Vol. 10 No. 49                          THE GLOBAL AIR CARGO PUBLICATION OF RECORD SINCE 2001                 Wednesday May 25, 2011

     Nalin Rodrigo, Regional Cargo Sales Manager, Asia Pacific – Air Niugini, was present at Air Cargo Europe 2011 in Munich to discuss his new charge, Air Niugini.
     Air Niugini is the national airline of Papua New Guinea. Having been in Papua New Guinea for some time, Mr. Rodrigo calls this “an exciting time” for the country, which hails as one of the most culturally diverse on the planet.
     “It is quite fortunate that I met you today; the whole country is booming because of an American investment by Exxon Mobil,” said Mr. Rodrigo.
     Exxon Mobil is the lead operator of the liquid natural gas project, which has been underway in Papua New Guinea for almost a year.
     “It is changing the whole face of the country, so that is probably why I was recruited by Air Niugini as well,” said Mr. Rodrigo.
     The new revenue from Exxon Mobil is expected to bring Papua New Guinea $30 billion over the next thirty years and will more than double its gross national product. We have to think the direct impact on Air Niugini will be in personnel, equipment and a revitalization of the industry.
     “We added a new 767, mainly to bring in workers for the project from Asia – a lot of Filipinos and Chinese come to work for this project.
     “On the freight side, we will have tons and tons of equipment coming for the project, but these are not carried on passenger aircraft.
     “These are massive pieces, which will require An-124s.
     “We are in partnership with another chart operator for freight we cannot bring.
     “We are also in partnership with EMO Trans,” said Mr. Rodrigo.
     EMO Trans was chosen for its joint venture with GAC Energy & Marine Services LLC (GEMS). Located in Texas near Houston International Airport, the GEMS facility boasts a total of 105,000 square feet of storage space – 65,000 square feet in warehousing space and 40,000 square feet of open-air storage. GEMS offers services for the oil and gas and mining sectors, which include international or domestic air and ocean freight management, in-house case packing, and charter and project services.
     “GEMS is primarily into oil and gas, so we will be working closely with them for this project,” said Mr. Rodrigo.
     Currently, cargo is not a very big business for Papua New Guinea, but perhaps that is why Mr. Rodrigo is there.
     “We are in a growth stage.
     “Air Niugini Cargo is an infant. So it is now growing into a boy, and then probably to an adult in a short time.
     “We have had our ups and downs, but right now it is a very exciting time,” said Mr. Rodrigo.
     Nalin Rodrigo has had a history in the air cargo industry.
     We recall walking into the early, bright dawn of Bandaranaike International Airport and through the mass of people going off to work at the clothing factories that line the route into downtown Colombo Sri-Lanka.
     We had just met this engaging and energetic native of that island nation over a couple beers up on Dubai Creek, when EK owned a slice of Sri Lankan Airways and Nalin was UL air cargo manager.
     Peter Hill had moved from his pub where he pulled pints to become UL CEO, where he worked pushing back a growing fleet.
     Today, Peter is in Muscat and Nalin, an inventive, engaging and thoroughly nice guy is off on a new adventure in Papua.
     With his past experiences, we wonder if anything has surprised him regarding this new position with Air Niugini.
     “With other airlines, you work with one culture, mainly in the hub.
     “With Air Niugini, you have 800 different types of people who come and work.
     “Though they are all nationals of that nation, they are all different sects.
     “They all have different ways of looking at things,” concluded Mr. Rodrigo.
     There are actually 850 indigenous languages spoken in Papua New Guinea, with a population of roughly only 7 million people. The majority of people living in Papua New Guinea are in traditional communities that continue to farm the land themselves. The nation’s constitution has actually included their preservation in its framework in the interest of maintaining a distinct cultural identity.
     The biggest challenge, Nalin feels, is getting everyone on the same page.
     But with Air Niugini leaving its infancy to stand on new legs, we can rest assured that progress is just a few baby steps away.
Geoffrey Arend/Flossie


