Airhub Airlines receives IATA’s IOSA registration

Airhub Airlines has successfully obtained globally recognized International Air Transport Association (IATA) Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) registration.

The IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) Program is an internationally recognized and accepted evaluation system designed to assess the operational management and control systems of an airline.

“IOSA certification is a statement of Airhub Airlines’ commitment to our partners and stakeholders’ confidence. Our top priority is to ensure safe flights and provide comfort to our passengers; therefore, the received IOSA registry affirms the conformance of its safety operations,” Haris Coloman, CEO and Accountable Manager at Airhub Airlines, said.

“I am very proud that our company managed to successfully undergo this international audit. This wouldn’t happen without Airhub Airlines’ employees’ dedication to ensuring that the international standards are in place,” Coloman added.

“The success of obtaining the IOSA registration will cement Airhub Airlines’ competitive position within the aviation industry. By prioritizing safety standards and operational efficiency, Airhub Airlines is all set for the upcoming strategic opportunities and partnerships in the industry,” the company said in a press release.

Manston Airport cargo hub plans approved by UK Government

The UK Government has approved plans to develop Manston Airport in Kent as an air cargo hub.

Owners of the site, RiverOak Strategic Partners (RSP) said it has received a redetermined Development Consent Order (DCO) from the Department for Transport, for its plans to invest up to £500m at the airport. 

The company said: “The DCO will make it possible for RSP to provide much needed airfreight capacity in the South East, help alleviate long term overcrowding in the London airport system and ease road congestion caused by lorries carrying freight through the channel tunnel to European airports.”

RSP has planned for the building project to be carbon net zero, in line with the Government’s decarburization goals.

Surveys, detailed master planning and design work will commence in the next few weeks. Construction will begin later next year, with the airport operating its first cargo services in early 2025.

Permission for RSP’s cargo hub at Manston was originally granted by the UK Government in July 2020, however, the High Court overturned the decision in February 2021.

Originally an RAF base, Manston Airport has been used periodically for charter and passenger flights, but its runway did not support large aircraft and the airport has historically suffered from underuse in the face of competition from other UK airports.

GSP expands its cargo facility

Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP) in South Carolina, US has expanded its cargo facility.

The $5m facility expansion to 160,000 sq. ft. will allow cargo operations to continue to grow, said the airport’s owner, the Greenville-Spartanburg Airport (GSP) District.

“We continue to see record-breaking volumes of cargo come through our world-class facility,” said Dave Edwards, president and chief executive of GSP District.

“This expansion will position us to continue to be a major player in the international supply chain. It’s incredibly gratifying to be a part of the aviation industry’s meaningful impacts on South Carolina.”

GSP serves upstate South Carolina. In 2021, the volume of airfreight handled at GSP increased by 48% to nearly 97,000 tons.

The airport was ranked number 22 of all US airports for volume of international freight in 2021, according to 

In 2019, the airport also invested in its cargo facilities.

$4m air cargo facility built at Chennault International Airport

Chennault International Airport in Louisiana, US has completed a $4m air cargo facility that was built to attract international and domestic cargo.

Now available for lease, the facility on the I-10 corridor between Houston and New Orleans includes a 1,000 sq. ft. office area and an expandable 9,000 sq. ft. warehouse. The adjacent aircraft parking apron is 127,000 sq. ft., able to accommodate all sizes of cargo aircraft.

The airport will work with industry partners to help certify the building, first announced in July 2021, for international cargo clearance.

“We have worked tirelessly to remove entry barriers for the air cargo industry,” said Chennault executive director Kevin Melton. “We have made investments in facilities, established a rich incentive program, and we will invest in ground equipment to support the industry. We are committed to share the risk associated with new markets.”

Chennault is offering a package of air cargo incentives with a potential value of $300,000-plus, including two years of free rent on the new air cargo facility with a five-year commitment.

The airport said it will also waive landing fees for all commercial air cargo landings for two years.

The airport has also approved the acquisition of more than $500,000 for specialized air cargo ground equipment to mitigate a capital expense that otherwise can be a barrier to start-up activity.

“The airport will work closely with industry partners regarding specific equipment needs for their operation and then help secure that equipment,” said Melton. “We are leaving no stone unturned.”

Philadelphia Airport selects Menzies Aviation as new cargo handler

Menzies Aviation has been selected as the new cargo handler at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), while Kale Logistics Solutions will provide the cargo community system.

PHL said the two firms would be key players in its cargo expansion strategy, announced last year, in support of increasing regional demand for air cargo and logistics in and around the airport.

The expansion will see Aviation Facilities Company (AFCO) develop a 150,000 sq. ft. facility for Menzies.

“The proposed facility will capitalize on investments being made to relocate Tinicum Island Road and expand the airport’s cargo ramp area,” the partners said.

“The new facility will also leverage the Airport’s relationship with Kale Logistics Solutions in the development of an air cargo community system.”

This development is an initial step in the expansion strategy, being executed in phases over the next couple of years.

The partners are also exploring near-term options for their operations prior to the completion of the dedicated cargo building.

