American Airlines Cargo Expands Digital Booking with CargoAi Partnership

American Airlines Cargo has continued the rollout of its capacity onto third-party booking portals through a new partnership with CargoAi.

The partnership will see American Airlines Cargo integrate its capacity onto CargoAi’s CargoMART booking portal.

The platform provides real-time capacity & rate visibility, quoting, e-booking, and track and trace functionalities.

The platform’s 16,000 freight forwarder users will also be able to compare flight options by carbon emissions, track CO2 emissions at a shipment level and purchase sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

The move is in addition to the airline’s own booking portal and its existing partnerships with WebCargo and cargo.one.

“Partnering with CargoAI is a significant step on our modernisation journey,” said Greg Schwendinger, president of American Airlines Cargo in a press release.

“We are excited to expand our network and capacity onto an innovative platform like CargoMART and provide customers with a new digital solution for doing business with us.”

Matt Petot, chief executive of CargoAi, added: “This partnership underscores our commitment to providing our users with best-in-class digital solutions that optimize their operations and drive efficiency in the air cargo industry.”

Etihad Airport Services Cargo Elevates Efficiency with Hermes 5 Upgrade

Hermes Logistics Technologies (HLT) has successfully upgraded Etihad Airport Services Cargo’s hub in Abu Dhabi to the latest version of its Hermes cargo management system (CMS), following a contract renewal that will also see the airline utilize the Hermes Business Intelligence add-on.
Hermes 5 is HLT’s latest function-rich cargo management system and forms the core of the Hermes Ecosystem, a suite of pay-as-you-go cargo management solutions that include Business Intelligence, Track & Trace, and a Learning Management System, among others.
“We are pleased to see Etihad Airport Services Cargo going live with our latest Hermes 5 on-premises in Abu Dhabi. We have worked with the company since 2015, and our teams have collaborated closely on this implementation to ensure a smooth switch-over,” said Yuval Baruch, Chief Executive Officer of Hermes Logistics Technologies.
“In addition to the operational efficiency and new functionality of the upgraded CMS, EASC will benefit from an enhanced version of Hermes Business Intelligence, a comprehensive dashboard reporting tool based on Hermes’ extensive data lakes.
“The combination of these solutions will help the company with operational insight so it can make better-informed decisions.”
The HLT team worked with EASC, both on and offsite, to reduce downtime at the Abu Dhabi cargo hub during the upgrade and ensure service stability following the switchover.
“Our upgrade to Hermes 5 has been a success, owing to the strong collaboration between Hermes Logistics Technologies and our teams,” said Naresh Ranganathan, Acting Vice President at Etihad Airport Services Cargo.
“We were able to complete the process ahead of schedule, thereby minimising downtime for our air cargo operations and enabling us to seamlessly resume normal business operations.
“The inclusion of the Business Intelligence function will help us better understand where operational efficiencies can be made, so we can provide efficient cargo handling services at our hub for all airlines operating into Zayed International Airport.”
EASC’s contract renewal and upgrade are the latest sign-ups to Hermes 5 and the Hermes Ecosystem, reflecting the cargo handling industry’s shift towards increasing digitalization.
Recent commitments will see Hermes’ newest technology deployed at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Cairo International Airport and a number of Portuguese airports.
The Hermes Business Intelligence add-on is scheduled to go live with Etihad Airport Services Cargo in June 2024.

Logicsols chooses BlueBox Systems due to excellent air freight data

BlueBox Systems, one of the leading developers of intelligent air freight tracking solutions, has gained a new customer for its state-of-the-art air freight tracking programming interface: Logicsols. The platform of the digital logistics solution provider from New York, USA, allows its customers to manage their entire logistics operations, including features like shipment visibility, data analysis, and document legalization. Logicsols can now integrate BlueBox Systems’ tracking data into its own platform and offers its customers even more accurate data.

The enhanced data availability has convinced Saif Uddin, Digital Delivery Leader at Logicsols: “BlueBox Systems offers a wider range of data points for air freight shipments compared to other providers.” This includes real-time location updates, weather impact information and potential delays due to customs clearance, for example. BlueBox Systems boasts a comprehensive global network for air freight tracking and delivers tracking data of more than 130 airlines, 1600 airports and about 40 million status updates per day, which is another reason for Logicsols to choose the Bonn-based company.