Cologne Bonn CGN Back To Black

     Cologne/Bonn airport (code: CGN) posted net earnings of €15 million euros in fiscal 2010, thus returning to profitability after finishing recent years with financial losses. The main drivers were express shipments and growing volumes of standard air freight, which accounted for 40 percent of the airport’s annual turnover, totaling €270.1 million euros. While the passenger number increased only marginally, by one percent to 9.9 million travelers altogether, cargo throughput leaped 17 percent year-on-year, reaching 656,000 tons.
     The trend looks positive since the double-digit growth of packages and pallets has continued at CGN since January. The main drivers are the U.S. integrators UPS and FedEx, but increasingly also cargo carriers like Egyptair or Turkish carrier MNG. FedEx additionally boosted the tonnage in mid-May when a walkout of the express company’s personnel at Paris CDG airport, the central European hub of the integrator, lasted for several days.
     “FedEx deviated most of their flights to our airport, almost all of them widebodies. This ultimately proved to them that we can spontaneously handle much larger volumes without delays or traffic jams at our site if required,” managing director Michael Garvens (left) of Cologne/Bonn airport said, lauding his airport’s service efforts.
     To secure seamless air freight flow, an additional warehouse of 3,000 square meters will be built next fall, complementing the existing facility.
     “We opted for enlarging our ground infrastructure to avoid jams since our 2008 inaugurated Cologne/Bonn Cargo Center (CBCC), which offers clients a handling capacity of 11,000 square meters, is slowly running full,” Garvens states.
     He further announced that as of June 1st, Air France-KLM Cargo has decided to have its local shipments handled by the airport’s ground staff. Says Garvens: “We are talking about some 30,000 tons brought in by the carrier annually.”
      AF-KLM Cargo’s long-time ally, Aviapartner loses what CGN now gains in additional business. So as a consequence of forfeiting the tonnage the handling agent will abandon its warehouse in an off-airport logistics park.
     Due to the ongoing, strong double-digit flow of both express and air freight volumes, Garvens predicts a total throughput of 722,000 tons in 2011 at his airport.
     During his airport’s annual press meeting he heavily criticized the ticket charges imposed last January by the Merkel government to the aviation industry. This led to a costly shift of air traffic from border-adjacent German airports mainly to Maastricht, Basel, Brussels or Amsterdam, Garvens noted while presenting hard figures. According to his charts, since the beginning of this year German airports lost roughly 400,000 passengers to neighboring competitors.
Heiner Siegmund/Flossie


     Despite booming demand for imports to China, the “irrational” behavior of some carriers is preventing airlines from reaping the benefits in the form of higher freight rates, according to Robert Van de Weg, Senior VP for sales and marketing at freighter operator Cargolux.
     Van de Weg stated that the huge increase in Chinese imports – a three-year record of 176,031 tonnes was recorded in December 2010 – was not yet being reflected in improving freight rates.
     “The airfreight market seems irrational at times; otherwise, I can’t explain it.
     “For a China operation to be profitable, rates into China will have to go up in line with the traffic balance shift.”
     The rise in China’s air cargo imports has been stimulated by rapid economic growth linked to government efforts to develop interior and western regions. The spread of wealth and industry away from China’s richer coastal cities is now driving demand from China’s burgeoning middle classes for consumer durables and other imported products that are often moved by air.
     “This trend of importing more cargo by air and bringing the trade into balance has been gradually gathering steam over the last two years, mostly due to the stimulus program and the evolving growth of the Chinese economy, which is seeing more consumer imports,” explained Van de Weg.
     As reported by Air Cargo News FlyingTypers, as imports have risen, air trade with China has gradually become more balanced. For example, import and export tonnages in December 2010 and January and February of this year were almost perfectly balanced, according to figures from aviation consultants Seabury APG.
     Van de Weg said more convergence in rates on inbound and outbound lanes could potentially enable carriers to live with lower ex-China rates as backhauls become profitable.
     “This is how it should happen, at least according to economic theory, for what it is worth,” he added.
     Cargolux currently offers a range of services linking Shanghai, Xiamen, Hong Kong and Beijing to Europe and the U.S. As with most other carriers, managers incorporate a number of commercial stops on inbound China routes to help alleviate the traditional trade imbalance. One upshot from the surge in Chinese imports is that many of these stops will soon be dropped, creating capacity shortages from Europe to some destinations.
     “Many carriers like Cargolux make commercial stops on the way from Europe to China where they off-load cargo, whereas full capacity ex-China is allocated,” said Van der Weg.
     “So there is actually less capacity available into China than ex-China.
     “But right now we often have to deny access to our capacity into China.
     “[In the future] we are probably going to see less commercial stops on the way to China, but first rates have to recover for this to make economic sense.
     “There may be less traffic stops into Middle East/Central Asia which will mean markets from Europe will bottleneck more there. On certain days of the week we already see this bottleneck appearing into Central Asia/Middle East destinations.
     “The strange and irrational thing is that freight rates don't reflect this bottleneck situation yet.”
     But while import cargo will be increasingly vital to the bottom lines of carriers serving China, exports will remain as important as ever, he said.
     “Keep in mind that the Chinese airfreight market has become a vital anchor-point for virtually all freighter operators and hence the trends here are very important.
     “China still has a huge export potential, especially from 'new' locations in Central/West China.”
Mike King/Flossie

