Ethiopian Cargo and Liege Airport celebrate 17 years of partnership

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics Services and Liege Airport, Ethiopian’s cargo hub in Europe, marked their 17 years of successful partnership with a commitment to further boost their strategic alliance connecting Africa to Europe and beyond.

In 2023, Ethiopian hauled approximately 160,000 tons of cargo from Liege, facilitating efficient and reliable transportation of goods between Europe, Africa, and the rest of the world.

“This partnership has been instrumental in Ethiopian Cargo’s success as one of a global leader in the air cargo industry. Liege Airport provides us with a strategic location and world-class infrastructure, enabling us to offer our customers seamless and efficient cargo solutions. We are grateful to the management of Liege airport and our stakeholders for the unwavering support we have been receiving for the 17 years,” said Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mesfin Tasew.

Laurent Jossart, CEO Liege Airport, commented: “We are delighted with our long-term partnership with Ethiopian Cargo. Ethiopian is a magnificent success story and continues to grow here. The company links different continents (Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America, Middle East) with a fleet of state-of-the-art aircraft.”

“Their Boeing 777s have an average age of 7 years and are among the most efficient aircraft in terms of noise and environmental performance. We are honored by Ethiopian’s confidence in Liege Airport, and we will always be at their side to help them in their development,” he added.

The partnership between Ethiopian Cargo and Liege Airport has been mutually beneficial, contributing to the growth and development of both organizations. Ethiopian Cargo’s extensive network and operational capabilities, combined with Liege Airport’s modern infrastructure and efficient processes, have resulted in a highly effective and reliable cargo hub.

Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics Services has proudly operated cargo flights to and from Liege Airport since 2007. With a vigorous schedule, Ethiopian operates approximately six freighter flights each day to Liege from its hub Addis Ababa and other origins operating with B777-200F and B767-300F.

Ethiopian Cargo’s extensive network spans over 135 international destinations across Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. The company’s commitment to expansion continues. As of May 2024, Ethiopian Cargo added Hyderabad and Ahmedabad from India to its fast-growing cargo network, bringing its total dedicated freighter destinations to 70.

Furthermore, Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics Services envisions operating 90 dedicated freighter destinations by 2035, supported by a fleet of 37 dedicated freighters, solidifying its position as one of a global leader in the air cargo industry.

Emirates SkyCargo celebrates 10 years of dual airport operations

Dubai, UAE: Emirates SkyCargo is celebrating a decade of dual airport operations, made possible by the airline’s robust trucking fleet and bonded corridor. With 77 kilometres between Dubai World Central (DWC) and Dubai International Airport (DXB), Emirates SkyCargo established the bonded trucking corridor, to seamlessly integrate the airports and offer customers a five-hour air-to-air transfer service.

Comprised of over 60 trucks and operating 24/7, the fleet serves as a rolling conveyor between the dedicated freighter operations at DWC and bellyhold operations at DXB.

Since May 2014, Emirates SkyCargo trucks have transferred more than 2.16 million tonnes of cargo between the airports in 640,000+ trips, facilitating trade to over 150 destinations on the airline’s vast global network.

Robert Fordree, Senior Vice President of Cargo Operations Worldwide, Emirates SkyCargo, said: “Establishing a reliable and effective trucking service has been essential to the success of our dual airport hub, enabling us to move our customers’ shipments without compromise. Over the last decade, we have reinforced the service, offering one of the most competitive air-to-air transfer times of 5 hours, coupled with fit-for-purpose solutions to keep goods flowing quickly and reliably around the world. We will continue to develop our multi-modal offering and integrate Dubai’s world-class infrastructure into our operations, strengthening the city’s position as a leading logistics hub.”

Offering customers more choice and flexibility with their international shipping, Emirates SkyCargo’s truck fleet includes flat-beds, temperature-controlled refrigerated units, dry box roller beds and reefers to provide fit-for-purpose attention for goods in transit.

Maintained and operated by Allied Transport Company, the fleet has travelled over 62 million miles in the last decade, which is the equivalent distance of 81 trips to the moon and back.