A third decisive factor is the excellent data quality. “This is especially important for us, so we can offer our customers a clear and dependable picture of their air freight movements”, says Saif Uddin. “We’ve also trust BlueBox Systems because of its proven track record and its strong reputation within the air freight industry.” Another advantage: the seamless API integration.

Due to the API solution, the applications of BlueBox Systems and Logicsols can communicate independently and exchange data in real-time. This enables customers to gain important information about ETA changes or delays. Carriers gain access to real-time shipment data to optimize routes, reduce costs and allocate resources efficiently. Manufacturers can get up-to-date shipment tracking information to plan production and proactively manage inventory. All parties along the supply chain can retrieve the most up-to-date and efficiently accurate information. At the same time, the API solution ensures end-to-end data security by providing controlled data access allowing only authorized parties to access and use shared information, safeguarding sensitive cargo details and maintaining the supply chain integrity.

“Our robust API allows for swift and straightforward integration, empowering business with real-time air and ocean freight visibility,” says Martin Schulze, CEO of BlueBox Systems. “We provide a user-friendly and efficient API integration that ensures a smooth data flow and minimizes technical challenges for our customers.”

Logicsols is one of many companies like Siemens Digital Solutions, 4Flow, Thinkprime, Klog or Otonomi, who are already successfully using the API solution of BlueBox Systems and offer their customers unrivaled data quality.

Etihad Airways Sees 43% Year-on-Year Growth in March 2024 Traffic

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has published its preliminary traffic statistics for March 2024.

The carrier welcomed more than 1.4 million guests onboard and saw its passenger load factor average out at 84 per cent across the month.

“In March 2024 we saw a 43 per cent year-on-year growth in customer numbers as we continue our growth strategy,” said Antonoaldo Neves, CEO of Etihad Airways. “Our year-to-date (YTD) passenger figures at 4.3 million are 41 per cent higher than at YTD March 2023.

“Our latest seasonal expansion in routes and frequencies has boosted Etihad’s weekly flights by 34 per cent, rising from 642 in 2023 to 866 in the peak June-July 2024 season, expanding our network and improving global connectivity.

“We continued to announce further growth to our network, including unveiling Al Qassim as our fourth destination in Saudi Arabia, and further frequences on our European network. These include double-daily flights to Frankfurt and Rome, offering morning and afternoon departures, strengthening our operations with convenient schedules.”

Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) and Dongguan Port Group collaborate on a pioneering sea-air transshipment facility

At the end of last month (October), Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) – operator of Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) – signed an agreement with China’s Dongguan Port Group to establish a joint venture for the development of a novel sea-air intermodal transshipment facility.

HKIA Dongguan Logistics Park will be the world’s first sea-air intermodal transshipment site in which a logistics park is directly connected to an airport’s airside environment.

Such a sea-air intermodal transshipment arrangement will enable cargo security screening, palletisation and airline acceptance for export cargo of the Greater Bay Area (GBA) to be completed upstream in Dongguan in compliance with Hong Kong’s air cargo regulations before the cargo is shipped by sea to Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) and then for directly flown to overseas destinations as transshipments cargo.

Likewise, vice versa, international shipments can be imported to the GBA via HKIA and the logistics park. Compared to the existing model, the new transhipment arrangement is expected to save 50% of the cost and one-third of the processing time for cargo, HKIA said.

The pilot scheme was launched in April this year and the annual handling capacity of the site is forecast to reach over a million tonnes upon completion of the first phase of development (which is to cover an area of 20 hectares).

Digitalised and highly automated facilities and equipment are planned to be installed and employed at the logistics park, including autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs) and customised containers.

AAHK has established a wholly-owned subsidiary for the planning, management and operation of the logistics park, in accordance with the agreement signed with Dongguan Port Group.

Cissy Chan, executive director, commercial at AAHK, believes that HKIA Dongguan Logistics Park will not only expand the hinterland for HKIA’s cargo business, but also bring “new growth opportunities for trade, logistics, and other relevant industries of Hong Kong and the entire GBA.

