Challenge Group takes off with AMOS

MALTA—Following a comprehensive and highly professional evaluation process, the international air cargo consortium Challenge Group says it has selected the MRO software AMOS for Challenge Airlines BE, Challenge Airlines IL, Challenge Airlines MT and Challenge Technic.

Challenge Group says its decision to adopt AMOS is further proof of Swiss-AS’s position as an ideal technology partner that can assist the Challenge Group with its digital transformation efforts.

AMOSmobile/EXEC and cloud hosting bring optimal value

The AMOS Airline Edition will enable the airlines to streamline operations, increase efficiency, and reduce overall maintenance costs by improving and digitizing internal aircraft maintenance procedures.

As part of the paperless maintenance process, the use of AMOSmobile/EXEC, a touch-optimised add-on to AMOS, will enable the paperless execution of all line and base maintenance activities.

To complete the service package, Challenge Group has chosen Swiss-AS Cloud Hosting, which includes the proven AMOS Operation Services. With the use of secured VPN connections, their AMOS environment will be easily accessible from all their international operational bases. The hosting services are an effective method of eliminating the need for the group to maintain a technical infrastructure on site and enabling it to operate in compliance with the latest security and IT standards.

AMOS to support group harmonisation

In order to address the complex implementation project that has already begun, AMOS will be implemented in phases, due to the amount of AOCs that will be migrating from different legacy systems to AMOS.

Challenge Group is aiming to unify all its different entities on a single AMOS environment which will enable the different entities to maximize the synergies and ensure a complete harmonisation of all the processes and data between them. The first phase of the project will focus on the Part 145 organisation, and the second phase will include the different CAMO (Continuing Airworthiness Management Organisation) organisations going live one by one.

“Challenge Group has defined an ambitious holistic digital innovation strategy for the coming years. The choice of AMOS to accompany our digital transformation in this specific aera of our activity is a new step and we are happy to be able to count on a reliable partner who understands our needs and shares our vision,” said Yossi Shoukroun, Chief Executive Officer of Challenge Group which handles more than 300,000 tons of cargo per year.

Coyne Airways joins Airblox to trade cargo capacity using electronic Block Space Agreements

Chicago, Illinois, USA and London, UK—London-headquartered Coyne Airways announced it has started listing freighter capacity with Airblox.com, an online marketplace enabling brokers, freight forwarders, and airlines to trade cargo capacity in the form of standardized electronic Block Space Agreements (eBSAs™).

The fintech platform currently lists over 2000 lanes, providing predictive analytics and pricing forecast on major cargo routes.

Coyne Airways is a leading cargo airline providing specialized all-round solutions for transporting pharmaceuticals, fresh produce, live animals, and heavy and oversized shipments.

“Coyne Airways is delighted to partner with Airblox, which is an exciting innovation for the airline industry to help airlines and customers optimize capacity and increase efficiency,” said Larry Coyne, Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Coyne Airways.

“We, like Airblox, are dedicated to providing consumers with the air capacity they require on the terms that best suit them – whether on a block space or per kilo basis. We look forward to providing access to our scheduled lanes and empty legs on the platform.”

The airline, which was established in 1994, specializes in services to Armenia, Georgia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and a growing number of African destinations, together with charter services worldwide.

Through its extensive interline network, Coyne is able to move cargo between virtually any global gateway and its network destinations on a single IATA air waybill, providing reliable and secure air cargo services to some of the world’s most difficult to reach destinations.

Airblox has been expanding its customer base and has signed on Vietnamese freight forwarder HPW Cargo as well as French air charter expert Avico to its platform this year.

ETIHAD CARGO BOLSTERS GLOBAL CUSTOMER SERVICE CENTRE OPERATIONS

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Etihad Cargo, the cargo and logistics arm of Etihad Aviation Group, has reinforced its commitment to customer service excellence through the restructuring of the carrier’s Contact Centre Team.

To improve global customer service response times and support the UAE team to enable it to improve business conversion, Etihad Cargo has created two separate units. One team is dedicated to servicing UAE customers, and the other to servicing the rest of the world and global key accounts.

To avoid overlap and improve response times, the separate units will have dedicated communication channels and email addresses. The capabilities of both the UAE-focused and global teams include sales support, customer service, billing dispute and resolution, escalations and case management. The global team, which offers 24/7 customer support, also provides special commodity and product support.

