News Briefs: CAL upgrades fleet, Air France adds frequencies

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  • Israel-based Cargo Air Lines (CAL) has successfully upgraded its fleet by taking delivery of the airlines second 748-400ERF. Both are nose loader, open door freighters. The aircraft, built in 2007, has a GE engine. A spokesperson for CAL said the airline’s focus on non-standard cargo such as oversize and/or overweight products, dangerous loads, pharma, perishables and live animals will be served well by this addition to the fleet.
  • Air France KLM Martinair Cargo has started three new frequencies from Amsterdam Airport-Schipol to and from Dubai International Airport. Using 747 aircraft, the carrier will be the only scheduled airline to offer 21 main deck pallet loads weekly to Dubai.
  • IAG Cargo has become the first non-U.S. carrier to receive platinum status with The Airforwarder’s Association. The airline will participate in shaping legislation that affects the cargo industry. IAG Cargo was formed in 2011 by the merger of British Airways World Cargo and Iberia Cargo.
  • A new passenger terminal able to accommodate 500,000 people per annum, a 37-meter high air traffic control tower and an air cargo terminal able to handle 25,000 tonnes of cargo per annum will be built at Duqum Airport in Oman. L&T Oman, a subsidiary of construction company Larsen & Tourbro said it has a contract and order from the Ministry of Transport and Communications in Oman for the project.
  • Aerotrans Cargo will expand its fleet by adding a 747-400 widebody freighter. The Moldovan-based carrier presently operates several 11-76s, and a Saab 340F on lease from Hungary’s ABC Air Hungary.
  • Michigan-based cargo carrier, the IFL Group has inked a firm purchase agreement with Bombardier to acquire the first Bombardier CRJ-200F, a conversion of a former Skywest Airline’s aircraft. Aeronautical Engineers (AEI) will do the conversion to a freighter. It will be used to fly cargo in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean. AEI told our sister publication Cargo Facts that it expects to convert about 100 CRJ-200s. So far six customers have committed to 26 firm orders.
  • Cairns, Australia-based Skytrans Airlines ceased operations January 2.  The family-owned airline operated in Australia, blamed the fall of the Australian dollar to as low as 81-cents as the downfall. The airline’s managing director said with a drop below US 88-cents the airline’s business model would no longer be viable.
  • China Southern Airlines turned over 19.75 billion tonne kilometers in 2014, up 13.06 percent y-o-y. The airline also saw a 12.22 percent increase in cargo volume to 1.43 million tonnes. The airline ranks fifth in the world in terms of fleet size.
  • Ascend, a Flightglobal consultancy, has reported that 2014 was the best year ever for airline safety. This might seem hard to grasp given the high profile losses of two Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777s and the crash of the AirAsia Airbus 320, but the global rate was one fatal accident per 2.38 million flights. This figure does not include the Malaysia flight MH17 that was shot down and considered a war loss. Still missing Malaysia flight MH370 was included in the fatal accidents.
  • Cologne Bonn Airport had record growth in 2014, moving 753,000 tonnes of cargo, a two percent increase over 2013 reports Air Cargo News. The airport is a hub for Germanwings, FedEx Express and UPS. It is also home to UPS’s expanded European Air Hub, which opened in 2014 at a cost of $200 million.
  • Logistics firm, The Parcel Centre, based at Liverpool John Lennon Airport, is breathing life back into LJLA. Linked to TNT, UPS and DHL, The Parcel Centre is offering a range of services using a 70-strong van fleet and air through their airfreight division, Wynne Aviation Services.  The Parcel Centre is working to boost freight levels, which fell from 30,000 tonnes a year in 1995 to just 281 tonnes in the last fiscal year. Airfreight helped boost turnover from 1.7 million pounds to 3.3 million pounds in 2014.
  • An Air Sirin (Ukraine) cargo plane enroute to Pointe Noire Airport, Congo, crashed December 28, on Mount Kafinda, near Uvira in the  Democratic Republic of Congo, close to the border with Burundi. All six crewmembers died. Aviation Safety Network said the plane was an Antonov 26 operated by Air Sirin, a Ukrainian carrier. The plane had refueled at Entebbe Airport before leaving for Bujumbura. The cause of the accident is under investigation. The Congolese army and police secured the crash scene.
  • The much-delayed new airport in Berlin (BER), originally scheduled to open in 2011, is now scheduled to open in 2017. Built to accommodate 27 million passengers per year, by the time it opens it will be too small since Berlin is estimated to break through the 30 million mark in 2016. Fortunately the airfreight folks, who inaugurated the BER Cargo Center in 2013, had a better plan. Using a modular concept, it can be expanded, if need be, on demand. UPS and FedEx use the facility now.











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