“We believe this project can further strengthen HKIA’s role as a double gateway connecting the GBA with the world,” she declared.

IAG Cargo inaugurates new cargo handling facility at London Heathrow

IAG Cargo has officially opened a new cargo handling facility at London Heathrow Airport that enables it to more than double the amount of premium loose shipments it can handle daily.
Measuring over 10,000 m2, the semi-automated New Premia facility will serve as IAG Cargo’s new home for handling premium loose shipments.
To support the increase in cargo handling capacity, the facility features bespoke IT systems and systems integration to regulate freight movements and allocations.
It has been designed to be as efficient as possible, with 11 new landside doors, meaning even faster engagement for drivers to collect or drop off cargo.
The temperature-controlled building includes a state-of-the-art Constant Climate Quality Centre (CCQC) for pharmaceuticals, with 29 dedicated cool cells and temperature facilities available from +2°C to +8°C (COL), +15°C to +25°C (CRT) and -20°C (FRO) ensuring sensitive shipments are held in a temperature-controlled environment at all times.
Additionally, the +15°C to +25°C (CRT) chamber includes two dedicated break and build workstations. The new facility is certified under IAG Cargo’s Good Distribution Practice (GDP) WDA license issued by the UK Medicines & Healthcare Regulatory Agency.
Operationally, four large ‘transfer vehicles’ have been introduced which service the 20 new break and build workstations. These vehicles pass through the 11 rapid-rise delivery doors allowing cargo to be moved autonomously through the facility and into storage in advance of collection and delivery to the aircraft for exports and similarly the process works in reverse for imports.
This process uses ground-breaking technology as the system is fully integrated with IAG Cargo’s existing Warehouse Management System – which is the first time globally that this integration has been delivered.
David Shepherd, chief executive at IAG Cargo, said: “The opening of New Premia is a pivotal milestone for IAG Cargo – the benefits it will bring both to our customers and our operational teams is huge.
“We strive to provide the best service for our customers and the investment into our IT systems will improve our operational performance, optimizing the movement of cargo to support global trade.”

Texel Air launches new airline in New Zealand

Charter carrier Texel Air has launched a new airline in New Zealand that will cater for domestic demand before expanding to offer services to Australia.
The new Auckland-headquartered airline named Texel Air Australia commenced operations this week utilizing a Boeing 737-800BFC (ZK-TXE).
The ACMI operator plans to add a further two 737-800BFC aircraft by the end of the year.
The aircraft was transferred over from Texel Air’s Bahrain airline earlier this year.
The airline will initially carry out charter services for Parceline Express, a subsidiary of Freightways and New Zealand Post.
Texel Air Bahrain had been operating the service utilizing a 737-300 classic while the new airline was established.
The airline was established by John Chisholm who is chairman of Chisholm Enterprises Group and subsidiary airlines Texel Air and Texel Air Australasia.
“John Chisholm established Texel Air Australasia in 2023 after seeing a gap in the airfreight charter market for a customer-focused airline in Australasia,” the airline’s website reads.

Launceston Airport to receive government funding for its air cargo facility

Launceston Airport in Tasmania, Australia will receive government funding to upgrade its air cargo facility.

The redeveloped Virgin Australia cargo facility at Launceston Airport aims to help local Tasmanian businesses strengthen their supply chains.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Michael Ferguson, said the Rockliff Liberal Government is investing A$1.6m to support the redevelopment due to the benefits it will provide Tasmanian producers.

“Airfreight links are critical to the Tasmanian economy, supporting freight supply chains for time-sensitive freight, including our valuable seafood and horticulture sectors,” Ferguson said.

“This investment is a vote of confidence in our export markets, will support more efficient management of the current freight and provide capacity for future growth.

“The upgraded facility will allow for more time-critical cargo each year, mainly seafood and perishable goods, and the current hangar operation just won’t be able to cope with the extra volume we are seeing.

“It is clear that when our industries and economy grow, the infrastructure to support them needs to grow as well and it is timely that this new cargo facility will be an integral part of the larger overall airport upgrade project.

“If everything goes to plan we expect to see the quality Tasmanian produce that the world wants moving through this new facility and onto off-shore markets later this year, he said.

