Vol. 9  No. 102                                                     WE COVER THE WORLD                            Tuesday September 7, 2010


When Biz Goes To HEL

     Finnair’s India innings came quite late in comparison to other European carriers. The carrier launched direct flights between Delhi and Helsinki on October 30, 2006 only to be followed eight months later on June 27, 2007, with a flight from Mumbai to Helsinki. However, there were only a few takers for the Mumbai flights and they have been temporarily suspended since March 2009.
     On the other hand, the Delhi-Helsinki sector has done remarkably well. In fact, the six flights a week from Delhi apparently contributed to the carrier’s 26 percent growth in Asian traffic this summer. According to reports, the passenger load factor for the first three months of the year was 91 percent, 84 per cent and over 95 percent, respectively.


    The India cargo unit of the carrier has done its bit, said a confident Kari Stolbow, (above left) Director, Indian Subcontinent for Finnair. His colleague Kuldip Singh Kharayat, (above right) Area - Director - Indian Subcontinent, Finnair Cargo affirmed with a big smile.
     Air Cargo News FlyingTypers talked to the cargo chief about Finnair’s Delhi connection. Pointing out that the credit should be given to the aircraft, Kharayat said: “The A330 is a very fuel efficient aircraft, but the payload carrying capacity of the aircraft drops with increase in flying time. The Delhi-Helsinki flight being the shortest flying time to Northern Europe, we can get 17 tons with a full complement of passengers on board. The aggregate average is 15 tons-plus on flights out of Delhi.”
     The airline is, in fact, the only carrier to North Europe out of the Indian subcontinent.
     “This,” said Kharayat, “gives Finnair Cargo a competitive edge in transits to destinations in the Nordic and Baltic states, which are our niche markets and focus area.”
     Finnair takes cargo from India to 50-odd destinations in Europe. The cargo head also mentioned that “there is lot of demand to the U.S. since Finnair operates daily flights to JFK from Helsinki and we are able to service our customers to New York and cities around through our interline partners.
     Finnair’s cargo traffic is not one-way—incidentally, this has been the major grouse of many carriers—with the main commodities from India being leather garments, pharmaceuticals handicrafts and carpets. On the Helsinki-Delhi sector, “there is demand of infrastructure-related goods from North Europe to India. As for imports, we are transporting telecommunication equipment from Sweden and spare parts which are generally meant for Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai and Bangalore.”
      Despite the six flights a week, “there is not enough perishable exports by air to the Nordic and Baltic States at the moment,” informed Kharayat. He was quick to add, “in the event of this (perishable goods) demand growing, Finnair Cargo has capabilities and is fully prepared to service its customers.”
     As Finnair Cargo ramps up services in the region, keeping in tune with the growing demand for cargo in the Asian market—the carrier recently launched a freighter service to Hong Kong and Seoul—Kharayat and Stolbow are both optimistic. The cargo division, working hand in hand with the passenger, has its presence in all major cities in India through its GSA.
     In fact, Finnair is keen to expand in India. Stolbow mentioned that “India is our most important destination. In the nearest future, most of our income will be coming from Asia and you can’t speak about India above Asia. The fact is we have at the moment only one flight, only six flights a week. Trust me, it is only a temporary thing. Aviation has been losing money for many years. Now, we are seeing the first light at the end of the tunnel. Now when it is starting to move again, we are in a very good position because we have just renewed our fleet. We have made all those very painful structural changes within our company. So in a way we are now ready. We are ready to get the ball rolling and that’s why we are looking very positively in the whole of Asia as well as in India.”
     Though the carrier has utilized all its bilateral entitlements, it is serious about cargo loads from the south of India. Kharayat said, “There is good demand from Chennai and Kolkata for Nordic destinations and good pharmaceutical demand from Hyderabad and Mumbai to the Baltic states and Russia.”
     One can expect more Finnair flights from the south of India. For the moment, Finnair is happy, since “air cargo is showing good growth trends and with additional capacity we will definite be able to increase cargo volumes on Finnair flights.”
     As for the infrastructure, which is the common concern of all cargo stakeholders in India, the situation is improving, said Kharayat.
     “There is a lot of improvement happening, but we still have a long way to go. India needs to have aggressive and time-scheduled implementation of infrastructure development projects. India is a global IT solution provider, but somewhere we have not paid enough attention to in-house IT infrastructure, which is not as that in the developed nations.”
      He suggested a solution: “Until we have these in place and they are at par with global standards, the logistics chain will always have an element of unpredictability in it.”
Tirthankar Ghosh/Flossie


Air Cargo Needs A
New Deal From IATA

Contact! Talk To Geoffrey

RE:  IATA Rope A Dopes CNS Global
Dear Geoffrey,

     Thank you for your ongoing interest in this issue. Your article in the August 23 issue of FlyingTypers hits the nail on the head.
     Several months after the CNS Conference, we are still a long way from the forum I suggested that would represent the interests of the industry, worldwide. It already says a lot that the situation in our industry is denounced so sharply in the media. We have no right to complain if we do not succeed in forming an efficient and influential alliance. Look how excellently that works in other industries!
     When Buz Whalen writes that the idea of a worldwide CNS has been around since the ‘80s, but still, to this day, hasn’t been implemented, we can no longer sit here and twiddle our thumbs; we must admit that it makes no sense to continue to follow this plan.
     I am convinced of the fact that it is worthwhile to fight for this kind of global forum, and am glad that Buz Whalen has not given up on this idea. I hope that other representatives from our branch will push for a strong body that will represent the common interests and which, in the end, will help everyone involved in our industry.
     And if CNS/IATA is not able or willing to take this up, we may see other initiatives, perhaps even competing ones.