“The restructure of Etihad Cargo’s Contact Centre Team and realignment of work processes is the latest step in the carrier’s long-term commitment to improving customer responses and enhancing service delivery and business conversion,” said Tim Isik, Vice President Commercial at Etihad Cargo. “75 per cent of Etihad Cargo’s Contact Centre transactions originate from the UAE, and establishing a dedicated UAE-focused team will enable the Contact Centre to communicate with customers and respond to enquiries more efficiently. The global team will focus on service delivery and case resolution for the rest of the world, including Etihad Cargo’s global key accounts.”

The restructuring of the carrier’s Contact Centre Team aligns with Etihad Cargo’s continuous improvement strategy. The allocation of dedicated resources for sales support mitigates the risks of delayed communication, including the provision of quotes, as all activity will be handled by one team rather than multiple contact centre agents. Resources have also been allocated to customer service, and the new units will be accountable for bookings and service delivery.

Isik continued, “Etihad Cargo’s primary objective is to be the air cargo partner of choice, and the carrier continuously reviews processes, procedures and systems to ensure Etihad Cargo is the easiest carrier to do business with. The enhanced structure of Etihad Cargo’s Contact Centre will improve customer service delivery, increasing the speed of responses and ensuring customers have access to support wherever they are located.”

The Contact Centre realignment follows Etihad Cargo’s transition to the Microsoft Dynamics 365-driven Pulse CRM, which was implemented to empower customer service agents with more customer-focused data. Launched in 2022, the new CRM has provided greater transparency and visibility, enabling customer service agents to track each transaction from initial contact through to resolution.

Etihad Cargo’s UAE customers can contact the dedicated Customer Contact Centre team via the email addresses and contact number below:

Email address UAEcargoSalessupp@etihad.ae
Escalation email address UAEcargoEdesk@etihad.ae
Phone contact number +971-2-5112600

 

The customer service contact details for customers located outside the UAE are as follows:

Email address Cargocontact@etihad.ae
Escalation email address CargoEscalationsDesk@etihad.ae
Phone contact number +971-2-5990099

 

 

 

FedEx team members participate in tree planting to make the UAE a greener place

Dubai, United Arab Emirates—FedEx Express (FedEx), a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and the world’s largest express transportation company, participated in the “For Our Emirates We Plant” annual tree planting campaign, to help increase sustainable green spaces across the UAE.

In collaboration with Emirates Environmental Group, a team of FedEx UAE members planted indigenous Sidra trees at the Special Bee Reserve, located at Al Minae area in the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah.

The region’s afforestation is of utmost importance since trees are a prominent contributor to decreasing greenhouse gases in the biosphere, most notably carbon dioxide. This program is an example of FedEx collaborating with non-profit organizations around the world to lead the charge on sustainability and help restore and protect the environment.

FedEx is committed to delivering a more sustainable future and achieving carbon-neutral operations by 2040. Key steps toward reaching the carbon-neutral goal include vehicle electrification, sustainable fuels, fuel conservation, and aircraft modernization. Locally, FedEx Express has already begun testing zero tailpipe emissions electric vehicles for package pickup and delivery in the UAE.

In June 2022, FedEx joined the Emirates Environmental Group in their Recycle, Reforest, Repeat project, where team members contributed a total of approximately 5600 kgs of recycled material, which is equivalent to six tree saplings that is planted on FedEx name.

FedEx recognizes the importance of addressing the challenges of climate change through innovative and sustainable business practices. Learn more about FedEx efforts in environmental, social, and governance here.

Globe Air Cargo Japan premieres with Air Premia’s Japanese launch

PARIS/TOKYO—On 23 December 2022, Air Premia left Japan for Korea with typical Japanese export cargo load of automotive parts, semi-conductor parts, and general consumer goods. The Korean airline plans to run a scheduled service linking Narita (NRT) with Incheon (ICN), and from there, to Singapore (SIN),Saigon (SGN), and Los Angeles (LAX), respectively.

ECS Group subsidiaries in Korea and the US represent Air Premia. In Japan, newly founded Globe Air Cargo Japan will provide comprehensive GSSA support, ensuring optimum revenues and load factors on every Air Premia flight.

Globe Air Cargo Japan has been established to build and strengthen business relations in East Asia, as well as provide existing ECS Group airline customers with a known local Japanese presence. Founded on 01 August 2022, the team headed by Managing Director, Dmitry Vorontsov, boasts a long and varied air cargo background with quality airlines.

“With our established team of highly experienced in sales professionals and existing forwarder relationships across the country, Globe Air Cargo Japan offers local air cargo expertise within a truly global ECS Group network, and one that goes above and beyond any standard GSSA portfolio,” saidVorontsov. “We look forward to contributing to Air Premia’s success in Japan, and carving out a strong market presence for ECS Group, too.”

