it’s the water? While other European cargo
carriers are running around like Henny Penny predicting
the sky is falling, here comes Volga-Dnepr’s AirBridgeCargo
Airlines (ABC), lusty and larger than life, putting
its money on the future. Parent company Volga-Dnepr
Group has finalized terms for the acquisition of 20
747-8s through a mix of direct purchases and leasing
over the next six years.
The deal was closed inside
the Boeing Chalet at Farnborough. A shiny, newly-delivered
747-8 freighter that was on display this week will soon
depart for service with CargoLogicAir, the new British
cargo airline and a partner of Volga-Dnepr Group.
Puddle no muddle . .
. Mother nature delivered a drenching opening
Monday at Farnborough but afforded a CargoLogicAir
B747-8 (a Volga-Dnepr partner airline) a reflective
moment in a picture. Over the years dating back
to the piston era, this has always been a photographer’s
The Farnborough International Air Show continues
though July 17.
how it goes with ABC, which has also moved to beat the
China slowdown with new services and other enhancements.
Just this month ABC has expanded with a weekly freighter
service to Phnom Penh, Cambodia (effective July 5).
ABC says the Phnom Penh route “accommodates trade
lanes from Cambodia to Europe and the U.S., as well
as complements its existing Singapore flights.”
From The Americas
Falk is Vice President, North and South America, AirBridgeCargo.
Mr. Falk said the vision
for AirBridgeCargo “will continue the expansion
of our global footprint—as we have been doing—into
even more markets, in order to offer our customers an
essentially complete portfolio of global service destinations.
“For the longer
term, I foresee that we will complement our global footprint
with a comprehensive portfolio of services, designed
to leverage our state of the art aircraft, industry
expertise, operational and service quality into the
‘ultimate’ service offering for our customers.”
we are expanding our services rapidly and adding new
destinations in the Americas at a fast pace, our goals
in the region are not necessarily market share driven.
“Our aim is to
be present in those markets in which we feel we can
add value to our import and export customers, both in
capacity but also with the quality of service we deliver.
“So far, we serve
Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and most recently
of Choices, Only One ABC
“In using AirBridgeCargo, shippers benefit in
any number of ways:
- Our on-time performance rivals the
best in the industry—passenger and cargo—and
is made possible by our modern fleet, rigorous maintenance
programs, and also our performance-driven company
- Service and expertise: we are proud
to work with our own ABC staff in almost all major
markets, both on the service and operations side.
This way, we ensure that we offer our customers the
highest possible service level on a consistent basis,
with strong operational supervision and support accompanying
each shipment from time of quotation to time of delivery.
- A responsive ‘can do’
culture: in recent years, ABC has undergone a cultural
evolution to ensure that our responses to customers
are fast, thorough, and reliable. Also, while we maintain
a high level of schedule integrity, we have managed
to develop in parallel a very flexible and solution-oriented
approach in case we need to deviate from our ‘normal’
operation in order to service any extraordinary customer
needs. For example, we increasingly operate charters,
part-charters, or scheduled diversions in order to
provide creative, effective, and affordable transport
solutions to our global customer base.”
Delivers The World
our unprecedented rapid growth in recent years, some
shippers may not be aware of the scope of service that
ABC currently provides to the global air cargo market
place. Here I refer to both the network, but also our
quality and service capabilities (e.g. temperature sensitive
transport, oversized cargo, and many other commodities
with special requirements).”
“Many people may
still think of us as ‘that 747-freighter operator
with flights to Russia,’ when in fact a vast majority
of the cargo we move is flown among the major markets
of the world: Asia, Europe, North America, and most
recently also South Africa.