In addition to shuttling cargo between the two airports, Emirates SkyCargo introduced a road feeder service, extending connectivity for regional airports via land. Since 2020, the airline has seen significant transit traffic from GCC markets such as in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain for oversized and heavy cargo, including machinery, engines, automotive and oil field equipment, among others.

Located in the center of the world with advantageous connectivity for air, land and sea, Dubai is a major trade gateway, serving as a bridge between East and West.

Building on this, Emirates SkyCargo’s hub is the world’s largest and most technologically advanced cargo handling facility in the world, offering 185,000m2 dedicated cargo area and a capacity of 2.3 million tonnes per annum across both operations.

Guided by Dubai’s Economic Agenda, D33 which defines the city’s vision of becoming a prominent economic hub, Emirates SkyCargo works to improve trade flows and generate new, reciprocal business opportunities that help strengthen global economies.

Abu Dhabi Airports Reports Strong Results for Q1 2024

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: Abu Dhabi Airports, the operator of the Emirate’s five airports, has released its exceptional passenger traffic results for the first quarter of 2024. The travels of more than 6.9 million passengers were facilitated through the Abu Dhabi Airports’ network from January to March 2024, marking a robust surge of 35.6% compared to the same period in 2023, when figures reached 5.1 million.

Buoyed by strong global demand for passenger and commercial services, the first quarter of 2024 witnessed a positive upswing in flight movements, with 61,737 movements recorded, representing an 11.4% increase compared to the same period in 2023.

During this period, Zayed International Airport alone welcomed over 6.8 million passengers, who experienced the outstanding facilities and services offered at the newly launched terminal. These further cements its position as a leading hub, evidenced by significant jumps of 26.6% in movements and 36.0% in passenger traffic.

Notably, in Q1 2024, Zayed International Airport expanded its airline database with the return of Turkmenistan Airlines and the launch of Hainan Airlines operating to Haikou, China, bringing the total number of regular scheduled operators to 29 airlines.

London maintained its status as the top destination city with nearly 290,000 passengers travelling to and from the English capital, whilst the top five destinations also included Mumbai, Kochi, Delhi, and Doha. These figures reflect Zayed International Airport’s standing as the preferred choice for passengers travelling to and from regional and international destinations, serving both tourism and business needs.

Saudia Cargo propels e-commerce logistics with launch of Shenzhen operation

Shenzhen, China: Saudia Cargo, a leading provider of air cargo services, has expanded into Shenzhen, China, with the introduction of two weekly flights on March 15 at Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport, the country’s third largest airport.

As a key player in the global logistics industry, Saudia Cargo says it recognizes the significance of China as a crucial market for its operations. The expansion into Shenzhen is a testament to the Company’s dedication to meeting the growing demand for air cargo services in the region.

The two weekly flights will operate every Monday and Friday, offering consistent and reliable service to meet the needs of customers in Shenzhen and beyond. This expansion enables Saudia Cargo to facilitate the seamless transportation of goods between Shenzhen and Riyadh, with Riyadh being identified as the most lucrative international market for Chinese businesses.

“We are excited to announce the expansion of our operations in Shenzhen, China, with the introduction of two weekly flights. This expansion underscores our commitment to providing reliable and efficient air cargo services to our customers in China. With Shenzhen being a key hub for e-commerce, we see tremendous potential for growth and are dedicated to serving the needs of our customers in this dynamic market,” said Teddy Zebitz, CEO of Saudia Cargo.

“The introduction of regular flights to Riyadh presents significant opportunities for Chinese businesses, particularly in the e-commerce sector. Shenzhen is widely recognized as a hub for e-commerce, hosting major players such as Alibaba, Temu, and TikTok. By better servicing key clients, Saudia Cargo aims to cater to the increasing demand for air cargo services, especially for e-commerce,” he added.

Saudia Cargo’s commitment to serving the booming e-commerce domain is exemplified by the company’s strategic collaboration with major Chinese players, including Cainiao, the logistics arm of Alibaba. As Cainiao’s largest partner in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Saudia Cargo plays a vital role in supplying both domestic and global e-commerce markets.

