Liege Airport is now able to offer Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) to its airline customers, becoming the first Belgian airport to offer the fuel type.
The airport said that over the last few months its fuel storage facilities have been audited and its fuel receipt, storage and distribution procedures have been reviewed to accommodate SAF.
Meanwhile, the CEPS pipeline system recently announced that it would allow for the transport of sustainable aviation fuels from January 1.
“With the airport-owned and operated fuel installations being connected to this pipeline network, any current and new fuel supplier has now the possibility to not only directly and physically discharge SAF via road tankers into our fuel installations, but also to inject larger quantities of SAF into one of the intake points of the European pipeline system,” the airport said.
“In parallel, we are also happy to share that several of our airline customers confirmed having talks with suppliers to arrange for the procurement and use of SAF at our airport in the short and medium term.”
The airport added that it expects the first cargo flight propelled by SAF will take off from Liege Airport “very soon”.
“By facilitating customer airlines to deliver sustainable aviation fuel for their aircraft at our airport, Liege Airport actively contributes to the transition towards sustainable aviation, and by doing so supports meeting or even exceeding the European Union targets related to the use of SAF in the aviation industry in the years to come,” it added.

1st SAF flight takes off from Brussels Airport

The first flight of an aircraft powered by Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) supplied by pipeline at Brussels Airport took off on January 1.
The flight was completed by Brussels Airlines from the Belgian airport to Malaga following the first delivery of SAF to the airport via NATO’s Central Europe Pipeline System.
“Brussels Airport is the only Belgian airport that is fully connected to this pipeline network and had been asking for some time to be able to receive not only kerosene but also SAF via this pipeline,” the airport said. “Thanks to the cooperation of NATO, this has been possible since today.”
The airport aims for 5% of its total kerosene imports should SAF.
“The fact that we can now transport sustainable aviation fuel from the blending facility all the way to our aircraft at Brussels Airport in a fast and environmentally friendly way is an important step to increase the use of this type of fuel in the near future,” said Peter Gerber, chief executive of Brussels Airlines.
Late last year, Liege Airport in Belgium said it had also connected to the pipeline system for SAF imports.

Lincoln Airport to turn into ecommerce air cargo hub

Lincoln Airport in Nebraska, US will receive $65m investment that aims to turn it into an air cargo hub with e-commerce expected to be a driving force.
Governor-elect Jim Pillen, the Lincoln Airport Authority (LNK) and Burrell Aviation, a division of The Burrell Group, have announced the development with a ground-breaking ceremony planned to take place during the first quarter of 2023.
The project is based on a long-term lease between Burrell Aviation and LNK not to exceed 50 years, whereby Burrell Aviation will invest $65m and develop the site’s facilities and secure anchor tenants interested in making Lincoln Airport a critical hub for air cargo and other aviation-related activities.
As part of its “Invest, Develop and Operate” strategy Burrell Aviation will oversee the completion of 210,000 sqft of cargo facilities at the airport.
Burrell Aviation said its development strategy is “founded upon e-commerce’s unprecedented growth as a means of creating an opportunity for regional airports with available facilities and logistical support to capitalise on the flow of goods with improved efficiencies compared to larger, more congested airports”.
It added: “This is particularly true for regional airports close to major population areas. Elements such as an air traffic control tower, ample runway length, and significant airfield capabilities also ensure that the airport is well-positioned for this type of growth.”
Early this year, US Senator Deb Fischer, a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, announced a commitment from the National Guard Bureau to use funding to help cover a portion of the cost of the future runway reconstruction project at LNK to ensure the nearly 13,000 foot runway is not shortened.
Because the airport was a former Air Force base, it has one of the longest runways of any commercial airport in the country, making it attractive for large cargo operations.
Burrell Aviation was formed to meet the surging demand for air cargo, freight and logistics solutions in the continental US, Mexico, and Canada through a public-private partnership model.
The company’s core business lines are air cargo, storage (cold and dry), private hangars, aircraft maintenance and repair (MRO), and distribution/transit trucking centres.
“The Lincoln Airport is an ideal location to add to our portfolio,” said Burrell Aviation chief executive John Carver. “It provides a strategic presence in the heartland of America, with an airport that is accessible to other major transportation modes such as interstates and rail lines.”
In October 2022, Burrell Aviation announced it would build a $72m cargo aviation facility at the Doña Ana County Jetport in New Mexico.
Other US airports that have recently invested in cargo include Miami and Chennault.

