EFW redelivers its 10th aircraft to DHL Express in time for ecommerce and cargo demand

Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW) has redelivered its 10th A330-300P2F aircraft to DHL Express in time for the Asian high season for e-commerce and cargo demand.
DHL Express, launch customer for EFW’s A330-300P2F program, is currently the biggest operator of the A330-300P2F fleet.
The cargo carrier has eight more aircraft on firm order to be redelivered by EFW of which some are already inducted for a conversion in Dresden, Germany.
Together with partner airlines EAT, ASL and Air Hong Kong, DHL Express is operating its A330-300P2F fleet in Europe and Asia as well as on transatlantic flights from Leipzig, Germany to the US.
Malcolm Macbeth, senior vice president global network management DHL, said: “DHL Express is delighted to welcome the 10th A330-300 P2F to its aircraft family. Since becoming the first operator to take delivery of the A330-300 P2F in 2017, the aircraft has proven to be ideally suited to short- and mid-range sectors in Asia Pacific and Europe.
“The aircraft delivered today is the youngest aircraft, we have converted to date and we are excited to see it serve our customers in Asia from 2023 onwards.”
Jordi Boto, chief executive of EFW, added: “EFW has been a trusted converted freighter solution provider for DHL and its network partners for decades. Our 10th re-delivery of an A330-300P2F to DHL is an important milestone for our A330P2F program and longstanding partnership with DHL.
“We are very happy to be supporting DHL’s operational needs throughout these years, and are fully committed to helping them grow their new-generation Airbus freighter fleet further with our A330P2F program.”
EFW’s A330P2F programme is developed in collaboration with ST Engineering and Airbus, with EFW holding the Supplemental Type Certificate and leading in the overall program as well as marketing & sales efforts.
The A330P2F program comes with two variants – the A330-200P2F and A330-300P2F.
The A330-200P2F can carry a gross payload of up to 61 tons of weight to over 7,700 km, while the larger A330-300P2F can carry a gross payload of up to 63 tons and a containerised volume of up to ~18.581ft3 (~526m3).
ST Engineering and EFW have conversion sites in Singapore, Germany, the US and China. To meet the rising demand for freighter conversions, ST Engineering and EFW will work with third party conversion houses with facilities in Turkey and China to support the A330P2F program.

AviaAM purchases 2 more Boeing aircraft for P2F conversion

AviaAM Leasing has purchased two more Boeing B737-800 aircraft for Passenger-to-Freighter (P2F) conversion.
The aircraft, bearing serial numbers 29769 and 28225, are the fifth and sixth Boeing 737-800 respectively inducted to cargo conversion, with the previous three already delivered to sister company and lessee Bluebird Nordic and the fourth to be delivered in late January.
The two aircraft have already been inducted for P2F conversions at the Taikoo (Shandong) Aircraft Engineering Company Limited (STAECO) facility in Jinan (TNA), China.
P2F conversion is anticipated to be completed by the second quarter of 2023.
AviaAM Leasing is currently undertaking a passenger-to-freighter (P2F) conversion project, which includes the Boeing 737-800 series and a commitment to convert 25 aircraft of different types over the next four years.
Iceland-based ACMI leasing and cargo airline Bluebird Nordic and AviaAM Leasing are a part of Avia Solutions Group and are working together to enable Bluebird to achieve its fleet expansion goals.
“We continue to execute our plan related to Boeing 737-800BCF conversion program and thus support our group’s cargo airlines with more efficient cargo aircraft,” said Tadas Goberis, chief executive and chairman of AviaAM Leasing.
“Each of the conversion project we undertake requires detailed planning and complex solutions, thus we’re proud to continue this project, this way strengthening our presence in the air cargo market as a reliable leasing and trading service provider.”

Dnata breaks ground with new cargo warehouse in Iraq

Ground handler dnata has broken ground on its new, 20,000 sq m cargo warehouse at Erbil International Airport (EBL) in Iraq that will be capable of processing 100,000 tonnes of cargo annually.
Scheduled for completion in September 2024, the cargo warehouse will be able to process a wide variety of products, including perishables, pharmaceuticals and dangerous goods.
dnata will also implement its ‘OneCargo’ system within the $14m facility, designed to digitalise processes and maximise efficiencies across its cargo operations in Iraq.
The facility will be equipped with thermal insulation to reduce the building’s environmental impact by maintaining low CO2 manufacturing emissions and operating costs.
Additional environmentally sustainable features include a water harvesting system, which recycles condensed water, low-energy skylighting, and an all-electric forklift fleet.
The foundation stone for the cargo warehouse was recently revealed by dnata’s senior vice president for UAE and Iraq airport operations Jaffar Dawood.
“We are delighted to expand our operations in response to the growing demand for our reliable and safe cargo services in Erbil,” said Dawood.
“Our new facility will incorporate cutting-edge technologies and the latest carbon reduction initiatives in design and operation, ensuring the highest level of operational and environmental efficiency for our customers.
“We stay committed to the Iraqi aviation industry and continue to invest in our operations to contribute to the development of Erbil as a regional cargo hub.”
dnata’s latest expansion follows the opening of a new cool chain facility and a bus maintenance facility in 2022 at EBL. The company currently provides ground handling and cargo services to over 25 airlines with a team of over 400 aviation professionals.
In recent years, dnata has also made strategic investments in new cargo facilities in London and Manchester in the UK, Karachi and Lahore in Pakistan, and additional cargo capacity and infrastructure in Brussels, Belgium, Sydney, Australia and Toronto, Canada.
Last January, the company announced an investment of over €200m in dnata Cargo City Amsterdam, at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport in The Netherlands.