Saudia Cargo’s expansion into Shenzhen represents a strategic move to continue meeting the growing demand in e-commerce and capitalize on the Far East’s unprecedented network growth. With China firmly established as one of Saudi Arabia’s primary trading partners, the operations in Shenzhen will further strengthen trade ties between the two nations.

With a focus on speed, reliability, and customer-centricity, Saudia Cargo is poised to reshape regional supply chains and establish itself as a dominant force across the e-commerce landscape.

Hamad International Airport introduces dedicated transfer security lanes for families with children

Doha, Qatar: Hamad International Airport (DOH) continues to elevate its travel experience with the introduction of dedicated screening lanes for families with younger children transferring through the airport.

The dedicated family lanes will reduce wait times at security checkpoints and provide staff assistance to help families with their personal belongings, minimizing stress and wait times. Following a successful testing phase in the transfer screening area, it will be expanded to other security checkpoints, ensuring families enjoy a smooth journey throughout the airport.

To further enhance this experience and ensure it is tailored to meet travelers’ needs, Hamad International Airport says it will gather feedback and suggestions for improvement from passengers utilizing these dedicated lanes.

Hamad International Airport says it is continuing to set new standards in modern air travel, prioritizing passenger experience and safety at every step. Over the years, Hamad International Airport has significantly reduced passenger wait times at security checkpoints to industry-leading levels, ensuring well over 95% of passengers wait for less than five minutes to go through the security process, whilst at the same time enhancing the airport’s security levels.

Passengers transferring through the airport can conveniently keep their electronic devices and liquid containers in their hand luggage at checkpoints, streamlining the security process, and resulting in overwhelmingly positive customer feedback, with a 97.2% passenger satisfaction rate.

Renowned for its family-friendly amenities, Hamad International Airport offers a range of facilities tailored to accommodate travelers with children. From baby changing rooms to family toilets designed to accommodate children, the airport prioritizes convenience, privacy and comfort for families. Young travelers can enjoy play areas, while those seeking relaxation can retreat to one of the 17 quiet rooms featuring comfortable recliner seats and subdued lighting.

Zayed International Airport revolutionizes passenger experience with IDEMIA’s Biometric Solutions

Abu Dhabi, UAE: In a landmark achievement for air travel technology, Zayed International Airport has successfully processed over one million passengers through Abu Dhabi’s new terminal since its inauguration on 15 November 2023, marking a significant milestone in harnessing the power of cutting-edge biometric technology.

Building on a long-term commitment to advancing airport capabilities, IDEMIA has been at the forefront of innovation in the UAE since 2011. The deployment of a comprehensive border management solution at Abu Dhabi Airport, featuring the world’s first multi-biometric entry/exit system, has significantly bolstered border security while simultaneously enhancing the passenger experience and throughput.

The success of this groundbreaking project has led to its extension to the country’s four other international airports.

The Single Token Journey (STJ) solution, a highlight of this collaboration, employs advanced facial recognition technology to streamline the passenger experience. By assigning a unique digital identifier to every traveler, the STJ solution eliminates the need for multiple documents, enabling passengers to move from curb to gate, including the border clearance step, in a record time of just 12 minutes.

Elena Sorlini, MD and CEO, Zayed International Airport, commented: “The initial rollout of cutting-edge biometrics at Zayed International Airport underscores our dedication to enhancing airport experiences through innovation and technology, ensuring efficiency, convenience, and superior service. Once fully implemented, Abu Dhabi will pioneer as the world’s first airport with biometrics integrated at every stage, ensuring travelers enjoy a seamless, safe, and secure journey.”

Osama Al Makhamreh, Vice President, Sales – Middle East & Africa, IDEMIA Public Security, noted Zayed International Airport’s achievement has set a new global standard for passenger facilitation.

“The processing of over one million passengers since November is a significant achievement for us, and it underscores the scalability, security, and efficiency of the STJ solution. Together, we are setting a new global standard for passenger facilitation,” he said.

