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   Vol. 15  No. 53
Thursday July 14, 2016

Cargo Powerhouse Easy As ABC

Cargo Powerhouse Easy As ABC

     Maybe 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 favorite view.
The Farnborough International Air Show continues though July 17.


Easy As ABC

     But that's 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.”

View From The Americas

     Hendrik 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.”

The American Dream

      “While 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 Houston.”


Lots 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 culture.
  • 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.”

ABC Delivers The World

      “With 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.”

Priorities At ABC

      “Security 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 IOSA Operator.
      “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.
      “The importance 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.”

Hendrik Is Handy & All Cargo

     Hendrik 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 somehow.
      “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.”

That Dutch Touch

      “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 architecture, 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 job:
      “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.”

The Biggest Surprise In Air Cargo

      “I 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.
      “Fortunately, there 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.
      “Global economic cycles have over recent years shown to be more volatile and more frequent than ever before.
     “Nevertheless, we 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 passenger aircraft).
      “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.

Looking Ahead Changing Partners

      “ABC will add 20 747-8 freighters to our fleet over the coming years.
      “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.
      “Some examples 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.”

If You Missed Any Of The Previous 3 Issues Of FlyingTypers
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