“We are delighted to be working with Philadelphia Airport, AFCO and Kale on this new development for cargo,” said Robert Fordree, executive vice president global cargo services at Menzies Aviation.

“This is very much aligned to our preferred model of working collaboratively with key stakeholders and airports that are willing to invest in cargo infrastructure.

“We are embracing new technologies and innovation for cargo handling and look forward to bringing this approach to the new development, as well as utilizing the implementation of a cargo community system in collaboration with Kale.”

PHL chief revenue officer Jim Tyrrell added: “Our partnership with AFCO, Menzies, and Kale is a critical step in the evolution of Philadelphia International Airport’s cargo program,” adding that it will “help us achieve our goal of becoming the premier cargo airport on the East Coast for speed, efficiency, and quality”.

“Beyond increasing our cargo throughput, this partnership is also meant to enhance services for our passenger airlines,” Tyrell added.

SF Airlines expand fleet with new freighter number 75

Express carrier SF Airlines has continued its fleet expansion with the addition of freighter number 75.

The carrier this week took delivery of a B767-300 freighter ahead of the air cargo peak season, said Chinese press agency Xinhau.

The airline has added seven freighters to its fleet so far this year, following on from the addition of seven aircraft in 2021.

The airline has been expanding its transport capacity and air-route network to provide efficient and stable transport services for diverse products, especially fresh agricultural products. 

SF Airlines is also jointly developing a huge 2.4m ton capacity cargo airport in Ezhou, which will connect its regional and international services covering Asia Pacific, Europe and the US.

The airport handled its first flight in July.

Headquartered in Shenzhen, SF Airlines is the aviation branch of China’s express delivery giant SF Express.

Lufthansa Cargo to reduce plastic use by adopting new film to wrap cargo

Lufthansa Cargo is hoping to reduce the amount of plastic it uses by adopting a new film to wrap cargo.

The airline said that starting in mid-September, it will become the first cargo airline to use a new type of film that consists of 10% recycled plastic and is also one micrometer thinner than previous films.

This will result in a saving of around 2 kg of film on each cargo flight. The carrier currently uses around 500,000 kg of plastic film each year.

Dorothea von Boxberg, chief executive of Lufthansa Cargo, said: “Plastic waste has become a major problem for the environment worldwide. We are therefore particularly concerned to reduce our need for plastic and to use it in a way that conserves resources.

“In our sustainability strategy, we follow the guiding principle ‘Every Action Counts’. Every step we can take to make airfreight logistics more sustainable is important to us – in the air as well as on the ground.

“We are particularly pleased to be the first cargo airline to be able to use a more environmentally friendly film in the transport of our freight after many tests at selected stations and good cooperation with our specialist departments, our waste disposal company and our film producer. This brings us a step closer to our goal of using our plastic film in a circular way.”

The airline is also operating a closed-loop for its recyclable plastic material.

In Frankfurt, the cargo carrier is working together with its local waste disposal company and film manufacturer Verpa Folie Weidhausen to collect the approximately 400,000 kg of used film per year in Frankfurt that is no longer needed after a transport, to have it processed into granulate, and to have it incorporated into new film as a recycling component.

Lufthansa will also try to increase the recycled content of its plastic film to 30% by 2025 and has also established the re-use of plastic film as standard practice.

The company is also hoping in the future to use biodegradable film that breaks down if it ends up in a landfill.

“They will be completely degraded in a natural way within eight to ten years thanks to special enzymes that stimulate the decomposition activities of bacteria many times over – without creating micro plastics,” the carrier said.

Lufthansa Cargo’s emissions-reduction targets have recently been validated by the Science Based Target Initiative (SBTI) to bring its commitments in line with the United Nations’ Paris Climate Agreement.

EV Cargo purchases 75% stake Air Express Cargo as it expands its presence in Europe

Freight forwarder EV Cargo has purchased a 75% stake in Spain-based Air Express Cargo as it looks to expand its presence in Europe.

Air Express Cargo was formed in 2004 and operates out of offices in Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia, providing air and sea forwarding and customs brokerage services on behalf of importers and exporters across Spain.

The acquisition of Air Express Cargo will add “customer depth and provide access to additional global trade lanes from Europe to US and South America”.

Air Express Cargo will be branded as EV Cargo Spain and current founder and chief executive Francisco de la Sita will continue to own 25% of the shares and take up the role of country managing director.

The Hong Kong-headquartered firm said the “strategic acquisition” would add another market to its “rapidly expanding European platform”, which offers 20 offices and over 400,000 sq ft of warehousing in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Poland, France, Switzerland and Greece.

EV Cargo vice president, Europe, Marc Terpstra, said: “Spain is an increasingly important market for us as we manage supply chains for the world’s leading brands, and we look forward to quickly developing our full-service proposition across air and sea freight, road freight and contract logistics to serve both existing and new customers.”

The deal is not EV Cargo’s first this year. In March, the company acquired Netherlands-headquartered Fast Forward Freight.