Adrien Thominet, Executive Chairman of ECS Group, commented: “ECS Group has placed a key focus on expanding its presence in Asia these past 12 months, and growing to support its international customers. Together with Air Premia, ECS Group is fulfilling its pledge to offer the strongest Asian network with unlimited connections. I am delighted that we can now provide GSSA services in one of the world’s most significant economies, and know that with Globe Air Cargo Japan, our Japanese and international customers will be more than well-attended to.”

Globe Air Cargo Japan is located off-airport, in downtown Tokyo, in Shinbashi, Minato-ku, 70 km away from Japan’s main cargo airport, Narita (NRT). Minatodistrict was selected as the GSSA location, since many large global and local Japanese forwarders are based there.

Singapore Airlines awards WFS domestic trucking contract to connect 18 UK airports

SINGAPORE/LONDON—Singapore Airlines has extended its cargo partnership with Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) in the United Kingdom with a new contract for domestic trucking services connecting 18 regional offline airports.

WFS has provided cargo handling for the airline in the UK since 2015 in support of its passenger and freight services from London Heathrow and Manchester airports, including trucking services between the two airports as well as offline handling across all of WFS’ other UK stations.

WFS now handles over 45,000 tons per annum for Singapore Airlines, which currently operates 30 flights a week ex Heathrow and seven weekly services from Manchester using a combination of Airbus A350 and A380 and Boeing 777 and 747F aircraft.

With the awarding of the new domestic trucking contract, Singapore Airlines will now access WFS’ 600 road transport services per week serving 18 other UK regional airports. WFS services every airport with overnight services 5-7 days a week.

“WFS is delighted to be extending its partnership with Singapore Airlines in the UK to include the airline’s regional transport requirements. The airline is already a major customer of our UK operations and this new contract will enable us to support Singapore Airlines’ continued growth in the UK market by giving its customers across the country fast and seamless access to its wide choice of passenger and freighter flights,” said Jennifer Smith, WFS’ UK Commercial Director – Cargo & Ground Handling.

WFS has recently invested to expand its UK transport fleet to 28 tractor units and 31 trailers to support the 50,000 tons its moves annually by road in the UK. The comprehensive fleet includes Q7 curtain-sided and Q6 refrigerated units as well as and roller bed temperature-controlled trailers with state-of-the-art ‘Carrier Vector 1950’ temperature management units.

Kuwait International Aircraft Leasing takes delivery of 3rd Bell 429

Kuwait—Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, recently delivered a Bell 429 helicopter to Kuwait International Aircraft Leasing (KIAL), which will be used by the Ministry of Health (MOH) for Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS), the third delivery in the country.

“I’m delighted to see this delivery and honored that Kuwait has chosen a Bell platform to add to its existing fleet – there couldn’t be a better testament than this,” said Sameer Rehman, managing director, Bell.

“We’re delighted to receive this latest addition to our fleet of 429s, being already very familiar with the model’s excellent performance in our extreme summer temperatures. This new aircraft means we can expand our services even further, helping mobilize patients quickly and comfortably to medical facilities; and ultimately, save more lives,” said Steven Mathews, vice president, Kuwait International Aircraft Leasing.

Known for its speed, range and low lifecycle costs, the Bell 429 reached 500,000 global flight hours at the beginning of the year and continues to show just what a reliable and versatile platform it is. One of the most successful light twin helicopters of its class, its versatility means it can perform a variety of missions, from corporate transportation and energy to public safety, law enforcement and of course, HEMS.

Silk Way West Airlines gets 2 more Boeing 777-8 Freighters

Everett, Washington / Baku, Azerbaijan—Silk Way West Airlines shows no sign of slowing down its impressive record of growth, having secured a deal to offer even more cargo capacity in the future with the purchase of two Boeing 777-8 freighters with option to buy two more aircraft.

The companies signed agreement in Everett, Washington and aircraft deliveries are planned for 2029 and 2030.

Boeing said Silk Way West Airlines is the first customer in the whole Central Asia region to order the industry’s newest, most capable and fuel-efficient twin-engine freighter. The aircraft can carry over 118 tonnes of structural payload with a range of over 9,200 km. With its advanced technology, new GE9X engines and composite wing design, the 777-8 offers 30 per cent greater fuel efficiency and emission levels as well as 25 per cent lower operating costs per tonne. As a result, the new aircraft will also make an important contribution to the airline’s sustainability goals.

This investment will not only enable Silk Way West Airlines, which serves 40 destinations around the world, to further expand its international network and meet growing demand for cargo transport, but will also strengthen Baku as a key international cargo hub. The Azerbaijani capital has become increasingly important for the Middle Corridor linking Europe and the Western Hemisphere to Asia through the Caspian region.

