Cathay tops out terminal, unveils livery
Cathay Pacific Airways has marked the completion of the first phase of construction of its new HK$5.5 billion (US$ 706 million) Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal at Hong Kong International Airport and unveiled its new freighter. The carrier also used the occasion to unveil its latest aircraft, a new Boeing 747-8 Freighter, complete with a unique one-off livery which includes a special name, Hong Kong Trader, in recognition of the city’s position as one of the world’s most important trading hubs. Speaking at the ceremony, Cathay’s chief executive John Slosar said: “When it begins operations in early 2013 the Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal will mark a major advancement in Hong Kong’s position as the world’s busiest international air cargo hub. “Together with our commitment to buy next-generation freighters – including 10 Boeing 747-8s and eight Boeing 777-200Fs – and our purposebuilt fast-connection terminal, Hong Kong will continue to lead the world in air cargo. It’s important that we put ourselves in a good position to face up to the growing competition from other hubs in the region. The aircraft, the terminal, the professionalism of Hong Kong’s logistics community and, we hope, a third runway can make it happen.” Cathay Pacific Cargo expects to take delivery two more B747-8 freighters by the end of this year and next year said it expects its air cargo capacity to grow 15-20 per cent. “Cathay Pacific’s new cargo terminal – the fourth at Hong Kong International Airport – will be a timely addition to our facilities,” said chairman of the Hong Kong Airport Authority, Marvin Cheung. “When it starts operations in 2013, it will increase our total designed annual capacity for air cargo by 50 per cent, to 7.4 million tonnes. In the coming years, additional freighter parking stands will be built both at the midfield area and the west apron to meet forecast growth.” Cathay’s terminal – occupying a 10 hectare site – will have an annual air cargo throughput of 2.6 million tonnes and will feature a HK$1.4 billion material handling system, or MHS, one of the most advanced in the industry according to Cathay.
Lufthansa Cargo rethinks Frankfurt investment
Lufthansa Cargo is reconsidering the size its nearly one billion euro investment in new cargo and administrative facilities at Frankfurt airport following the surprise slapping of a total night-flight ban in October. “Lufthansa still wants to invest, but the size is dependent on the night flight regulations,” an un-named spokesman was quoted as saying by Reuters. The ban affects 30 per cent of the cargo carrier’s daily freighter departures from Frankfurt and means Lufthansa Cargo has been forced to restructure 80 per cent of its services, Garnadt said. The ban went into force on 31 October and runs between the hours of 2300 and 0500 until the first quarter next year.
Cargo growth remains flat at Changi
Cargo movements at Singapore Changi Airport remained little changed in October compared to a year earlier, with 163,100 tonnes of cargo uplifted in October, an increase of 0.4 per cent year-on-year. While the overall cargo handled at Changi remained relatively unchanged year-on-year, transhipment cargo increased 11.3 per cent during the month. For the first nine months this year up to end-September, Changi has handled 1.38 million tonnes of cargo. New cargo services include Lufthansa Cargo’s new freighter service at Changi from October. Using an 89 tonne capacity MD-11F aircraft, the German cargo carrier operates twice-weekly services to Frankfurt with stops in Cairo, Dhaka, Mumbai, New Delhi and Sharjah. Singapore Airlines Cargo also introduced a new service to Frankfurt which includes stops in Bengaluru, Chennai and Sharjah.
New cargo terminal for India’s Trichy
A new cargo terminal has been built at Trichy Airport in Tamil Nadu, India. The US$200,000 terminal will have two wings, one for export spread over a total area of 2,200 sqm and another for import with a 1,750 sqm built-up area. The export wing is fitted with a sterile area and additional facilities include cold storage for perishable cargo, specialised storage for hazardous cargo, as well as valuable cargo and an embedded electronic weighing scale for weighing up to five tonnes at a time. The holding capacity of the terminal is 250 metric tonnes but the Airport Authority of India (AAI) plans to add additional facilities in keeping with the increasing volume of freight traffic.
Düsseldorf cargo boost from Etihad, Lufthansa
Etihad Airways has commenced operations to Düsseldorf International Airport from 16 December using an A330-300 with around 18 tonnes cargo capacity per flight, beginning with a four times a week service increasing to daily service from April 2012. Etihad said this new development is part of a strategy to strengthen and widen the airline’s Abu Dhabi network and provides the manufacturers and exporters based around Düsseldorf with direct access to Etihad’s destinations and markets. And starting June 2012, Lufthansa will operate an A330-300 to its North American destinations of New York (Newark) [EWR], Chicago [ORD], Toronto [YYZ] and Miami [MIA]. Another wide bodied aircraft, an A340- 300, will be stationed in DUS and will operate six times per week to Tokyo Narita [NRT]. The cargo capacity on this flight will be around 8 tonnes.
Business confidence weighs heavy on cargo
Air freight has seen its sixth consecutive month of year-on-year decline with international and domestic air freight declining by four per cent according to the Airports Council International. Global exporters in Asia experienced sharp declines in total freight with Hong Kong (HKG), Shanghai (PVG) and Incheon (ICN) contracting by -8.2, -9.8 and -8 per cent respectively. The major North American freight airports all experienced declines in their year-on-year volume with Memphis (MEM) declining -1.5 per cent while both Anchorage (ANC) and Louisville (SDF) declined by over -5 per cent. The scenario is similar for Europe, where air freight has declined by -4.4 per cent. Among the major airports in the region, declines were observed in Frankfurt (FRA; -9.5 per cent), Amsterdam (AMS; -3.8 per cent) and London (LHR; -7.2 per cent). Despite the overall slowdown in global air freight, certain trading blocks in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East are less affected by the risks associated with sovereign debt in developed economies. Contrary to Africa’s decline in air passenger travel, air freight has posted the greatest gains compared to all other regions, although much of the region’s growth can be attributed to Johannesburg (JNB) at +8 per cent. International freight in key Brazilian airports observed notable double-digit gains. São Paulo (GRU) and Campinas (VCP) saw gains of +13.7 and +10.7 per cent respectively. The Middle East saw modest gains with overall growth reaching +2.3 per cent. “Year to date growth for overall passenger traffic has shown resilience at +4.6 per cent with international traffic up by over 6 per cent,” said ACI World’s economics director Rafael Echevarne. “Traffic in air freight, as a leading indicator, is much more sensitive to pending risks in the business cycle. International trade in air freight has been placed on the back burner until business confidence is revived, particularly with respect to the economies of Europe, Asia and North America. With the remaining fears of a possible Euro break-up, we are likely to observe year over year declines in freight traffic over the months to come.”
Swissport begins cargo handling at Narita
Global ground service provider, Swissport International has begun cargo handling services in Japan’s key international gateway at Tokyo’s Narita Airport from 12 November, after securing its first cargo contract there with Virgin Atlantic Cargo. Although the Zurichbased provider has been operating passenger ground handling and ramp services at Narita for several years, the cargo handling contract is a new development for Swissport.