Best regards,
Dr. Andreas Otto
Lufthansa Cargo Board Member Product and Sales

Dear Dr. Otto,

     Thanks for writing.
     We continue to wonder about the silence from IATA after your passionate and excellent keynote address five months ago at the CNS Partnership Conference in Miami, the most important air cargo gathering so far in 2010.
     The continued silence is even more puzzling as IATA, at all of their conferences, promises to follow up topics discussed.
     It is very peculiar to contemplate, since IATA has inserted itself in a major way at CNS, claiming that the American organization embodies the spirit of how it wants to conduct its cargo business with airlines and forwarders worldwide.
     Perhaps Des Vertannes, a long time airline executive who this year gave up his post as cargo boss at Etihad to move over to IATA Head of Cargo, might have something to say about this initiative.
     No doubt that in order to remain relevant, IATA Cargo needs to listen and react to the industry.
     In the meantime, the “Hush From Geneva” on this most important and vital topic is palpable.
We encourage all of our readers to respond to your proposition:
     “Why Not CNS Worldwide?”

Best wishes,


Best September Bet

     Think Oslo, Norway and ULD’s for a couple of days in September.
     If you like cans, Oslo is where “Cans Are King.” Oslo is where Urs Wiesendanger (Air Canada) – one guy who loves ULDs – and more than 100 other ULD aficionados will gather to get over, under, around and through what’s new and next above and below decks.
     We remember the IATA WCS in Calgary earlier this year and the super job Urs did hand decorating a can (right) that sat outside the conference room, projecting not only pride of place but also proclaiming the 40th anniversary of the ULD itself.
     It takes a special breed to love ULDs.
     As mentioned, Urs is that guy.
     “Lots of positive things are happening with ULD awareness - we are moving forward.
     “Our ULD organization, Interline ULD Control User Group (IULDUG), is now an independent entity, and we are in the process of aligning ourselves with IATA to jointly resolve ULD issues ‘synergetically.’”
     “The IULDUG AGM will be held in Oslo, Norway, September 13-16, 2010.
     “We are looking forward to a record attendance (best since 2006) not only in numbers, but also the quality and diversity of this years’ participants.
     “Our agenda is filled with many topics and presentations, panel discussions and working sessions.
     “I believe this AGM's theme, "Designing the Future," will be the kick off to a ULD renaissance embraced by all the links in the ULD Logistics chain.
     “We hope to see all our friends in Oslo.”
     For more IULDUG info contact: urs.wiesendanger@aircanada.ca. Tel. (416) 846-3976.


     Kuwait's national carrier announced that it is borrowing urgently needed cash from local banks to pay salaries.
     "We received the approval of the cabinet to borrow money to support the company's cash flow," said the carrier's spokesman, Adel Boresly. As sources close to the case told Air Cargo News FlyingTypers, the airline desperately needs 208 million U.S. dollars in liquidity to pay its obligations.
     According to aviation analysts from the Middle East, the current illiquidity is not unexpected. They claim the carrier's current financial squeeze as a result of tough competition from other airlines in the Gulf region, like Qatar Airways, Etihad, and Emirates, but also from Kuwait-based local rivals Wataniya Airways and low-cost carrier Jazeera Airways. The presence of competing airlines led to a ruinous price war on Kuwait Airways' most passenger-frequented and, so far, lucrative routes into India, Pakistan, Syria, Egypt and the Levant region.
     To stop the drain of travelers, Kuwait Airways reacted by lowering their fares and reducing the service step by step. However, this strategy obviously failed, as demonstrated by the carrier knocking at the doors of credit institutions to get the necessary funds to pay staff.
      "The result is an airline that is so mediocre that even Kuwaiti nationals mostly refuse to fly them," states a former frequent flyer in an Internet comment.
     The airline, founded in 1954, nearly lost its entire fleet of almost 50 aircraft during the Iraqi invasion in 1990 and the seven-month long Iraqi occupation. After the first Gulf war and Saddam Hussein's defeat, the carrier basically started from scratch. Currently, Kuwait Airways operates 17 aircraft, most of them Airbus variants.      Plans to privatize the carrier are under way, but have not resulted in anything yet. The airline has appointed Citigroup, auditor and advisor Ernst & Young, and New York-based aviation service provider Seabury to handle this process.
Heiner Siegmund/Flossie