Comac to convert ARJ21 airliner into a freighter

Chinese airframer Comac has completed design work on a program to convert the ARJ21 airliner into a freighter.
The project to develop a freighter conversion variant of the ARJ21 commenced in May 2020, and involved preliminary and detailed design, aimed at understanding the modifications necessary.
Comac did not state when the first conversion will be undertaken, or when the converted aircraft will conduct its first flight. Nonetheless, it has two customers for converted ARJ21s: Zhongyuan Airlines and YTO Cargo Airlines.
Comac announced the program’s launch at a ceremony at the company’s Shanghai research & development center. The airframer has for around two decades envisaged a cargo role for the twin-engined regional jet.
The converted aircraft will have a commercial cargo capacity of 10t and be capable of carrying air freight containers – unit load devices – of various sizes, such as PMC, PAG, and AKE.
Its main cargo door will feature fully electric actuation, and the aircraft will feature a special fire suppression and air-conditioning system.
Cirium fleets data that there are 88 ARJ21-700s in service. It also lists a single ARJ21-700F freighter as being in storage, with the operator listed as YTO Cargo Airlines.
The ARJ21 freighter announcement follows the company’s unveiling of the ARJ21’s business jet variant, the CBJ, at Airshow China in Zhuhai in September 2021.

GSSA Strike Aviation expects air cargo market to pick up in second half of 2023

GSSA Strike Aviation is expecting that the air cargo market will pick up in the second half of the year following a tough opening six months.
The company said that it expects the market slowdown experienced last year to continue in the first part of the year, although it does not expect this slowdown to become a crisis for the industry.
Andrius Antanaitis, director of business development for Europe, said: “In the second quarter of 2023, positive changes are already expected in the market, provided there are no unforeseen major economic issues.
“Strike Aviation is quite well prepared for this slowdown [currently being experienced], so we believe that we will be able to resist the market challenges, and in the second half of 2023, we will recover.”
Antanaitis pointed out that in November of last year the company won a new contract with fast-growing cargo carrier Amerijet to provide GSSA services.
In addition, Strike Aviation’s division in Germany has begun freighter flights from Belgium to India, which is a “new promising niche”.
Antanaitis also pointed to Tiaca’s outlook for the year, which also predicts that the market could improve in the second half of the year.
Looking back on last year, Strike Aviation saw its revenue grow by around 20%, in part due to inflation-related price increases.
However, revenues were down around 30% year on year in December as the market deteriorated and the peak season failed to materialise.
The volume of cargo transported by Strike Aviation last year remained similar to previous years.
“While the beginning of 2022 was a record-breaking, there were major economic shocks due to the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis that had serious implications for the whole global market,” said Antanaitis.
“There have already been significant changes in the market during the Covid-19 pandemic, but 2022 brought even more unexpected challenges.
“The whole year was difficult, and at the end of it, the air cargo sector has sort of put the brakes on.”

NAS appoints GSSA for TAAG Angola Airlines in the UK and Ireland

Network Airline Services (NAS) has been appointed as the GSSA for TAAG Angola Airlines in the UK and Ireland, effective from January.
John Gilfeather, NAS’ UK sales director, said: “We are very happy to have been selected as TAAG Angola’s new cargo GSSA. This new agreement allows Network’s teams to offer its customers new routes and services with reduced quoting times as well as making booking confirmations smoother and more efficient.”
NAS UK (and Ireland) is the most recent Network region to have been awarded representation of the Luanda-based airline.
Network Airline Management (NAM) continues their agreement with TAAG to provide a regular weekly B747F scheduled service from Liege, Belgium, to the capital of Angola, Luanda.
NAM provides a B747-400F aircraft with nose door capability which carries up to 120,000 kilos of cargo on its core flight schedule.