Saudi Arabia ranks first among Arab nations for inbound visitors in 2022

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA—Saudi Arabia registered more international arrivals than any other Arab nation during the first nine months of 2022 at 18 million, indicating it’s on track to reach its target of 100 million annual visitors by the end of this decade, officials said.

Figures released by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) show that Saudi Arabia attracted more than 18 million inbound visits in the first three quarters of 2022, followed by the United Arab Emirates (14.8 million tourists) and Morocco (11 million tourists), which ranked second and third in the region, respectively.

Owing to these unprecedented numbers, the Kingdom’s burgeoning tourism sector will represent a key focus at Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2023, which will take place at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from 1-4 May.

This year’s Saudi Summit will take place on the Global Stage and focus on the importance of the Kingdom in reshaping the regional travel and tourism landscape now that mega projects are well under way.

In addition to the summit, ATM 2023 will feature a host of Saudi exhibitors, including Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA), flynas, Makkah Clock Royal Tower, Asma Hospitality Company, Eye of Riyadh, Itrip, Dur Hospitality, Sadana Real Estate Co, Saudi Amad for Airport Services & Transport Support and
many more.

“From upcoming giga-developments such as NEOM and the Red Sea Project to how the Kingdom’s latest visa reforms are bolstering its travel sector, we expect Saudi Arabia to represent a major drawcard during the upcoming edition of ATM,” said Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director ME, Arabian Travel Market.

Tourism spending in Saudi Arabia also skyrocketed last year, hitting $7.2 billion in H1 2022 according to figures released by the country’s Ministry of Investment. Travel experts from around the world will place these statistics under the microscope at ATM 2023, as part of a series of KSA-focused sessions and panel discussions.

IATA predicts further 4% cargo traffic drop next year

Earlier this year, WFS’ cargo handling operation in Denmark created the capacity to generate 100% of its power requirements through renewable energy.
Air cargo traffic is predicted to drop by a further 4% next year, while yields and revenues are also expected to weaken compared with this year’s levels.
Speaking at the IATA Global Media Day, the airline association’s head of policy analysis Andrew Matters revealed its predictions for next year.
He said that cargo volumes are expected to fall 4.3% year on year to 57.7m tons, following on from an 8.1% fall this year to 60.3m tons.
“This reflects the challenging global economic backdrop in terms of global economic growth but also in terms of international trade,” Matters said.
He added that as a result of load factors returning to pre-Covid levels, yields are expected to decline by around 22% next year, following on from a 7% increase this year, a 24% increase in 2021 and a 50% increase in 2020.
Matters said that current yield levels were unsustainable.
“It (22%) sounds like a big number and quite dramatic but it isn’t too unreasonable given the very strong increases we have seen in recent years,” he explained.
Airline cargo revenues are expected to fall around 25% next year around be $149.4bn, although Matters pointed out this was still around 50% higher than pre-Covid levels.
“The exceptional period that we have had looks like it is coming to an end. We started to come back to levels across a number of these variables that we are more accustomed to.”
Another factor raised by Matters was that freighters deliveries are increasing in a cooling air cargo market.
However, he added that there were potential upside risks to the demand forecast.
“We think the air cargo market is cooling after what has been a very strong and unusual period,” he said. “We expect that this will continue into 2023.
“But it is important to note that it is not all bad news, a lot of it is just coming back from unusually high, or unsustainably high levels.
“Cargo revenues are still going to be around 50% higher than pre-pandemic levels.
“In terms of the risks around the forecasts, it is very easy to think of the downside risk, but there are also upside risks.
“If, for example, the conflict in Ukraine was resolved quickly we’d expect to see business and consumer confidence rebound quite quickly and if that happens we can expect to see a recovery in economic activity, a recovery in consumer spending, a recovery in business investment and a recovery in international trade.
“Also, supply chain disruption is continuing and to the extent that it will impact the shipping industry could present a source of upside risk for air cargo as well.
“We might get some trade that goes from shipping to air cargo for businesses to plug some gaps in supply chains.”
“And if we were to get a sudden turnaround in confidence that fed through to demand, often what we find is that first recovery upswing favours air cargo because businesses need to get inventory into their warehouses and stock onto their shelves quickly.”