Emirates Delivers adds UK for fast delivery to its ecommerce platform

Emirates Delivers, the e-commerce platform of Emirates SkyCargo, has added the UK for United Arab Emirates-based customers seeking fast delivery for their online shopping.

Thousands of UAE-based shoppers have been using Emirates Delivers to shop from US retailers since it launched in 2019.

It now enables customers to shop from multiple online retailers in the UK, consolidate their purchases, and have the goods delivered directly to their door.

The introduction of Emirates Delivers UK comes as the strong dollar adds to the attraction of online shopping from UK retailers.

Emirates Delivers is an e-commerce shipping solution for both individual customers, as well as small businesses who regularly make online purchases for their personal or business needs. It is an open e-commerce fulfilment platform that can also be used by other e-commerce businesses and logistics integrators.

Customers can take advantage of the competitive shipping rates offered by Emirates Delivers to move their goods from the UK to Dubai.

Customers also benefit from reduced shipping weight as unneeded packaging material from each individual shipment is removed when Emirates Delivers repack the goods into one consolidated box.

To use Emirates Delivers UK, customers have to register on www.emiratesdelivers.uk to be allocated a unique and free Emirates Delivers mailing address in the UK. Registration is free. Customers already signed-up to the Emirates Delivers US service can use a handy drop-down link in the menu after logging onto their accounts.

Items purchased from UK e-commerce retailers will be delivered to a customer’s Emirates Delivers address in the UK, where goods can be stored free of charge for up to 30 days.

Customers can continue to shop and build up their purchases with the flexibility to create a shipping request anytime within these 30 days. Once a shipping request is created, their purchases will be consolidated into one parcel and delivered to their designated UAE address within 3-5 days.

Customers may also request for photos to be taken of the packages before these are transported to Dubai on one of Emirates SkyCargo’s multiple daily flights departing from the UK.

Customers can track their packages with Emirates Delivers from the moment it reaches the warehouse in the UK to the moment it lands on their doorstep in the UAE.

A dedicated fleet of Emirates Delivers vans are deployed to complete the final step of the process dropping all consolidated shopping in one box to the customer’s doorstep anywhere in the UAE within the three to five day period.

To the UK, Emirates offers cargo capacity on over 119 weekly flights to 7 cities, operating: six flights a day to London Heathrow; three times daily to Gatwick; daily to Stansted; three times daily to Manchester, double daily to Birmingham; daily to Newcastle; and daily to Glasgow.

The carrier operates to 13 destinations in the US, offering cargo capacity on over 100 weekly flights including scheduled freighter services to destinations including Columbus, Chicago, Houston, and New York.

MNG Airlines to be listed on New York Stock Exchange

Turkish freighter operator MNG Airlines is to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) via an agreement with Golden Falcon Acquisition Corp in a transaction expected to have a pro-forma enterprise value of $676m.

The Istanbul-based carrier has over 15,000 corporate customers across 41 countries with more than 3,500 flights per year. On its website MNG says that it has a fleet of Airbus A300-600F, A330-300F and A330- 200F aircraft.

In September this year German conversion house EFW delivered a second A330P2F to MNG Airlines.

The carrier offers charter services with customised plane and capacity options in addition to scheduled flights and aircraft, maintenance, crew and insurance (ACMI) services.

For the three months ended September 30 2022, the airline’s revenue grew by 47% year-on-year to $90m, with net income of $26m and adjusted EBITDA of $27m (30% margin)

MNG’s e-commerce revenue grew to $82m in the last twelve months ended 30 September 2022, from zero in 2020.

The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2023, after which MNG Airlines will be listed on the NYSE under the new ticker symbol MNGA. Golden Falcon is a special purpose acquisition company, also listed in New York.

Ali Sedat Özkazanc, chief executive of MNGA, commented: “We see significant value creation potential from becoming a publicly listed company in the US, with the expectation that it will enable transformative commercial agreements, create an acquisition currency, and align management incentives with shareholders.”

Murathan Gunal, chairman of MNGA and chief executive of parent MAPA Group, added: “Today, MNGA is an international company with a global presence including multinational corporate clients in the US, Europe and Asia.

“In the year that we celebrate 25 years of operational excellence, listing on the NYSE feels like a natural next step in our company’s history. We’re excited about delivering on the anticipated value creation opportunity ahead.”

Makram Azar, chief executive of Golden Falcon, commented: “We screened over 500 companies and conducted in-depth due diligence on many companies and our process resulted in identifying a company that offers the market a differentiated, high-quality business.

