UK’s Teesside International Airport seeks to capitalize on growth in trade with new £2.5m cargo handling facility

Teesside International Airport in the UK has opened a new £2.5m cargo handling facility as it seeks to capitalize on growth in trade in the northeast of England.

The purpose-built 21,000 sq ft hangar provides security screening technology, as well as cargo handling, freight-forwarding, customs clearage and storage.

The facility can also be used for specialized charter flights for both air and road freight.

As part of the development, the airport now has secured Regulated Agent status from the UK Civil Aviation Authority, allowing it to handle secure cargo at its site.

The facility is expected to generate 30 jobs and the airport also recently appointed a head of cargo.

“The new facility will all serve to capitalize on the huge opportunity within the region,” the airport said. “For example, a total of £2.9bn of goods were exported from the northeast in quarter four 2021, with a 47.3% recovery from the pandemic low point in quarter two 2020, higher than the national average.

“It will target the some 71,000 businesses within an hour’s drive of the airport, as well as those further afield.”

A new £200m logistics and industrial park is also being developed at Teesside International.

Cathay Pacific prepares for a muted peak season

Cathay Pacific has added cargo capacity and has been in close dialogue with suppliers as it prepares for what is expected to be a muted peak season.

The Hong Kong-based airline said it has been adding extra passenger flights, cargo-only capacity and has ramped up freighter operations ahead of the peak.

General manager cargo service delivery Frosti Lau said, “We have already increased frequency to the US, and we are now operating daily to London Heathrow.

“Our freighters are operating a full schedule, supported by cargo-only passenger operations focused on regional destinations.

“This extra capacity will help as we prepare for a busy peak, although we are anticipating it may not be as sustained and pronounced as last year’s.”

Lau explained that inflation, supply chain disruption and Covid-19 restrictions in China continue to affect consumer demand and production capabilities.

On the other hand, the rumors of high-tech product launches later in the year may help stimulate demand.

Lau said that the airline has also been working closely with suppliers to prepare for the peak season.

“As flights are being adjusted, we are working with our suppliers in outports to ensure that they are ready to handle our flights smoothly and to avoid some of the disruption we have seen post-pandemic,” Lau said.

“Our teams across Europe, in particular, have done a fantastic job in preparing for our return.”

Last week, Air Cargo News reported that the market remains flat as the industry heads towards the traditional peak season.

Flexport said that demand from north China was low and the overall market is stable.

“[From south China] the market demand remains soft for both the transpacific eastbound and Far East-Europe westbound (FEWB) lanes and rates are stable,” the forwarder added.

Emirates SkyCargo offers free of charge cargo capacity for flood relief transportation

Emirates SkyCargo is offering cargo capacity free of charge on flights between Dubai and Pakistan to transport relief aid following the devastating floods in the country.

The carrier said that cargo capacity on all Emirates’ passenger flights to Pakistan will be available to organizations based at the International Humanitarian City (IHC) in Dubai to transport critical equipment and supplies, food and other emergency relief goods directly to five airports – Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar and Sialkot.

Emirates operates 53 scheduled passenger flights per week to Pakistan, where recent heavy rainfall has caused catastrophic flash flooding across the country, tragically leaving over 1,100 people dead and millions homeless.

Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani, chairman of the supreme committee for the supervision of IHC, said, “Times of crisis are a true test of spirit and once again, we are working with Emirates to respond to a devastating humanitarian crisis, this time in Pakistan, where floods have caused unimaginable losses and damages.

“We are grateful for the long-standing support of Emirates to the IHC community and its honorable commitment to alleviate the suffering of the victims of these extraordinary floods. Together, we are proud to deliver this vital support to the people of Pakistan.”

Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates Group chairman and chief executive said, “Emirates is deeply connected and committed to Pakistan. From our very first flight in 1985 to Karachi until today, we’ve steadily grown the mutually beneficial air links that facilitate business, tourism and trade between the UAE and Pakistan.”