It also has ambitions of further growth and aims to surpass $3bn of revenue by 2025 through organic growth and strategic M&A activities.

Meanwhile, Air Cargo News sister title Motor Transport in August reported the company was considering whether to float on the London Stock Exchange.

However, a spate of failed flotations in the UK may lead it to play safe and choose either the New York or Hong Kong stock exchanges.

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport witnesses cargo decline by 13.8% in H12022

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport saw its cargo volumes decline by 13.8% year on year in the first six months of the year as weaker market conditions and the loss of AirBridgeCargo services hit volumes.

The airport handled a total of 721,746 tons in the first half of the year, with inbound cargo volumes decreasing by 17.5% on last year to 364,376 tons and outbound volumes sliding 9.7% to 357,369 tons.

Freight volumes were shipped in two categories of flights: full freighters, which accounted for 65% of total volumes, and passenger flights at 35% of total volumes.

“The main factors attributable to the decrease observed in 2022 were the global decrease of volumes transported and the loss of volumes from a large carrier operating from Russia,” the airport said.

“The decrease follows a worldwide trend, with growing capacity on passenger flights, concerns about economic development worldwide, production and transport issues in Asia, and the war in Ukraine.”

The airport didn’t name AirBridgeCargo, but the Russian carrier was a big user of the airport and has suspended flights due to western sanctions following the invasion of Ukraine.

Looking at regional performance the top three destinations for cargo by tonnage were Shanghai, Dubai and Chicago.

Outbound cargo to the Asia region from Schiphol decreased by -10.3% to 117,694 tons, while inbound traffic from the region also went down by -14.6% to 123,704 tons.

The outbound North American market decreased by -9.1% to 84,786 tons, with inbound traffic from here declining by -10.5% to 58,101 tons.

Cargo inbound from Latin America decreased by -22.3% to 46,827 tons and outbound traffic to the region went down by -14.6 % to 35,242 tons.

For the Middle East market, inbound cargo from the region decreased by -12.0% to 51,624 tons, and outbound cargo decreased by -5.7% to 57,567 tons.

The figures for European outbound traffic decreased by -13.2% to 40,670 tons, while inbound cargo decreased -35.7% to 42,153 tons.

Outbound traffic to Africa decreased by -3% to 21,411 tons, with inbound traffic decreasing -12% to 41,962 tons.

While volumes decline in the first half of the year, the airport highlighted recent investments in a press release.

Anne Marie van Hemert, head of aviation business development, Schiphol Airport, said: “In the first half-year, innovation through our Smart Cargo Mainport Program has continued.

“Automated Nomination has been introduced as the new standard procedure for inbound cargo, which informs customers about incoming shipments before arrival. Going forward, additional measures will be implemented for secure cargo handovers.”

The airport also highlighted that at the start of 2022, dnata announced a €200m investment in new cargo facilities at Schiphol Airport.

“Schiphol looks forward to remaining an attractive hub and being the most sustainable airport with an efficient cargo flow,” said van Hemert.

“Together with our cargo community, we want to shape Europe’s smartest cargo hub.”

Earlier this year, the Dutch government announced plans to reduce the number of flights from Schiphol from November next year as part of efforts to reduce noise and environmental pollution.

The government plans to reduce the number of slots at Schiphol by 12% from the current 500,000 per year to 440,000. If a previously planned increase to 540,000 is taken into account, the reduction is 20%.

EASA awards Avensis Aviation with STC certificate

Conversion firm Avensis Aviation has been awarded a permanent freighter Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) by European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for its fully reversible MEDIUS cargo modification.

Avensis said its MEDIUS reversible solution features a Class-E cargo compartment without a cargo door, meaning it has the level of fire protection required for a freighter.

“MEDIUS is a completely reversible solution that transforms passenger cabins into full Class-E cargo compartments, allowing customers the freedom to quickly adapt to industry demand,” the company said.

Applicable to Airbus A330, the modification also introduces a separated Supernumerary Crew Cabin.

The launch customer for the solution is TAP Air Cargo.

Cristian Sutter, chief executive of Avensis Aviation, said: “As the industry recovers from the pandemic, flexible passenger to freighter (PTF) capacity is more important than ever to ensure airlines’ optimized fleet utilization and deliver greater revenue potential.

“We are thrilled to be the only approved PTF provider to offer the MEDIUS product, this advanced, first-of-its-kind cargo conversion solution.

“This is a major milestone for us as an organization, but it is only a glimpse of our capabilities and we have further product launches planned for the coming months. Our thanks to EASA, and to our launch customer, TAP Air Cargo, for their support throughout the approval process.”

Avensis’ other customers, including AELF FlightService, joined TAP Air Cargo as confirmed customers of the MEDIUS modification with 10 committed conversions for 2022-23.

Other airlines are also looking to transform passenger aircraft into temporary freighters with Class-E cargo compartments.

Eastern Airlines plans to add 35 specially converted B777 passenger-converted freighters. 

Meanwhile, Vallair has also unveiled a temporary Airbus A330-300 E Class widebody freighter conversion solution.