      An Emirates A380 shelters the last Sikorsky S-38 left flying in the world at FRA, after the tiny, eight-passenger flying boat successfully flew in from Minneapolis, USA.
      The journey was the longest flight in S-38 history, and the first flying boat across the Atlantic since Charlie Blair piloted the S-38s big brother, an SV-44A, into Foynes, Ireland from New York in 1983.
      Today, Charles' SV-44A resides in a museum in Hartford, Connecticut whilst this zebra-striped S-38, which was one of only 101 ever built, is still flying, moving people, and helping others.
      Later this week, your reporter arrives in FRA for a short flight aboard the historic S-38.
      The aircraft is actually one of two S-38 replicas that were built during the 1990s.
      This one belongs to a real estate executive/pilot by the name of Tom Schrade who loves to fly the aircraft himself.
      If you want to see his aircraft in action, just glance at the beauty featured in the film “The Aviator.”
      In truth, every one of the original 101 S-38s built were gone in the 1990s, when Schrade and the heirs of the Johnson Wax Company of Racine, Wisconsin separately built two replicas.
      The cost for each was over one million dollars.
 Ralph O'Neill pictured with Geoffrey Arend and Geoffrey Arend II in 1980.    

     A friend of mine, the late Ralph O'Neill, bought six of these aircraft in 1928 directly from Sikorsky, who was building them in College Point, New York City (across the water from what would become LaGuardia Airport in 1939), paying 60 thousand USD apiece for them.
      Ralph then pressed the S-38s into airmail service on an airline he founded called NYRBA.
      Ralph and his wife Jane (he met Jane when she was private secretary to Bill Boeing) flew a survey flight aboard the S-38 Argentina in 1929 and later in 1930, NYRBA inaugurated mail flights into Argentina (S-38 Montivedeo).
      Pan Am launched airmail to Cuba from Miami aboard an S-38 with Charles Lindbergh as pilot on September 29, 1929, and so the story goes.
      Back then, S-38s were western hemisphere aircraft that actually looked like sleek boats suspended under a giant wing.
      S-38s were also a toy of the rich, although Sam Johnson (wax company) flew his S-38 to Brazil in 1931 to become rich: he was trying to corner the market on caranuba wax, thus the name of the boat now hanging in Racine, Wisconsin Johnson HQ (as mentioned) is Caranuba. The Brazil caranuba deal helped make Johnson a billionaire.
      About flying the S-38, Schrade told Forbes magazine:
      "I like to fly the S-38 low and slow on cross-country trips.
      "The experience is unique:
      "You can roll down the window and hang your elbow out, as if you were in a car, holding the wheel with one hand.
      "You feel like you ought to have a pack of Luckies rolled up in your sleeve.
      "The plane can slow down to 45 knots, loping along 100 feet above the trees.
      “You can see the expressions on farmers' faces as you fly by."
      Although by today’s standards, the aircraft is but a speck, best guess is aviation buffs in Europe are delighted to see "The Flying Yacht" (as the S-38 was dubbed) maybe for the first and last time.
      Wings of Help– a wonderful charity that everyone should send a few Euro's to help – raises some money attached to this S-38 adventure. Donation account:  Frankfurter Sparkasse, Account No. 200 33 22 44, Routing No. 500 502 01.
      Kudos to Lufthansa Cargo Charter Company for their generous support to Wings of Help.
      And me? I get to ride on a ghost that I have been writing about all my adult life.
      FlyingTypers returns Monday September 13.
      Stay tuned—more to come.



Global Logistics Network October In Kuala

     Global Logistics Network (GLN) said that it’s 8th Annual Conference will take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia between October 9 and 12, 2010. The Annual Conference will host more than 250 delegates.
     GLN said that it achieved a major milestone when Sitlog International Logistics of Rio De Janeiro and Sabra International Logistics of Belo Horizonte, Brazil joined as the 350th members of the organization.
Both companies are part of the Serpa Group.
     Roy Stapleton, President and founder of the Global Logistics Network, told Air Cargo News FlyingTypers
     "When we established Global Logistics Network in 2003, it was with the objective of being a primary resource for the small- to medium-sized freight forwarder that offers exceptional services in their local markets.
     “With our emphasis on Quality over Quality, we are pleased to welcome Sitlog and Sabra International Logistics as they exemplify the high standards of companies that are attracted to our network. GLN is also proud that combined, our 350 Members represent annual revenues of over 4 billion per annum.”
     Global Logistics Network was established in mid-2003 and is an ISO 9001 Certified organization, which encompasses leading independently owned and operated companies worldwide that specialize in the logistics industry. These businesses all work together in a network environment to benefit from GLN’s "Power of One" philosophy.
     GLN’s 350 members operate 646 offices in 365 Cities in 124 countries.
     For additional information, contact:
Roy Stapleton, President, Global Logistics Network, Inc. 3 Deep Run Court, Morganville, NJ 07751, USA
Tel: 732-536-0771 Fax: 732-536-0772 Email: RStapleton@Go2GLN.com


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