Geo Sky grows fleet with new Boeing B757-200F

Georgia-based cargo airline Geo Sky is growing its freighter fleet with a Boeing B757-200F.

The B757-200F recently arrived at Tbilisi International Airport and has been added to the Civil Aircraft Register of the Georgian Civil Aviation Agency, said Geosky in a press release.

Aircraft Finance Germany said on LinkedIn: “On 28 September 2022 AFG Aviation Ireland Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aircraft Finance Germany GmbH (Germany), completed the acquisition of one (1) Boeing 757-200F aircraft bearing MSN 25622 as well as one (1) Rolls-Royce RB211 engine with ESN 30512 from a subsidiary of ASL Aviation Holdings DAC (Ireland) for its customer Airline Geo Sky LLC (Tbilisi, Georgia).”

The company said Geosky, founded in 2017, currently operates two B747-200F aircraft.

The airline added that it has started the paperwork to get an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) for the aircraft, with a payload of 29 tons, so it can begin operations.

Budapest Airport to expand further with new investment

Budapest Airport is continuing to develop its Cargo City area with the addition of new cargo areas.

The airport, which recently won the Cargo Hub of the Year prize at the Air Cargo News Awards, will extend its cargo area with a further 2,000 sq. m of office space on the mezzanine level, and 6,000 sq m of maneuvering and storage areas alongside a 1,450 sq. m multi-functional canopy area created for live animal treatment.

Work is due to start later this month.

The expansion will allow Budapest to handle 240,000 tons at the Cargo City with an additional 60,000 tons being served via the integrator facilities of DHL, UPS, and FedEx at Terminal one.

René Droese, chief development officer, Budapest Airport, said: “Budapest Airport is committed to cargo development. Seeing the rapid increase of our cargo volumes after the initial investment of the BUD Cargo City, this next step has been an obvious choice to enable our growth and progression.

“We see more and more interest for our cargo services and capacity enhancements from the market, so we have to ensure we are more than capable of meeting these demands.”

“We have handled 195,000 tons in the last 12 months and continue to record a 40% increase from our pre-Covid levels,” added Droese.

“We are currently handling both integrator flights and non-integrator freighters with long-standing partners Cargolux, Qatar Airways Cargo, and Turkish Cargo.”

More recently Korean Air and China Eastern/Shanghai Airlines have started operations to the airport, alongside regular cargo charters with cargo-partner, Kuehne+Nagel, UTA/CECZ, and the new cargo operations of Wizz Air.

WFS scoops 2 new cargo handling contracts in the UK

Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) – currently in talks to be taken over by SATS – has scooped two new cargo handling contracts in the UK.

All Nippon Airways (ANA) has signed a three-year deal with the handler to provide offline cargo reception points at 11 regional airports: Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London Gatwick, Manchester, and Newcastle.

WFS’ UK transport division will also provide road feeder services carrying cargoes from the UK regions.

“WFS operates over 600 trucking services a week for airline and freight forwarding customers in the UK, transporting over 50,000,000 kilos annually via connections to 18 UK airports,” WFS said.

ANA will continue to work with its existing cargo handler at London Heathrow.

Meanwhile, Tunisian carrier Nouvelair has chosen WFS as the cargo handling partner for its three Airbus A320 passenger flights per week from Gatwick to Tunis, the capital of Tunisia.

The airline has awarded WFS a three-year contract.

“While the number of weekly flights will be reduced to two for the winter season, Nouvelair has plans to enlarge its footprint at UK regional airports in 2023,” WFS said.

“These new contracts reflect the scope of WFS’ cargo handling and road feeder operations in the UK. This gives our airline customers the opportunity to expand their customer service and revenue generation opportunities across the UK market because of the local reception points and reliable transport connections we can provide for their flight operations,” said Jennifer Smith, WFS’ UK commercial director – cargo and ground handling.

“We welcome the opportunity to support and grow ANA’s strong presence with customers in the UK and will also play an important role in helping Nouvelair establish its cargo business as a newcomer to the UK.”

AIT Worldwide Logistics CRAF partners with Kalitta Air

Freight forwarder AIT Worldwide Logistics has entered into a Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) partnership with US-based cargo airline Kalitta Air to strengthen US and global supply chains.

The strategic alliance continues AIT’s longstanding designation as a CRAF-sponsored freight forwarder, enabling the company to continue critical supply chain support for US Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) missions, while also increasing access to global routes, capacity, and charters for customers.