Cathay Pacific doubles its flights to the Chinese mainland

Cathay Pacific will more than double its flights to the Chinese mainland and increase its belly capacity as China has eased pandemic restrictions.
Effective in January, China’s government has authorised flights from Hong Kong and Macao International Airports with passenger load restriction and quarantine lifted.
The government is expected to authorise Chinese mainland residents to visit Hong Kong for tourism and business purposes.
Restrictions remain in place for visitors from outside this region with some business and family-specific travel allowed.
In light of the new permissions, Cathay Pacific will significantly increase its belly capacity by more than doubling its flights into the Chinese mainland, operating 61 return flights per week between Hong Kong and 13 mainland cities from January.
This compares to the 27 flights per week from Hong Kong to the Mainland, and 50 flights per week from the Mainland to Hong Kong that the airline is currently operating.
Cathay Pacific said it is working actively to resume and add more flights progressively between Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland in the coming weeks, with the aim of operating over 100 return flights per week by March 2023.
From January, Cathay Pacific has increased its flights between Hong Kong and Beijing to 10 pairs per week, and between Hong Kong and Shanghai (Pudong) to 21 pairs per week.
The airline is also resuming flights to Guangzhou with five return flights per week.
Meanwhile, from January 14 the airline will increase its flights between Hong Kong and Xiamen to four pairs per week, and between Hong Kong and Chengdu to six pairs per week.
“As a Group, we anticipate that we will be operating around 70% of pre-pandemic passenger flight capacity by the end of 2023, with an aim to return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2024,” said Cathay.
Pandemic containment measures in China continued to impact Cathay Pacific’s cargo volumes at the end of 2022, although European network expansion softened the blow.

Ethiopian Airlines adds bellyhold capacity to China market

Ethiopian Airlines has become the latest carrier to add bellyhold capacity to the China market following the easing of Covid restrictions.
The carrier said that the frequency of flights will increase starting in February and return to pre-Covid levels in March.
Starting in February, Ethiopian Airlines will operate daily flights to Guangzhou and increase its weekly flights to Beijing and Shanghai to four times per week each.
It will also maintain a three-times-per-week operation to Chengdu.
Then from March, the airline will add daily flights to Beijing and Shanghai as well as 10 weekly flights to Guangzhou and four weekly flights to Chengdu.
In total, Ethiopian will operate 28 weekly passenger flights to China when the services are fully restored.
Ethiopian Group chief executive Mesfin Tasew said: “China is one of the largest markets for Ethiopian Airlines outside Africa, and the increase in flight frequencies will help revive the trade, investment, cultural and bilateral cooperation between Africa and China in the post-Covid era.”
Ethiopian also operates freighter flights to Guangzhou, Shanghai, Zhengzhou, Changsha and Wuhan.

Air Partner handles first export cargo flight

Aviation services group Air Partner has handled Teesside International Airport’s first export cargo flight.
In recent weeks, the team has arranged for three Cessna aircraft to fly automotive cargo into Teesside for a global manufacturer based in the north of England, with more flights due to take place this month.
Air Partner’s team in Cologne arranged the export charter cargo flight following an urgent request from a German freight forwarder that required automotive parts to be flown to Stockholm for a global car manufacturer.
Pierre Van Der Stichele, vice president of global cargo at Air Partner, said: “It was imperative that this time-critical cargo was delivered swiftly to prevent delays to the production line in Stockholm. Our communications and logistics processes offered the best solution with a Metroliner aircraft and a five-hour turnaround.”
He added: “As a key cargo partner to Teesside International Airport, we are ready to not only support its growth as a cargo hub, but also to support global automotive manufacturers and all other industries as an enabler of seamless export and inbound operations.”
Walter Jones, head of cargo, Teesside International Airport, said: “Teesside International Airport has the capacity and functionality to fulfil the demands of a growing cargo infrastructure. With the support of companies such as Air Partner, which has now successfully taken care of inbound and export cargo flights, Teesside International Airport will grow as the UK’s most centrally located cargo hub in the UK.”
Earlier this month, CharterSync said it managed the first ad hoc flights into the new cargo facility at Teeside.
Following the closure of Doncaster Sheffield Airport, Teesside Airport aims to establish itself as a key cargo hub

Munich Airport witnesses massive growth in all traffic figures in 2022

A busy summer has gifted Munich Airport massive growth in all traffic figures in 2022: Passenger numbers rose by 19 million year on year to a total of 31.6 million.
The airport has thus regained two-thirds of its record-breaking pre-pandemic result from 2019. The number of aircraft movements nearly doubled compared with 2021 to more than 285,000 take-offs and landings. The seat load factor of the aircraft in Munich equaled the record figure of 77.5% from 2018. With a total of 210 destinations in 63 countries, Bavaria’s aviation hub now has excellent links with the global route network once again.
“The gradual lifting of travel restrictions has re-awakened people’s desire to travel. This has prompted airlines to significantly expand their flight capacity. The bookings received by the airlines indicate that traffic growth at Munich Airport will continue in 2023,” Jost Lammers, CEO of Munich Airport, said.
After a weak first quarter, which was still influenced by the pandemic, demand for flights increased enormously. While only four million passengers were counted at Munich Airport over the first three months, the busiest third quarter saw traffic of more than ten million travelers. The pent-up demand has been particularly noticeable in long-haul travel: Since July, traffic between Munich and destinations in the US has already been higher than the 2019 level. From the start of the 2022/2023 winter flight schedule, this also applies to traffic to destinations in India, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand.
Air freight has also benefited from the boom in traffic at Munich Airport. In 2022, freight volume increased by 55% to a total of around 259,000 metric tons.