The initiative aligns with Zayed International Airport’s commitment to adopting cutting-edge technologies that streamline the travel process, reinforcing the UAE’s position as a leading hub for technological advancement and superior passenger facilitation.

Munich Airport and Incheon International Airport Corporation form strategic partnership to enhance training in aviation careers

Munich, Germany: Munich Airport and South Korea’s Incheon International Airport Corporation (IIAC) are embarking on an intensive cooperation in the field of aviation training. Hag Jae Lee, CEO of IIAC, and Jost Lammers, CEO of Munich Airport, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at Munich Airport’s “Airport Academy”.

This partnership will focus on joint initiatives to develop and implement innovative training programs that address the changing needs and requirements of the aviation industry.

Regular meetings between the two academies are intended to encourage continuous communication and the exchange of modern training methods. The agreement also allows for the exchange of training courses and instructors to provide a varied and comprehensive learning experience.

DXB smashes targets with 87 million guests in 2023, up nearly 38% from 2022

DUBAI, UAE: Dubai International (DXB) ended 2023 with record achievements and extraordinary growth, welcoming 87 million guests in annual traffic, surpassing not only the forecast of its operator, Dubai Airports, but also its pre-pandemic history.

With 7.8 million guests, December 2023 was the busiest month in the fourth quarter during which the airport welcomed a total of 22.4 million guests, a year-on-year growth of 13.8% compared to Q4 of last year. Q3 remained the quarter with highest traffic since 2019 with 23 million guests while August, with 7.9 million guests, was the month with the highest traffic.

DXB is currently connected to 262 destinations across 104 countries through 102 international carriers. Initial forecasts indicate that in 2024, DXB is anticipated to receive 88.8 million guests, putting the hub within striking distance of its previous all-time high record of 89.1 million guests set in 2018.

H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, said, “DXB’s spectacular performance in 2023 is a resounding testament to the visionary leadership and determination of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to achieve growth and excellence across sectors, surmounting all challenges along the way.

“This exceptional performance underscores Dubai’s emergence as the world’s most popular tourism destination and its pivotal role in global commerce and trade, facilitated by the unmatched connectivity, aviation capacity and logistics infrastructure that has been built steadily over the years under His Highness’s leadership … the city continues to grow rapidly as a global aviation hub and the world’s preferred gateway for international travellers.”

Sheikh Hamdan noted that Dubai Airports, led by H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports, and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, has introduced strategic initiatives and made vital investments in infrastructure, technology, and customer service to place Dubai at the forefront of global aviation growth.

Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, noted, “I am incredibly proud of everyone at Dubai International, for their dedication and relentless pursuit of excellence, which has propelled us to break many of our own records. 2023 was an exceptional year and is a testament to our unwavering commitment to innovation, efficiency and delivering exemplary guest experience.”

“Looking ahead, we’re renewing our commitment to collectively enhance the airport experience for all our guests by launching a significant project to expand and refurbish facilities at DXB, to fortify our infrastructure for future growth. DXB remains firmly positioned as a global leader, setting the gold standard for exceptional guest experiences and international aviation excellence.”

Operational excellence and guest experience
DXB processed an impressive total of 77.5 million bags in 2023, making it the highest volume of bags managed during a calendar year at the airport. Despite 24.6% year-on-year increase in baggage volume, DXB maintained its unmatched success rate of 99.8%, with only 2.4 mishandled bags per 1,000 passengers.

More than 95% of guests experienced less than seven minutes of waiting time at departure passport control while the average waiting time at security check on departures was less than four minutes for 97.5% of guests.

In ACI World’s globally recognised Airport Service Quality (ASQ) programme, DXB scored 4.5, the highest result achieved by the airport to date, reflecting the hub’s commitment to continuously enhance guest satisfaction, business performance and airport service quality.