“For more than 10 years, we’ve been proud and always at the ready to support USTRANSCOM through the CRAF program,” said AIT’s chief business officer, Greg Weigel.

“As AIT continues to grow our global footprint and scope, securing a CRAF partnership with an airline that has similar global reach, with some of the world’s largest cargo aircraft made perfect sense to our team—and that’s Kalitta.”

Kalitta operates B747-400 and B777 freighters for long-range international charters and scheduled services.

Its fleet also includes B737Fs as well as smaller jet and turboprop aircraft serving the North American market with support for time-critical charter, life sciences and aircraft on ground missions.

“We’re excited to enter into a new phase of collaboration with AIT,” said vice president cargo marketing for Kalitta Air, Lynn Stauffer. “They’ve been a trusted partner for a long time, and we look forward to working together to support USTRANSCOM for years to come.”

Weigel added that Kalitta has been an AIT core carrier for decades, especially vital for the company’s government and aerospace business.

The airline is also one of AIT’s top three carriers since the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to Weigel, the airline has already worked with AIT on hundreds of international charter projects.

Established in 1951, CRAF is a readiness program used to provide a significant portion of the US’s air mobility resources when the Department of Defense (DOD) airlift exceeds the capability of military aircraft.

Air carriers volunteer their aircraft to the CRAF program through contractual agreements with the air mobility command and, in return, participating companies are given preference in carrying commercial peacetime cargo and passenger traffic for DOD.

Lufthansa Cargo, Kintetsu World Express conclude agreement for sustainable aviation fuel usage

Kintetsu World Express will reduce around five percent of its total CO2footprint of transported airfreight with Lufthansa Cargo for one year. Kintetsu World Express has committed to using Sustainable Aviation Fuel in the period from October 2022 to September 2023. In addition, the company has decided to offset the so-called well-to-tank emissions generated during the production and provision of Sustainable Aviation Fuel with the help of certified climate protection projects.

“Climate change is getting more and more obvious and devastating everywhere in the world. As an asset-light freight forwarder, reducing our Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions is key to winning the battle against global warming. And SAF is a rising star. Recently, in our initial response to the recommendations of The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), we declared our intention to actively participate in our partner airlines’ SAF programs. I am delighted and proud to work with our long-time partner Lufthansa Cargo for the sustainable future of the air cargo industry”, states Nobutoshi Torii, President & Chief Executive Officer of Kintetsu World Express.

“We are very proud that we have been able to win Kintetsu World Express, one of our most important customers, to transport their freight with us on a CO2-neutral basis,” says Dorothea von Boxberg, Chief Executive Officer of Lufthansa Cargo AG. “Already today, Sustainable Aviation Fuel offers the opportunity to save around 80 percent of emissions in airfreight transport. That’s why every customer who takes advantage of this opportunity makes a decisive contribution to advancing decarbonization in logistics. Thanks to the commitment of Kintetsu World Express and our other customers who have chosen Sustainable Aviation Fuel, we have already been able to replace around two percent of our annual fossil fuel requirements with Sustainable Aviation Fuel in 2022.”

The overarching term for sustainable, biogenic or synthetic kerosene is “Sustainable Aviation Fuel” (SAF). SAF is considered to be the first real alternative to fossil aviation fuel. Currently it is mainly produced from biomass. In the future, “non-biogenic” fuels will also be available; the best-known example is the so-called Power-to-Liquid (PtL) concept based on renewable electricity, water and CO2. SAF enables an almost closed CO2 cycle: While fossil fuels release CO2 that has been bound for millions of years and the current level of CO2 in the atmosphere is increasing, the use of SAF in the combustion process releases only as much CO2as was bound immediately before in the manufacturing process.

Sustainable Aviation Fuel is the key to CO2-neutral air traffic and can be fed into regular flight operations without infrastructure adjustments. There are different production processes and different feedstock materials for SAF. The SAF currently used by Lufthansa Cargo is produced in the HEFA process (Hydroprocessed Esters & Fatty Acids) from biogenic residual materials, for example from used cooking oils. It does not conflict with food cultivation, as only forestry, agricultural or gastronomical waste is used. Lufthansa Cargo offers SAF via the Lufthansa Group from the world’s leading SAF manufacturers. Since September 2021, all Lufthansa Cargo customers have been able to have their freight transported in a CO₂-neutral manner by opting for the Sustainable Choice add-on service.