Heide Enfield

     Emirates is looking for Berlin and Stuttgart, but so far with no luck. The company says it is responding to strong passenger demand in Germany by launching extra frequencies to Frankfurt and upgrading one of its Munich flights to an A380 superjumbo in January 2012.
     “The moves will further bond two powerful trading partners — the UAE and Germany — whose relationship is worth billions of dollars annually. The UAE is the largest buyer of German products in the Arab world,” Emirates said.
     The new daily Frankfurt flight will take effect during the next winter schedule, making the city a thrice-daily service.
     Slot times will be confirmed in due course. Like all of its existing services between Dubai and Germany, the additional daily will operate in accordance with the current air services arrangements between the UAE and Germany.
     "A third daily flight to Frankfurt and the German-built A380 serving Munich are both positive steps in what is now a multi-billion U.S. dollar relationship between Emirates and Germany, supporting thousands of German jobs," said Salem Obaidalla, (left) Emirates' Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations, Europe & Russian Federation.
     "Meeting clear demand is of direct benefit to consumers, who want more choice, and to the German economy. We know international air services are a key driver of economic growth - facilitating the flow of business and cargo and opening up new markets to German exporters and importers," Mr. Obaidalla added.
      “Frankfurt welcomes the 3rd daily service by Emirates. This will strengthen Frankfurt’s position as one of the leading hubs of international aviation,” said Petra Roth, (right) Lord Mayor of Frankfurt.
      Emirates is currently the biggest buyer of the Airbus superjumbo and one of the largest customers for the Airbus A350 aircraft. The A380 program alone is estimated to provide at least 40,000 direct and indirect German jobs.
      "Munich is looking forward to the Emirates' A380. Good connections to the Middle East are an essential catalyst for tourism from the region. And as Lord Mayor of Munich, I would like to point out that key components of the extremely quiet A380 engine have been developed and produced in Munich at MTU," remarked Christian Ude, (left) Lord Mayor of Munich.

Get On Board Air Cargo News FlyingTypers
For A Free Subscription
Click Here To Subscribe

DHL Goes A300F

     Deutsche Post logistics pillar DHL Express purchased 13 passenger jetliner A300-600 in order to convert them to freighters. The aircraft were manufactured in the mid-90s and were operated until recently by undisclosed airlines. DHL acquired the planes fromthe long-time owner, a financial institute.
     MRO specialist Elbe Flugzeugwerke, a Dresden-based subsidiary of the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company N.V. (EADS), will carry out the rebuilding,. According to DHL speaker Joerg Wiedemann, the passenger to freighter program will commence in July with the first of 13 aircraft expected to be ready for scheduled cargo transports in mid-October. No decision has been made as to whom the operator will be. Wiedemann speaks of three options: DHL Air EAT, or ACL. While the first two are Germany-based DHL subsidiaries, the latter is an independent Irish enterprise that operates on behalf of DHL. This leaves the question open as to where the freighters will ultimately be registered, either Germany or Ireland.
     According to Wiedemann, they will replace the aging fleet of 13 A300-B4-200, which will be phased out as soon as the converted transporters enter the fleet. They will be fully integrated into DHL’s European network by early 2013.
     Compared to its predecessor, the A300-600 offers completely new and modern technology, emphasizes DHL. With approximately 49 tons payload, it can carry up to five tons more than the A300-B4-200 while at the same time having a 900 kilometers longer range with up to 20 percent less fuel consumption. DHL currently serves 85 airports across Europe with 92 planes. Globally, the express giant connects more than 500 airports with a fleet of 250 freighters.
Heiner Siegmund/Flossie


Joplin, Missouri, USA Devastated

Tornado damaged neighborhood in Joplin, Missouri.

     As Joplin, Mo., residents begin to pick up the pieces after Sunday’s devastating tornado, the American Red Cross is providing shelter and supplies for those in need.
     Hundreds of items that will be useful for recovery efforts are arriving in Joplin, including tarps, gloves, rakes and dust masks. In addition, more than 300 comfort kits—which contain daily essentials such as shampoo and toothpaste—have also been sent.
     You can help too. Donate to help the people of Joplin. Click Here.

If You Missed Any Of The Previous 3 Issues Of FlyingTypers
Click On Image Below To Access



100% Green