Etihad Cargo posts record mid-year revenue

Etihad Cargo, the cargo and logistics arm of Etihad Aviation Group, has announced record-breaking results for the first half of 2022, achieving year-on-year revenue growth of 6 per cent compared to H1 2021 and contributing 35 per cent of Etihad Aviation Group’s operating revenue.

In addition to recording an increase in overall revenue, Etihad Cargo maintained a strong Delivered as Promised rate of 86 per cent, a 2 per cent increase compared to its 2021 full-year results, along with an 83 per cent freighter On Time Performance (OTP) rate despite the challenging handling environment across the network.

Etihad Cargo saw growth across a number of premium products in the first half of 2022. For example, the performance of PharmaLife, Etihad Cargo’s award-winning, dedicated pharmaceutical shipment solution, increased by 46 per cent compared to H1 2021.

Contributing to this growth have been the new developments Etihad Cargo has launched to enhance its PharmaLife capabilities, including improved thermal covers that dramatically increase the protection of pharmaceutical cargo during aircraft loading and offloading. Etihad Cargo also posted a 52 per cent increase in the performance of its LiveAnimals product, for which the carrier was awarded International Air Transport Association (IATA)’s Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) Live Animals certification in 2022.

Martin Drew, Senior Vice President Global Sales & Cargo of Etihad Aviation Group,  commented, “The growth Etihad Cargo has achieved across its PharmaLife and LiveAnimals products has been made possible by the hard work and commitment of dedicated teams that have thrived on the challenge of providing world-class cargo solutions to customers. Etihad Cargo’s commitment to expanding capabilities has been demonstrated through the carrier’s ongoing investment in infrastructure and solutions that ensure cargo is transported safely and in compliance with international standards.”

Etihad Cargo also reported an 81 per cent electronic airway bill penetration rate, demonstrating the carrier’s continued investment in digitalization. To further enhance its customers’ booking journey, Etihad Cargo added more features to its new online booking portal in 2021, which resulted in 57 per cent more bookings made via the portal. The carrier also launched a Mandarin version of its website and booking portal, cementing Etihad Cargo’s strategic footprint in China. This key market contributes over 20 per cent of the carrier’s operations.

As part of Etihad Aviation Group’s vision to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, Etihad Cargo has embarked on several sustainability projects. The carrier entered into an agreement with B Medical Systems to develop and launch the industry’s first airline-specific passive temperature-controlled container units for the transportation of pharmaceuticals. Etihad Cargo has also replaced original aluminium unit load device (ULD) containers with environmentally friendly, lightweight ULDs, which can provide a weight-saving of over 200 kilograms, lowering fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

Drew concluded, “Following these positive mid-year results, Etihad Cargo remains committed to working closely with partners and customers to ensure the carrier remains their air cargo partner of choice. Etihad Cargo will continue to expand operations and add key routes to fully support the capacity demands of customers.”

Etihad Cargo’s network currently offers cargo capacity to 79 destinations across Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and the Americas with 564 weekly rotations. The carrier also operates charter flights and utilizes an extensive road feeder service network to service demand across non-network destinations. The carrier has been recognized for its performance and contribution to the wider air cargo industry, winning several awards including Air Cargo Operator of the Year at the Logistics Middle East Awards, Most Innovative Air Cargo Airline at the Transport & Logistics Middle East Innovation Awards, Cargo Airline and Air Cargo Pharma Service of the Year at the Aviation Achievement Awards and Sustainable Air Cargo Airline of the Year – Asia and Middle East at the Frieghtweek Sustainability Awards.

Servomex establishes new Middle East hub at ADAFZ

Abu Dhabi Airports Free Zone (ADAFZ), announced that Servomex, the global expert in gas analysis, officially launched its operations at the airport freezone. As a leading provider of reliable, accurate and stable gas measurement solutions to industries worldwide, Servomex will provide essential gas-related services to the local market whilst serving clients and customers across critical industries from its new Middle East Office at ADAFZ.

Servomex designs, manufactures, and distributes a wide range of industrial gas analysis products and services, including combustion analyzers, process analyzers, emissions analyzers, sensing technology, service and support, and integrated solutions internationally.