In addition to using Sustainable Aviation Fuel, Kintetsu World Express relies on additional offsetting of greenhouse gases generated in the provision of SAF. Lufthansa Cargo offers its customers a selection of ten carbon offset projects curated by the Lufthansa Group from the non-profit organization myclimate, which applies only the strictest, independent quality standards such as Gold Standard and Plan Vivo when selecting and designing carbon offset projects. With the help of the high-quality offset projects, fossil energy sources are replaced by renewable energy or energy-efficient technologies. Another option is to protect endangered forests, whose trees extract CO2 from the atmosphere over their lifetime, convert it and store it as carbon. The amount of emissions saved from the projects is calculated and can be passed on to companies in the form of emission reduction credits – so-called certificates – in quantities appropriate to their needs. On the basis of the certified CO2 savings or reductions, it is therefore possible to offset CO2 emissions that arise, for example, in the course of freight transport. Another advantage is that the compensation mechanism via high-quality projects not only involves climate protection measures that demonstrably save CO2, but the projects also always bring local benefits for the population and the environment. Jobs are created, infrastructures improved or health risks reduced, biodiversity protected or educational opportunities improved.

BLR Airport emerges as the No.1 airport for perishable shipments for the second time in a row

Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (BLR Airport) continues to be the No.1 airport for handling perishable shipments from India. BLR Airport recorded 52,366 Metric Tons (MT) of perishable shipments in FY 2021-22, compared to the previous year’s 48,130 MT. 41% of South India’s air-cargo perishable tonnage is currently handled by BLR Airport making it the leading airport for perishables in India.

Fruits and vegetables along with the export of poultry and flower have been major segments driving this growth. 36,493 MT of poultry and 1,952 MT of flowers were exported from BLR Airport in FY’22.  Doha emerged as the leading destination followed by Singapore, London and Male. A total of 33 cargo freighter airlines transported perishable shipments from BLR Airport to 85 international destinations in FY’22.

“BLR Airport has the advantage of dedicated cold zones enabling processing of perishable goods for export, which is the highest in India. The infrastructure that we provide ensures cold-chain integrity and seamless movement of perishables, without any change in the optimum storage temperature. Our recent partnerships with multiple cargo partners for infrastructure and technology will only make the Airport’s cargo capacity stronger and even better”, stated Satyaki Raghunath, Chief Strategy and Development Officer at Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL).

The support extended by various statutory bodies from both the Government of India (GoI) and the Government of Karnataka (GoK), including Indian Customs, the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), Plant Quarantine Office Bangalore, and Karnataka State Agricultural Produce Processing and Export Corporation Limited (KAPPEC) has enabled BLR Airport to maintain quality standards across operations at its cargo facility.

APEDA has been instrumental in supporting perishable exporters in Karnataka and understanding their needs to further drive exports.

“BLR Airport has made a significant achievement by becoming the No 1. Airport to process perishable shipments, twice in a row. It is particularly special considering this year is being celebrated as Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. APEDA has always focused on promoting farmer producer organisations and boosting agricultural exports from the country. We have been collaborating with airports, exporters, and other key stakeholders in the cargo business to help upgrade the required infrastructure. BLR Airport is at the forefront with its world-class facilities, and it continues to innovate, hence it is one of the preferred cargo airports in the country for agricultural exporters,” said Dr. M. Angamuthu, Chairman, APEDA.

BLR Airport has state-of-the-art facilities that meet the ever-increasing demand and handling requirements of temperature-sensitive cargo, establishing itself as India’s perishable hub. The cargo terminals have a cold-chain handling capacity of 60,000 MT annually. Since time is critical in perishable logistics, the Airport has invested in several tech-driven interventions to ensure that products reach their destination while still offering the same freshness, quality, and appeal to consumers. BLR Airport’s dedicated cold zone, provides temperature zones ranging from -25°C to + 8°C under the same roof.

An Airport Cargo Community System (ACS) has been implemented at the common-user cargo terminals of BLR Airport. It is a seamless medium for the cargo community to track their shipments through the Airport. This eliminates the need for paperwork across both terminals.

Another distinctive feature of the Cargo Terminal at BLR Airport is the Plant Quarantine Inspection and Certification Facility, which enables seamless and faster transit of perishables. The processes at BLR Airport are geared in a way that all farm-fresh commodities can reach their destination within 24 hours of harvest.