Top country destinations
India claimed the top spot among destination countries with traffic totalling 11.9 million guests, followed by KSA with 6.7 million guests and the UK with 5.9 million guests. Other country markets of note include Pakistan (4.2 million), the US (3.6 million), Russia (2.5 million), and Germany (2.5 million).

London retained its position as the top destination with 3.7 million guests, followed by Riyadh with 2.6 million and Mumbai with 2.5 million guests.

Cargo and flight movements
In 2023, DXB handled cargo totalling 1,805,898 tonnes, down 4.5% compared to the previous year. But Cargo volumes registered a growth of 20.4% year-on-year in the fourth quarter to reach 506,018 tonnes.

The double-digit increase in guest numbers during the year continued to reflect in flight movements at the hub which totalled 416,405 in 2023, the highest ever total movements recorded at DXB, and up 21.3% year-on-year.

Liege Airport says 2023 mixed year with freight decline but passenger traffic increased

Liege, Belgium: Liege Airport described 2023 as a mixed year characterized by a decline in cargo volumes and an increase in passenger traffic.

The airport which is among the top cargo hubs in Europe handled over 1 million metric tons of cargo transiting through its facilities. Additionally, it welcomed 175,606 passengers, up by 5.2% compared to 2022.

Liege Airport said the years 2020 and 2021 had been exceptional, with growth of 50% following the COVID-19 pandemic. It saw an explosion of e-commerce traffic despite the cessation of passenger flights (50% of air cargo is carried “belly” in passenger aircraft), while the normalization of the market had
begun in 2022 and continued through 2023.

In 2023, the airport recorded 33,548 aircraft movements, including 23,917 cargo movements (down 14% vs 27,840 in 2022).

“FedEx’s restructuring came into full effect in 2023 on top of a difficult international economic context (The war in Ukraine; downturn in the Chinese market; less consumer spending in Europe). All European cargo airports are experiencing a backlash. Even if the reference year is already a long way off, it’s worth noting that we are gaining 11.5% in tonnage in 2023 compared with 2019 (pre-COVID year), while having digested the FedEx restructuring (from April 2022) and the departure of AirBridge Cargo following the outbreak of war in Ukraine (from February 2022). This sets us apart from most European airports, which are behind on their 2019 cargo figures,” explains Laurent Jossart, CEO of Liege Airport.

But Jossart is optimistic about the airport’s future, saying, “With the new operating license, our Board of Directors has adopted our ambitious Master Plan and Business Plan “Vision 2040”. More than EUR 500
million will be invested over the next 20 years, to become a multimodal hub, exemplary in environmental terms, and a creator of jobs for our region.”

Abu Dhabi welcomes Hainan Airlines, increases connectivity with direct flights to Haikou, China

Abu Dhabi, UAE: Abu Dhabi Airports welcomed a new airline to Abu Dhabi International Airport, Terminal A, connecting the emirate with the Chinese city of Haikou, the capital city of the province of Hainan.

Hainan Airlines began operating on 30 January two weekly flights between Haikou and Abu Dhabi, increasing transport and trade links for both passengers and cargo.

With trade, tourism and business ties growing between Abu Dhabi and China, the flights are a response to growing demand for air travel options between the two countries and will be the first time a Chinese carrier operates scheduled flights to Abu Dhabi in a decade. Flights to Haikou will depart from the state-of-the-art new Terminal A and strengthen Abu Dhabi’s position as a global transport hub for both passengers and cargo.

Managing Director and Interim CEO of Abu Dhabi Airports, Elena Sorlini, said: “We are pleased to welcome Hainan Airlines to Abu Dhabi. It marks an important milestone for Abu Dhabi Airports and the broader UAE-China relationship. The launch of this new airline boosts our connectivity, and the route will further enhance bilateral relations and create new business and tourism opportunities between the two global destinations.”

GM of Abu Dhabi Office Hainan Airlines, Mr. Ma Wang Yi Jin, added: “Hainan Airlines is honored to be part of this important milestone, coinciding with the Chinese Lunar Year of the Dragon. We are committed to providing exceptional service and convenience for passengers traveling between Abu Dhabi and Haikou. “