Back in April 2021, the cargo airline signed a purchase agreement for five Boeing 777s, setting the course for further fleet growth. Now, the new 777-8 aircraft complement SWWA’s fleet development plans by enabling the necessary operational commonality, enhancing a long-term strategy of sustainable growth as well as allowing the Azerbaijani carrier to continuously improve service to its customers.

“We are pleased to announce this order with our longstanding partner Boeing and become one of the world’s first customers for the newest freighter,” said Zaur Akhundov, Silk Way Group president. “This year Silk Way West Airlines celebrates its 10th anniversary, and over the past decade we have been operating an all-Boeing fleet. Today’s agreement reflects our ongoing investment in Boeing’s market-leading freighters. Our fleet renewal plans will help to further reduce our operating costs and enhance fuel efficiency as well as make air freight services in our region more sustainable”.

“With sustained demand for air cargo tied to expanding e-commerce and air freight’s speed and reliability, Boeing expects the global freighter fleet to increase by 60 per cent through 2041,” said Stan Deal, President and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “We are proud that Boeing products, including this order for the 777-8 Freighter, continue to drive Silk Way West Airlines’ expansion plans and help realize the ambition of making Baku a global cargo hub.”

MEBAA Show 2022 opens as crowds gather to drive sustainable business aviation

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates—His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, opened on 06 December the much-anticipated three-day MEBAA Show 2022 at Dubai Airshow site (DWC).

Reaffirming the MEBAA Show’s position as the foremost business aviation platform in the Middle East and wider regions, gathering key players in the industry from over 95 countries, the ninth edition of the global business aviation show will run until 8th December 2022.

With an increased international presence at this year’s show and an up-weighted focus on in-person networking, Day 1 saw business leaders from across the world connect with exhibitors, all working together to redefine the future of the industry and take it to new heights. Key themes for the event include future aviation, sustainability, emerging markets and regulations, as well as a focus on digitalisation, block chain, AI and crypto based payments, all recognised as key trends that are driving the industry forward.

Ali Ahmed Alnaqbi, Founding and Executive Chairman of MEBAA – the Middle East & North Africa Business Aviation Association, commented: “As we continue to witness huge growth across the business aviation industry, it’s been fantastic to see so many new initiatives highlighted at this year’s MEBAA Show. Day 1 has already seen the formation of many new connections between our visitors and exhibitors, along with the launch of a series of market-leading new technologies and sustainable solutions that will play a vital role in the future of the industry. We are pleased to be working with global industry leaders and specialists to deliver our best show to date, and look forward to seeing a continuation of today’s success over the next two days and beyond.”

Day 1 saw the launch of the first-ever BizAv Talks conference, which included a series of seven presentations and panel discussions on the daily theme – Future Private Jet Business Models. With sustainability a key focus for this year’s show, Rolland Vincent, Creator / Director at JETNET iQ, Alexandre Geahchan, MENA Commercial, General & Military Aviation Account Manager at Air BP, and Trine Braathen, Senior Manager Sustainability – Carbon Markets at World Kinect Energy, joined the panel discussion ‘Strategies for business aviation sustainability’, which was moderated by Douglas Carr, SVP, Safety, Security, Sustainability & International Affairs at National Business Aviation Association. The discussion focussed on Sustainable Aviation Fuel and approaches to reducing the carbon footprint of the industry. They also highlighted technology advances on the road to sustainability.

During the discussions, Carr said: “The aviation industry has unprecedented pressure on sustainability, with a special focus on business aviation. The industry as a whole has committed to milestones that will be necessary to reach net zero goals and fuel is the single biggest opportunity to make aviation sustainable.”

Geahchan followed with: “A lot of focus is on sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). It shares a lot of the chemistry with jet fuel, which makes it promising for the industry as a solution that can be used without any changes to existing aircraft. SAF can reduce emissions by 80% over the life of an aircraft.”

Meanwhile on the show floor, a huge number of exhibitors displayed the latest aircraft, technology and solutions. In light of the business aviation industry’s remarkable growth over the last few years, this has opened up huge opportunities for innovation – much of which was on display at the MEBAA show. With the global private jet market projected to reach nearly $40 billion in 2025, from an estimate of almost $26 billion in 2021, exhibitors presented a series of new innovative aircraft, all equipped with specialist features. These included the Boeing – 737, SkyLady Boeing 767-200ER, Dassault Aviation – FALCON 8X, Bombardier Aerospace – Global 7500, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation – G700 & G650ER, Embraer – Praetor 600, Airbus ACJ TwoTwenty, and Phenom 300E plus the Learjet 60XR and many more.