With its conducive geographic location, aided by robust infrastructure, operated by leading cargo handling providers, and adequate airline capacities to key markets globally, BLR Airport has transformed itself into the preferred choice for perishable shipments in India.

The current cargo capacity of BLR Airport is 715,000 MT annually, which is the largest cargo processing capacity in South India. The Airport aims to expand its cargo infrastructure to provide a capacity of approx. 1.5 million MT by the mid-2030s.

Jettainer chosen by CMA CGM AIR CARGO for its ULD expertise

Jettainer was chosen by CMA CGM AIR CARGO, the cargo airline of the CMA CGM Group, a global player in sea, land, air and logistics solutions, to deliver unit load device (ULD) management and maintenance services. The global ULD management leader will provide global positioning, management, maintenance, and repair services for the fleet of a few thousands ULDs under a five-year contract. In addition, CMA CGM AIR CARGO also benefits from Jettainer’s monitoring and a high quality of location data, so that the ULDs find their way from their forwarders back to the cargo airline and are thus always available, even for short-term charter flights.

Launched in March 2021, CMA CGM AIR CARGO is a French cargo airline designed to complement the overall suite of transportation and logistics solutions offered by the CMA CGM Group, a global player in sea, land, air and logistics solutions. CMA CGM AIR CARGO operates a modern and long-range capacity fleet of four Airbus A330-200F, complemented by two recently acquired Boeing 777F aircraft, which will grow up to 12 aircraft by 2026.

Altogether, Jettainer will provide and manage a dedicated fleet of a few thousands ULDs, primarily pallets, for CMA CGM AIR CARGO. By deploying Jettainer’s professional management service and most advanced steering technology that meets the airline’s high standards in the IT landscape, the industry expert will make ULD fleet operation even more efficient and create greater transparency along the entire value chain. This and the high quality of the location data also allows Jettainer to know where the ULDs have remained, even if they are with the forwarder and not in the immediate presence of the airline. In this way, Jettainer can ensure that CMA CGM AIR CARGO pallets are available in sufficient quantities even for charter flights at short notice. Furthermore, high transparency and process expertise also enable Jettainer to optimize repair handling. This, and access to Jettainer’s global repair network, can ensure operational stability, reduce lead times, and avoid unnecessary positioning.

Thomas Sonntag, Managing Director of Jettainer GmbH, remarked: “With our global team and integrated and intelligent IT solutions, we are able to offer the most efficient ULD management service, guaranteeing the availability of ULDs, reducing costs and additionally contributing to more transparency in the value chain. We are pleased to be able to support CMA CGM AIR CARGO’s ambitious growth plans with our ULD service.”

Saudia Cargo extends ULD management partnership with Unilode

Unilode Aviation Solutions, the market leader in outsourced unit load device (ULD) management, repair and digital services, is proud to announce the extension of its ULD management partnership with Saudia Cargo until 2028.

Saudia Cargo has access to a fleet of 90 passenger and cargo wide-body aircraft and flies to 87 destinations. The passenger and cargo divisions awarded the supply and management of their 21,000-strong container and pallet fleet to Unilode in 2017, which created one of the largest ULD management partnerships in the industry. Over the past five years, Unilode has transitioned Saudia Cargo to new, 20 kg lighter solid door containers, which have enabled significant fuel and carbon emission savings. The new agreement will also see Unilode replace the standard AKE containers with lightweight units from its ULD pool for additional synergy and sustainability benefits.

Unilode will provide strategic ULD buffer stock to Saudia Cargo during the Hajj to enable hassle-free and efficient operations during the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. Unilode’s pro-active ULD management services and digital ULD solutions will continue to enable Saudia Cargo to increase visibility of the supply chain and realize additional e-commerce revenue opportunities.

Teddy Zebitz, Chief Executive Officer, Saudia Cargo, said: “We are pleased to renew our full-service ULD management partnership with Unilode Aviation Solutions as it has delivered significant benefits to our operations over the past five years and enabled us to enhance the services we provide to our passengers and cargo customers. Unilode’s digital ULD management solutions make it possible to gain more insights and greater visibility throughout our network and supply chain and continue to help us provide innovative and state-of-the-art solutions to our customers. Unilode and Saudia Cargo have been working closely to enhance digitisation in industry practices which also reflects positively on our ESG policy. With Unilode’s innovative greener solutions, we look forward to working together towards a more sustainable future. Unilode’s global and local customer success management teams and worldwide repair network contribute to our successful and mutually beneficial partnership, and we look forward to working together for another five-year term.