Adel Al Tahri, VP Freezone Sales & Services, ADAFZ, said: “Abu Dhabi Airports Free Zone is delighted to welcome Servomex into our rapidly growing business ecosystem. The company’s profile, reputation and track record for delivering value and success to its customers is in line with the caliber of tenants we look for at our freezone. The experience and expertise this specialized company offers are unparalleled in the region, and the opportunity to work with such a unique free zone partner is one that we are eager to explore long-term.”

Following a successful onboarding phase, the establishment of Servomex offers a unique business line for the UAE and wider region, and will boost partnership opportunities with existing ADAFZ clients, who require their specialized products and services.

Afzal Khan, General Manager, Servomex Middle East LLC, added: “For Servomex, our set-up at ADAFZ marks the latest stage of our commitment to oversee operational expansion across local and regional markets. Given the benefits, support and opportunities available through ADAFZ, our business is now well positioned to accommodate new and existing customers with the latest gas analysis services and solutions across high-priority sectors. Moreover, we are excited by pipeline possibilities that will enable us to make even more valuable contributions to ADAFZ and the local and regional marketplaces.”

In close proximity to 2 international airports in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, ADAFZ offers its customers the opportunity to do business with full airside and landside accessibility, achieving their objectives whilst supporting growth of both the aviation sector and Abu Dhabi’s diversification drive.

Abu Dhabi Airports Freezone presents partners with a host of unique and attractive opportunities and benefits, including strategic locations, access to international markets advanced technological infrastructure, and end-to-end logistics solutions.

To further support partners, ADAFZ plans to hold a service workshop with Servomex within the freezone for local companies.

QAS becomes 1st ground handler to join IATA Environmental Assessment Program

Qatar Airways Group subsidiary Qatar Aviation Services (QAS) has become the first ground handler globally to join the new expansion of the IATA Environmental Assessment Program (IEnvA) for ground service providers.

The IEnvA program for ground service provides a framework for achieving environmental sustainability across all ground operations.

Ground service providers can use the program’s guidance to reduce their impact on the environment, and improve health and safety for both employees and the community, while maintaining operational efficiency.

Qatar Airways group chief executive Akbar Al Baker said: “I am proud to lead the efforts to create a sustainable aviation industry. Environmental sustainability awareness across the entire organization is critical to the success of Qatar Airways Group. Through IEnvA, Qatar Aviation Services will be able to demonstrate the value of environmental compliance and ensure sustainability in its operations.”

IATA’s director general Willie Walsh commented: “We’re delighted to count Qatar Aviation Services as the first ground handler to join the newly extended IATA’s IEnvA program. Sustainability is a critical challenge for our industry.

“By taking proactive steps to measure their impacts and address them throughout their operations with IEnvA, QAS and Qatar Airways Group will back their sustainability achievements with the most comprehensive global standard environmental certification available in the industry.”

The IEnvA program is an environmental management system initially offered to airlines, which demonstrates equivalency to the ISO 14001: 2015 environmental management systems standard

It provides a structured approach to managing the environment, as well as reporting and mitigating environmental impacts. It is designed to enable organizations to more formally incorporate sustainability and environmental compliance strategies into their operations.

Qatar Airways, under the Qatar Airways Group, first achieved the highest level of IEnvA accreditation in 2017, becoming the first airline in the Middle East to do so.

Virgin Atlantic Cargo expands its all-cargo network

Virgin Atlantic Cargo is set to expand its all-cargo network with the addition of a new service to Billund Airport.

The service will operate three times per week between the Danish Airport and Heathrow using an Airbus A321F operated by Titan Airways, offering 28 tons of capacity per flight.

The new flights are due to launch on August 3 in response to strong cargo demand and will connect with Virgin Atlantic flights to the US and other destinations.

The airline said that the flights would cater for cargo currently being trucked from the Scandinavian region.

“The partnership will see the Danish airfreight export industry receive more direct connections to the US, as Virgin Atlantic Cargo support’s the airport’s ambition to grow its air freight business and establish the cargo industry at Billund Airport,” the airline said.