“So I would encourage
customers (current and prospective) to invest a bit
of time to get to know us via their local ABC representatives,
and provide us with an opportunity to work with them
no matter what the nature of the cargo may be, and where
it may need to travel.”
is the highest priority for ABC, in fact rather than
in word. The airline’s flight safety programme
is implemented under its corporate policy of flight
safety management and aviation accident prevention,
based on ICAO's accident prevention manual and even
stricter internal standards. The airline is an official
“Another key focus
for us is cargo safety. ABC ensures the highest levels
of safety and security of cargo through its global network
by coordination of activities with all parties involved
in cargo delivery process, ensuring the correct packaging
and palletizing, flights status updates, and shipment
arrival notifications. At its Moscow hub our company
has established its own aviation security and cargo
safety services to ensure full control of all operations.
of environmental issues is also obvious in practice,
suffice to mention the company’s fleet strategy,
with a focus on the young, modern, and efficient fleet
of Boeing 747/8F.”
Is Handy & All Cargo
Falk was born in Germany, but he grew up in Southern
California and studied International Economics at UCLA.
Having been born overseas
to German/Austrian parents who did a fair share of travel
and moving about during his younger years, Hendrik says
he became intrigued with the idea of travel and decided
very early in his life that he wanted to be involved
in his professional career on an international stage
“It was during
my time at university that I took a summer job with
a local freight forwarder, which then turned into a
full time job upon graduation. From there, I was invited
to join an international cargo airline for a position
in Atlanta, which proved to be the launching pad for
many interesting roles with various organizations around
the world over the subsequent (almost) 30 years.”
“It was during my time at Polar Air Cargo in the
early 2000s that I was fortunate to discover what is
probably my favorite city—Amsterdam.
the location along the water, the people, and the general
‘vibe’ in the city really spoke to me. The
combination of bicycles, boats, trendiness, and tradition
really creates a wonderful place to not only visit,
but also to live.”
Hendrik notes that his
life is not only about work but also about realizing
the balancing act for those moments he is not on the
“I enjoy getting
outdoors, practicing any number of sports from skiing
to swimming, volleyball, going to the gym, or just going
on long walks with my wife.
“Also, I enjoy spending
time listening to and playing music, often with good
friends, and I find that this time really helps me recharge
my batteries after a hectic week of travel, meetings,
and industry events.”
Biggest Surprise In Air Cargo
continue to struggle—perhaps that qualifies as surprise—with
the lack of consistent and coordinated innovation in our
industry, a reference to both application of technology
as well as process coordination across the industry.
“Consider that we
as an industry move some of the most advanced technology
in the world for our customers, yet for decades have struggled
in modernizing the way we go about our business.
are a number of initiatives under way that are getting
traction and revitalizing their approach (e.g. CargoIQ)
in an effort to move past some of the traditional obstacles
and finally chart some much needed progress on this front.
cycles have over recent years shown to be more volatile
and more frequent than ever before.
continue to see a rapid expansion of capacity in the market
place, some of it purposeful (e.g. expansion of freighter
fleet) and some of it consequential (e.g. more capable
“Given these variables
and their impact on carrier’s yields and their respective
bottom lines, a more prudent and risk-friendly approach
to market presence should be the order of the day for
the foreseeable future.
Ahead Changing Partners
will add 20 747-8 freighters to our fleet over the coming
“However, in addition
to expanding the fleet, our destination network, and
related aspects of our business, we are also busy developing
the underlying infrastructure, service portfolio, process
definitions, and essentially every element of the business
required to maintain quality while increasing quantity.
include: developing a highly refined product portfolio,
including the operational and process underpinning—we
have a dedicated team of specialists working on this.
“As priority projects
here we have identified products charters, temperature
sensitive transport, oversize and special loads.
“We are also focusing
on industries, the aerospace industry, among others.
“In order to access
new markets for us, we have also recently partnered
with a new, UK-based airline, CargoLogic Air (CLA),
with whom we have initiated service between Europe and
Africa and with whom we are reviewing the addition of
a number of other new markets at this time.
“We have also been
working on our company’s third party maintenance
capabilities and now offer other airline MRO services
in several locations around the world: Leipzig, Sharjah,
in addition to Moscow, of course.”