“We believe MNGA is an exceptional opportunity among DeSPAC* business combinations, with a strong growth profile, profitability, cash flow generation, and priced at what we believe is the lowest EBITDA multiple of any business combination closed to date in 2022, which is why we believe it is such a compelling investment opportunity.”

Scott Freidheim, chairman of Golden Falcon, added: “At our initial public offering in December 2020, we communicated to investors that we intended to bring to them an established company in the Europe, Middle East and Israel region with a compelling track record, cash flow-generation, a clear transatlantic expansion nexus, a strong growth profile, and benefitting from secular market tailwinds.

“We’re delighted to bring this differentiated investment opportunity to our investors as we believe MNGA meets the attributes we laid out as key business combination criteria.”

Lufthansa Cargo to reduce CO2 emissions on flights with lightweight nets to secure pallets

Lufthansa Cargo will from January begin using lightweight nets to secure cargo pallets to save weight on flights and reduce CO2 emissions.

The ‘Pallet Net Zero’ nets made by AmSafe Bridport, which Lufthansa Cargo will be using through its subsidiary Jettainer, weigh between nine and eleven kilograms, which is less than half the weight of a conventional net made of polyester fibres.

Pallet Net Zero is made out of a bio-based fibre – a pioneering material extracted from renewable bio-based raw materials.

The weight reduction of the new nets is largely achieved by the high tensile strength of the special fibre.

The reduced weight of the transport nets saves Lufthansa Cargo around 140 tons of fuel and therefore around 440 tons of CO2 per year, said the airline.

Lufthansa Cargo will be Jettainer’s first customer to use the new, lighter Pallet Net Zero solution. The ULD expert will make around 2,000 nets available to the airline, which will be used for aluminum pallets.

The net will be fixed to one side of the pallet to minimise the loss rate for these nets, said Jettainer.

Dorothea von Boxberg, chairman of the executive board and chief executive of Lufthansa Cargo, said: “For us, the use of lightweight transport nets is another step on the path to reducing CO2 emissions. We have set ourselves the ambitious goal of halving our CO2 emissions per kilogram when flying by 2030.

“To achieve this, we need to take action on many fronts. Every measure counts. One of them is reducing the weight of our loading equipment.

“Our goal for 2050 is to be 100 percent CO2-neutral in the air; on the ground, we want to have achieved this goal as early as 2030.”

Alaska Air Cargo’s next 2 freighters to be converted by Boeing

Alaska Air Cargo has revealed that its next two freighters will be converted by Boeing.

The company first announced plans to add two B737-800 freighters to its all-cargo fleet in March, but has now confirmed where they will be converted and given a timeline.

The aircraft will be converted by Cooperativa Autogestionaria de Servicios Aeroindustriales (COOPESA) in Costa Rica.

The two 737-800 airplanes will come from Alaska Airlines’ existing passenger fleet and will be leased from BBAM.

The planes will be converted from their passenger configuration beginning in 2023 with completion of the final aircraft by early 2024.

The carrier currently operates a fleet of three B737-300 freighters.

Alaska Air Cargo managing director Adam Drouhard said: “Fleet expansion positions our growing cargo business to meet increased demand that we see from industry and consumers.

“The 737-800 aircraft provides 40% more load space than our current 737-700 freighters, essentially doubling Air Cargo’s total freighter lift capacity.

“We look forward to getting these 737-800s into service to support Alaska’s supply chain and connect cargo to over 100 cities we serve across North America.”

Marilyn Romano, regional vice president, Alaska Airlines, added: “Alaskans have always relied on Alaska Air Cargo to provide time-sensitive services to their communities.

“Whether it is vaccines, medicine, household supplies or fresh food, our freighters keep rural Alaska supplied and connected.

“With service to 20 communities across Alaska, and only three accessible by road, adding new aircraft to the current freighter fleet allows expansion of our vital services to all Alaskans.

“The additional freighter capacity also allows us to quickly move seafood and other commodities from Alaska to points throughout the US.”

The B737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter provides a payload of nearly 23 tonnes with a range of 2,800 nautical miles.

Emirates Group announces record half-year performance for 2022-23

The Group recently reported a 2022-23 half-year net profit of Dh4.2 billion ($ 1.2 billion), a record half-year performance, and a turnaround of almost Dh10 billion from its Dh5.7 billion ($1.6 billion) loss for the same period last year.