Steve Buckerfield, head of cargo sales at Virgin Atlantic Cargo, added: “We are very excited to bring this new dedicated all-cargo service, connecting our customers in Billund and the wider Scandinavian region with Virgin Atlantic’s extensive route network via London Heathrow.

“We will be targeting urgent pharmaceutical, automotive and perishable cargoes destined for the USA, Africa, Israel and the Indian Subcontinent.”

Jan Hessellund, chief executive of Billund Airport, commented: “As a result of some good route development and great performance in our cargo center, Billund Airport is once again chosen by an airfreight operator. Virgin Atlantic Cargo is a large, recognized airline that will support the Danish e-commerce exports to the American market. We look forward to welcoming them.”

The airline only recently added freighter operations when it began flying to Brussels, also in partnership with Titan Airways, as a replacement for a passenger-freighter flight it had been operating during the pandemic as the carrier ramped up its passenger network.

In a recent interview with Air Cargo News, Virgin Atlantic Cargo’s managing director Phil Wardlaw said that the current plan sees the freighter being operated through until the end of October.

“We don’t know yet if we will operate it beyond then,” he said. “There are some options to do so, but we would need to go into contractual conversations if we were to do that.

“The reality is we are operating it through that period driven by market forces that may not be prevalent later on in the year for intra-Europe flying.

“The other factor is around slot availability. The summer season allows cargo-only flying to be counted against our slot portfolio and that isn’t normally the case and that gave us the chance to bring that aircraft in against a couple of our current slots. Come October may well not be the case.”

The move also comes as the carrier reported record cargo revenues last year, as takings increased by 40% year on year to £448m, while it was up by 200% compared with pre-Covid 2019 levels.

Emirates SkyCargo boosts its fleet capacity with latest Boeing 777-F delivery

Emirates SkyCargo, recently took delivery of its latest Boeing 777-F to boost its fleet capacity and cater to the phenomenal growth in the industry.

Emirates’ freight division has seen significant increase in cargo loads across its products, including pharma and fresh produce. In 2021-22, annual tonnage carried crossed 2.1 million, an increase of 15 percent, with transport of perishables crossing 260,000 tons, and both pharma and valuable goods each growing by 17 percent.

Nabil Sultan, Divisional Senior Vice President Emirates SkyCargo said: “The new freighter will help increase our capacity and boost our ability to deliver vital goods, and facilitate trade globally. Despite the challenging headwinds this year, the air cargo industry is booming and we’ve been flat out since the pandemic began. Emirates SkyCargo will continue its journey as one of the world’s largest and best air cargo airlines by investing in our fleet, our global network, technology, and world-class logistics infrastructure at our Dubai hub and beyond.”

Most global markets are experiencing an increase in demand, including China. Emirates SkyCargo will now serve China with an additional four freighter flights every week. From this week, Shanghai will be served with six direct flights, Beijing with two and Guangzhou with four, adding more than 400 tons of cargo to and from China.

Plans are also afoot to increase frequencies to Hanoi and Sydney with direct services. Additional frequencies to Nairobi are also earmarked to be part of a freighter multi-stop route from DWC to Eldoret International Airport in Kenya. The flight then hops to Nairobi before heading north to Maastricht, Netherlands and then to Zaragoza, Spain before the 777F returns home to DWC. At each stop, the freighter unloads and reloads with various types of cargo including, flowers, textiles and pharma.

The brand new freighter, A6-EFU, will maintain the fleet total at 11 Boeing 777Fs because A6-EFG went back to its lessor last week.

Emirates SkyCargo’s Boeing 777-F and 777 Mini-Freighter aircraft have flown nearly 950 charter flights in the last 12 months, while continuing to serve the airline’s over 130 passenger and 11 dedicated freighter destinations. Emirates SkyCargo also offers shippers cargo belly-hold space in the airline’s passenger fleet of close to 210 wide-body Boeing 777s and Airbus A380s.