Speaking of Airbus’ participation in the MEBAA Show, Benoit Defforge, President of Airbus Corporate Jets, commented: “The Middle East is the leading market for ACJ and we are proud to be at the MEBAA Show this year, demonstrating our latest innovation within the business aviation sector. We see significant opportunities in the region for further growth and aircraft renewals, especially considering that more than 100 of the large private jets are older than 15 years old, which represents more than 40% of the fleet. Through our ACJ Connect solutions, we provide the most advanced and sustainable private aircraft, with cutting-edge connectivity, inflight entertainment and operations. We look forward to even more collaboration with our regional and global customers for years to come.”

Mohamed Hussain Ahmed, CEO of RoyalJet, also commented: “MEBAA is an industry-leading event that brings together aviation enthusiasts, professionals, business leaders, policymakers, customers, and change agents from across the globe to network and interact, and we are delighted to participate. I am looking forward to having productive discussions at the event and I am also hoping to witness some of the latest technology and digital solutions in aviation that will facilitate rapid digital transformation in the industry.”

During Day 1, there were also a series of key announcements. Lufthansa Technik awarded a contract for VIP cabin completion of an ACJ320neo. Meanwhile, Empire Aviation Group marked its 15th anniversary at the show and announced the induction of a Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) into its regional managed fleet of business jets and signed an agreement with the Mohammed bin Rashid Aerospace Hub (MBRAH) at Dubai South to develop a new, multi-purpose business aviation facility on a plot adjacent to the VIP Terminal.

WFS and DiagNose: First to use dog detection teams in finding undeclared lithium batteries on cargo

PARIS, France—Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) and DiagNose, a world leader in dog-handling detection, have pioneered the detection of undeclared shipments of lithium batteries following a six-month trial involving thousands of cargo consignments in France.

WFS and DiagNose partnered in March 2022 to carry out a feasibility study using dogs to detect the presence of lithium batteries in cargo shipments, mail and baggage.

Currently, there are few means to physically check for undeclared lithium batteries, posing one of the biggest threats to flight safety due to their fire risk.

At the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) AGM in June, Director General, Willie Walsh, called on governments to develop and implement research methods for lithium battery detected. In a press statement, he said: “Airlines, shippers, manufacturers, and governments all want to ensure the safe transport of lithium batteries by air. It’s a joint responsibility. The industry is raising the bar to consistently apply existing standards and share critical information on rogue shippers. But there are some areas where the leadership of governments is critical. Stronger enforcement of existing regulations and the criminalisation of abuses will send a strong message to rogue shippers. The accelerated development of standards for screening, information exchange, and fire containment will give the industry even more effective tools to work with.”

WFS and DiagNose hope the results of their extensive trial in France will provide a significant step forward towards realizing this objective globally.

The test phase was conducted at WFS cargo terminal in Lyon and involved two dog detection teams, specially trained by DiagNose, and their trainers. Derived from the free-running explosives detection method which Diagnosed mastered over 20 years ago, the trial enabled the dogs to check large volumes of different types of cargoes and has produced remarkable results.

“Over the six months, the two dogs involved in the trial were very precise in their detection of lithium batteries, with 100% accuracy. They located both lithium ion and lithium metal phone batteries in various cargo units whose volume sometimes exceeded 2 to 3 cubic meters. More specifically, they were able to detect a single button battery (ion metal battery) within a 1 cubic meter shipment. In response to one of the biggest aviation safety challenges, WFS and Diagnose believe this can help to significantly strengthen safety measures,” said David Clark, Global Head of Health, Safety, Security & Environment (HSSE) at WFS.

The testing period also allowed for the development of an operational protocol, a standard training program, and an end-of-training and ongoing performance evaluation.

WFS and DiagNose, a subsidiary of the ICTS Europe group, will now make France the center of excellence for the detection of lithium batteries by dogs. In future phases, dogs could be deployed across EU airports or in response to customer requirements within 5-6 months as more dog detection teams are trained. Diagnose is currently present in 9 countries, equipped with 400 teams of dog-handlers.

Oren Sapir, CEO at ICTS Europe group, added: “The challenge presented by lithium batteries is a major concern for aviation safety. Goods that are properly declared, correctly packed and, above all, in good condition present little risk, but it is clear that batteries, or devices containing batteries, are transported every day in passenger luggage and in airfreight shipments without being declared. By working in partnership with WFS, we believe the results of our dog detection trial can be a very important breakthrough in ensuring the highest standards of aviation safety, which are our shared priority. We will be presenting the results of our trials in France to IATA and the regulatory authorities in the next stage of this initiative.”