The Group also reported an EBITDA of Dh15.3 billion ($4.2 billion), a marked improvement from Dh5.6 billion ($1.5 billion) during the same period last year, illustrating its strong operating profitability.

Group revenue was Dh56.3 billion ($15.3 billion) for the first six months of 2022-23, up 128% from Dh24.7 billion ($6.7 billion) last year. This was driven by the strong demand for air transport across the world with the further easing and removal of pandemic-related travel restrictions.

The Group closed the first half year of 2022-23 with a strong cash position of Dh32.6 billion ($8.9 billion) on 30 September 2022, compared to Dh25.8 billion ($7.0 billion), as on 31 March 2022. The Group has been able to tap on its own strong cash reserves to support business needs, including debt payments and pandemic-related commitments.

His Highness (HH) Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group said: “The Group’s record performance for the first six months of 2022-23 is the result of forward planning, agile business response, and the efforts of our talented and committed workforce.

“Across the Group, our operations recovery accelerated as more countries eased and removed travel restrictions. We were ready and amongst the first movers to serve the strong customer demand thanks to our robust business plans, the support of our industry partners, and our ongoing investments in people, technology, and products and services.

“For the coming months, we remain focussed on restoring our operations to pre-pandemic levels and recruiting the right skills for our current and future requirements. We expect customer demand across our business divisions to remain strong in H2 2022-23. However, the horizon is not without headwinds, and we are keeping a close watch on inflationary costs and other macro-challenges such as the strong US dollar and the fiscal policies of major markets.”

Sheikh Ahmed added: “The Group expects to return to our track record of profitability at the close of our full financial year.”

In line with increased capacity and business activities, the Emirates Group’s employee base, compared to 31 March 2022, grew 10% to an overall count of 93,893 at 30 September 2022. Both Emirates and dnata have also embarked on targeted recruitment drives to support their future requirements.

Emirates continued to focus on restoring its global passenger network and connections through its Dubai hub, restarting services and adding flights to meet customer demand across markets.

In June, it launched services to Tel Aviv, a new destination. Expanding connectivity options for customers, Emirates launched codeshare and interline agreements with 12 airlines in the first six months of 2022-23: Airlink, AEGEAN, ITA Airways, Air Baltic, Air Canada, Bamboo Airways, Batik Air, Finnair, Royal Air Maroc, Sky Express, Sun Country Airlines and United Airlines.

By 30 September, the airline was operating passenger and cargo services to 140 airports, utilising its entire Boeing 777 fleet and 73 A380s.

During the first six months of 2022-23, Emirates took delivery of 2 new Boeing 777 freighters and returned 1 older freighter from its fleet as part of its long-standing strategy to minimise its emissions footprint and operate modern, efficient aircraft. With new passenger aircraft only expected to arrive in 2024, Emirates this month began its multi-billion dollar programme to retrofit 120 aircraft with its latest cabin interiors and products.

Overall capacity during the first six months of the year increased by 40% to 22.8 billion Available Tonne Kilometres (ATKM) due to an expanded flight programme as more countries eased travel restrictions.  Capacity measured in Available Seat Kilometres (ASKM), increased by 123%, whilst passenger traffic carried measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPKM) was up by 265% with an average Passenger Seat Factor of 78.5%, compared with 47.9% during the same period last year.

Emirates carried 20.0 million passengers between 1 April and 30 September 2022, up 228% from the same period last year. Emirates Skycargo uplifted 936,000 tons in the first six months of the year, a 14% decrease compared to the same period last year, as the airline shifted capacity from its “mini-freighters” back to passenger operations.

Emirates profit for the first half of 2022-23 hit a new record of Dh4.0 billion ($1.1 billion), compared to last year’s loss of Dh5.8 billion ($1.6 billion). Despite an unfavourable currency exchange environment, Emirates revenue, including other operating income, of Dh50.1 billion ($13.7 billion) was up 131% compared with the Dh21.7 billion ($5.9 billion) recorded during the same period last year. The airline’s strong turnaround performance is driven by strong passenger demand for international travel across markets and shows the airline’s ability to plan ahead to meet the demand, activate capacity, and attract customers with its high-quality products and value proposition.

Emirates’ operating costs increased by 73% against an overall capacity growth of 40% mainly due to the substantial increase in fuel costs which more than tripled compared to the same period last year. This was primarily due to a 65% higher fuel uplift in line with increased flight operations, and the doubling of average oil prices during this period. Fuel, which was the largest component of the airline’s operating cost in pre-pandemic reporting cycles, accounted for 38% of operating costs, one of the highest ratios ever, compared to 20% in the first six months of last year.