Plans are also already underway to convert 10 passenger 777s into freighters, boosting the cargo fleet to 21 by the end of 2026.

Emirates SkyCargo offers a portfolio of solutions designed for the unique requirements of its varied customers. Whether it is perishable cargo such as food items and flowers; certified cool-chain handling for pharma products; valuables and technology items; cars and industrial items; champion horses and domestic pets; mail and courier items; or general cargo, the freight division has the experience and capabilities with specialized solutions to meet the needs of shippers.

Emirates SkyCargo was the launch customer for the Boeing 777-F and the aircraft has been at the heart of the carrier’s operations since 2009. The aircraft’s range and payload capabilities allow time and temperature sensitive shipments to be transported rapidly and efficiently from origin to destination.

Etihad Cargo reinforces its commitment to the Chinese market

Etihad Cargo, has reinforced its commitment to the Chinese market with the introduction of 15 direct passenger and freighter flights per week.

Throughout the pandemic, the carrier remained committed to the market with a wide variety of capacity, including reconfigured cargo-only passenger freighters. From July onwards, it will continue to expand operations, focusing exclusively on direct passenger flights and dedicated 777 Freighter flights.

In addition to cargo capacity on passenger flights, Etihad Cargo also operates Boeing 777-200 freighter flights daily for Shanghai and six times per week for Hong Kong, bringing the total cargo capacity into and out of China to 2,708 tons per week.

Martin Drew, Senior Vice President Global Sales & Cargo at Etihad Aviation Group, said: “As the Chinese market starts to recover from COVID challenges and zero-COVID restrictions are lifted, Etihad is pleased to resume its passenger operations to Beijing and reaffirm our commitment to Etihad Cargo customers with the introduction of capacity on key trade lanes. These flights will
connect China to the Middle East, Europe and the rest of the world via Etihad Cargo’s hub in Abu Dhabi.

“China is a critical strategic market for Etihad Cargo, and the direct flights between the two capital cities and other major destinations will further strengthen the comprehensive strategic partnership between the United Arab Emirates and China,” Drew concluded.

Throughout the pandemic, Etihad Cargo continued to operate direct routes into China, providing cargo capacity via a fleet of modified mini freighters. With the resumption of passenger flights and a schedule of freighter flights, the mini freighters will be taken out of rotation.

Etihad Cargo recently announced its summer schedule, which introduced capacity to key destinations across Asia, Africa and Europe. In addition to adding direct flights into and out of Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, the carrier will continue to operate its Boeing 777 freighter network with flights across Chicago, Dhaka, Frankfurt, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Johannesburg,
Kenya, Milan and Riyadh.

AIA launches GSSA partnership with TAP Air Cargo

AIA (Airbridge International Agencies) has launched a GSSA partnership with TAP Air Cargo. The partnership commenced in May 2022. TAP Air Cargo are able to offer 93 weekly flights from London Gatwick, Heathrow, Manchester and Dublin, with weekly air capacity at 160,000kg. As well as a high weekly capacity per week there will be over 30 countries served worldwide.

AIA are a cargo GSSA service provider who pride themselves on giving a world class service with solutions for their cargo GSSA requirements. The team at AIA are dedicated to loyally serve their airline partners with a dedicated focus on their unique brands and strengths. Founded in 2008, the vision of CEO, Mark Andrew, was to provide airlines with an exceptional, viable, pro-active solution for their cargo GSSA requirements.

“We are delighted to welcome TAP Cargo further into the AIA family. Having worked with TAP recently in South America we are delighted to have the chance to prove ourselves within the UK and Ireland. TAP Cargo offers our forwarding clients important gateways via its Lisbon hub into Africa, North and South America plus strategic European hubs,” says Mark Andrew CEO Airbridge International Agencies group.

TAP has a strong focus on customer satisfaction through their reliable and personalized service. There are a wide range of services that TAP Cargo offer, from fragile to complex items including live cargo, shipping on both passenger and cargo aircrafts. Having had over 1800 flights per week, transported 83,317 tons of cargo and served 340 airports in 2021 proves how much of reputable airline they are.