Ross Marino, Chief Executive Officer, Unilode, said: “We are absolutely delighted and very proud that Saudia Cargo has taken the decision to continue partnering with Unilode for the supply, management, repair and digitalization of their ULD fleet. They are strategic customers in our portfolio and their continued trust in our people and services demonstrate the value that they place on our partnership and collaboration. Our renewed agreement is based on a more dynamic price modelling that enables Saudia Cargo to only pay for the ULDs they utilize whilst giving them peace of mind of ULD availability throughout their global network. We are committed to continuing to deliver outstanding service to Saudia Cargo over the next five years of our partnership.”

SAFEEN Feeders Signs charter agreement with Saif Powertec

AD Ports Group’s SAFEEN Feeders and Saif Powertec Limited have signed a charter agreement that will see SAFEEN Feeders purchase and charter out three containerships, to support expansion of the Bangladesh-based entity into the container shipping segment.

Under the terms of the agreement, SAFEEN Feeders will charter an initial three vessels to Saif Powertec at pre-agreed rates for a duration of 15 years, starting in November 2022 to be deployed on global routes connecting Bangladesh.

SAFEEN Feeders will invest approximately AED 375 million (USD 102 million) to purchase the vessels.

The long-term charter agreement with Saif Powertec will help them gain access to critical assets while providing stable returns on investments to AD Ports Group over a long-term horizon.

Captain Ammar Mubarak Al Shaiba, Acting CEO of the Maritime Cluster and SAFEEN Group, AD Ports Group, said: “Under the guidance of our wise leadership, AD Ports Group continues to support the opening of new routes to stimulate global trade and drive new economic opportunities. Leveraging SAFEEN Feeders’ expertise as a leading maritime service provider, this containership charter agreement with Saif Powertec will help meet surging container traffic demand along Bangladesh-bound routes.

We have structured the agreement to reduce exposure to market volatility and ensure a positive return on our investment in these vessels.”

Tarafder MD Ruhul Amin, Managing Director of Saif Powertec, said: “We are delighted to expand our ongoing partnership with AD Ports Group’s SAFEEN Feeders through this new charter agreement, which will enable us to expand our portfolio of container shipping services. Bangladesh has been underserved by direct services and this new agreement will enable us to fill a substantial gap in the market and drive UAE-Bangladesh trade.

“The intention is to charter three vessels at the outset, offering 1,700–2,100 TEU capacity each, which will enable Saif Powertec to realise significant returns on this route and deliver real benefits for our customers.”

In April 2022, SAFEEN Feeders signed another long-term trade facilitation and shipping agreement with Saif Powertec Limited to facilitate trade and cargo services from Fujairah to Bangladesh over a period of 15 years. As part of the collaboration, SAFEEN Feeders is providing eight Supramax bulk carriers with 55,000 Deadweight Tonnage (DWT) capacity.

Peli BioThermal Opens new service center in Japan

Peli BioThermal, announces the opening of its new service center in Japan. The new facility, which is the latest location to be added to the company’s growing network in Asia, is ideally situated near Tokyo’s international Narita Airport.

The latest location will also serve as an additional network station for the company’s rapidly expanding Crēdo™ on Demand rental program, which offers a high-performance, flexible rental option for temperature controlled pallet shippers, with worldwide reach.

Benson Teo, Peli BioThermal’s senior director of sales, Asia, said: “Japan continues to be one of the largest pharmaceutical markets in the world, which makes the launch of our latest service center a strong strategic solution. It is ideally placed within an area offering numerous transportation options, helping us to better meet the requirements of our global customers.

“We are also delighted to announce our products will be shipped via airlines operating in the region including ANA and the JAL Group, which has the most comprehensive handling network in Japan providing ground handling services at numerous airports in Japan.”

Strategically located within Tokyo, Peli BioThermal’s latest facility is in close proximity to Narita Airport and will be able to support Japan’s thriving biotech sector. Tokyo is also home to a number of leading healthcare companies including Takeda, Astellas Pharma, Pfizer Japan, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis Japan and Eisai.

This latest location joins the expanding network of Peli BioThermal facilities servicing key hubs for pharmaceutical manufacturing and transfer activities and is available to customers on a global scale.