Driven by strong demand and increased operations during the six months, Emirates’ EBITDA grew nearly three times to Dh14.7 billion ($4.0 billion) compared to Dh5.0 billion ($1.4 billion) for the same period last year.

Abu Dhabi Airports joins Pharma.Aero as strategic member

Abu Dhabi Airports has joined Pharma.Aero, the global membership network for Life Science and MedTech manufacturers, certified cargo communities and airport operators, as a strategic member representing the Middle East.

The collaboration with Pharma.Aero builds on Abu Dhabi’s growth as a global healthcare and life sciences hub, and the success of the HOPE Consortium, an Abu Dhabi-led public private partnership that is committed to working together to overcome the challenges of vaccine distribution and logistics.

“We are pleased to join Pharma.Aero as a strategic partner for the Middle East, representing the global cross-industry network of Life Science and MedTech air cargo industry stakeholders in the region. Along with Etihad Cargo, we look forward to collaborating with industry leaders to contribute to the overall development of the pharmaceutical supply chain,” said His Excellency Eng. Jamal Salem Al Dhaheri, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Airports.

Abu Dhabi Airports is set to pursue major air cargo infrastructure expansion projects with a strong focus on products capable of efficiently handling time and temperature-sensitive cargo, including those from within pharmaceuticals and life science.

Trevor Caswell, Chairman of Pharma.Aero, welcomes Abu Dhabi Airports’ decision to play such an important role in the organisation: “We are thrilled to have Abu Dhabi Airports join Pharma.Aero as a strategic member for the Middle East region. We look forward to a strong, active and collaborative partnership with them as we welcome them on board.”

Frank Van Gelder, Secretary General of Pharma.Aero, added: “Developing active and far-reaching airport pharma communities is essential to the core strategy of Pharma.Aero – therefore, it is with great pleasure to welcome Abu Dhabi Airports as the new strategic partner for the Middle East. We are confident that their participation, along with Etihad Cargo, will pave the way for the future of our association in the region.”

GRU Airport joins Pharma.Aero as strategic airport member

Sao Paolo’s GRU Airport in Brazil has becomes a strategic airport member of Pharma.Aero, representing the East South America region.

 

The GRU Cargo Complex is the largest airport logistics facility in Latin America, and Brazilia’s number one pharma hub with the largest airport cold storage facilities in the region.

The airport cargo facilities total 145,000 sq. m of warehousing, of which 99,000 sq m are directly operated by GRU.

The airport’s cargo compiles and handles products from various industries, including pharmaceutical, electronics, textile, food and beverage, automotive and machinery parts and perishables.

The pharma industry is the strongest segment at GRU, processing over 60% of the Brazilian market, supported by 30,000 cu m of temperature-controlled areas and 24 cold chambers ranging from -18ºC to 25ºC. In the last two years, GRU played a central role in vaccine logistics.

Pharma.Aero is an international cross-industry collaboration platform for LifeScience and MedTech shippers, IATA CEIV certified cargo communities, airport operators and other air cargo industry stakeholders.

Trevor Caswell, chairman of Pharma.Aero, said, “We are thrilled to have GRU Airport as our newest Strategic Member for the Eastern South American region. GRU Airport is the largest pharma hub in Brazil, and we are excited to have such a strategic airport, with such a robust pharma logistics program join our membership.

“This recent addition will continue to strengthen our global cross industry partners in South America, where pharmaceutical logistics plays an integral role in the air cargo market.”

GRU Airport has been a Pharma.Aero full member since October 2020 and has now decided to become a strategic member and to take part in the decision-making process of the organization.

GRU Airport commercial cargo manager Hugo Repolho said: “After two years as a full member and several investments made to improve our pharma infrastructure and operations we are pleased to be announced as a strategic airport member representing South America along with LACC and assuming higher responsibilities to develop the Pharma sector.”

Latin America Cargo City (LACC), is a multimodal Airport Free Zone in Montevideo (Uruguay).

Added Repolho: “The Pharma segment has been at the core of GRU Airport’s activity over the years and is growing more and more with better infrastructure, improved operation, and certifications. This opportunity will allow us to work closely with key pharma logistic players and develop projects that for sure will modernize the sector and optimize cargo flows.”

As a strategic member, GRU Airport becomes a voting member of the general assembly and can run for a position in the board of directors.