Air Freight News

Below are links to stories relating to air freight

 

Heathrow give every MP a tin containing Scottish shortbread (and chocolate) as PR stunt on air freight

On about 21st July, Heathrow airport had a tin containing chocolate and Scottish shortbread delivered to every MP. Its aim was to try to persuade them that it is vital to ship UK exports from around the country via Heathrow, rather than them being exported from other airports. While it could be questioned whether there is a need to ship langoustines and salmon all the way across the world, it could also be questioned whether Scottish companies would prefer to use a Scottish airport. With an increasing desire by many in Scotland to be more independent from England, Edinburgh and Glasgow airports would be happy to build up their own long haul routes and take care of their own exports. All the time that Heathrow dominates UK aviation, new routes to long haul destinations (such as those for exports) will not be profitable from regional airports. Is Scotland really happy to continue to ship its produce via Heathrow? Do those affected by the environmental impacts, especially noise, from Heathrow really want Scottish products being freighted and then re-freighted over their heads? And as shortbread has a shelf life of at least 6 - 12 months, why is it being air freighted at all? Surely transfer by ship would be cheaper and more fuel efficient?

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Ciudad Real airport, cost €1.1 billion to build, sold for €10,000 to Chinese group, perhaps for cargo airport

An abandoned Spanish airport which cost about €1.1bn to build has been sold for €10,000 (about £7,000) in a bankruptcy auction. The deal includes the runway, hangars, the control tower and other buildings. However, the terminal and parking facilities were not part of the sale. Ciudad Real's Central airport, located about 235km south of Madrid, became a symbol of the country's wasteful spending during a construction boom that ended with the financial crisis of 2008, the year the airport opened. It was meant to be an alternative to Madrid's Barajas airport. The operator of the airport went bankrupt in 2012 after it failed to draw enough traffic. Ryanair used it briefly. A group of British and Asian international investors, Chinese group Tzaneen International, tabled the single bid in Friday's auction. There was no other interest. The receiver had set a minimum price of €28 million. If no better bid is received by September, the sale will go through. Tzaneen reportedly plans to invest €60 - €100 million in the airport and make it a cargo hub. The offer is for the airport infrastructure only, not adjacent land. It has a long runway and was designed to handle 2.5 million passengers per year. It is thought that Chinese companies want to make it their "main point of entry into Europe”.

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Freight Transport Assn writes to David Cameron to push importance of hub for air cargo

The Freight Transport Association's CEO has written to the Prime Minister, to say "the decline of Heathrow [presumably if a Gatwick runway was built] as a viable global cargo hub will increase the costs of freight and logistics across the UK." He said the importance of air freight should not be overlooked when considering the options for creating new airport capacity in south east England, and outlined the importance of a UK global hub airport. Air freight makes up 40% of UK air cargo by value, but far less by weight. The FTA is "concerned that the importance of air freight is being overlooked." 80% of freight at Heathrow is carried in the holds of scheduled passenger aircraft. In 2014 Heathrow moved almost 1.5 million tonnes of freight. The FTA wants expansion at Heathrow, and says "Gatwick does not possess the infrastructure to handle the volumes of cargo required." The FTA says the Government's decision on a runway should not be based solely on passenger considerations and "passengers are not the sole users of these flights nor the only beneficiaries of the wider choice of routes."

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Frankfurt airport campaigner finds large plane flap that fell from aircraft into forest under approach path

On 14th October, an airport campaigner from Frankfurt was walking with his dog in the forest near Frankfurt airport, overflown by an arrival flight path. He spotted an object lying near the path, which turned out to be a huge plane landing flap. Summoning colleagues they photographed it thoroughly, and then called the police. The flap was removed by the police and is being investigated by the German Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Investigation (BFU). Frankfurt airport was aware that a flap had been lost a week earlier, and police said they had searched for it unsuccessfully. The airport initially tried to say it was lost by another plane some years back, but the flap was obviously clean and recently fallen. From markings on the flap, it is clear it is from a Korean cargo plane, and an observer at the time of the incident reported seeing something fall from a light blue plane. There had been similar incident, involving a Korean cargo plane, in 2009. As the flap is about 3 - 4 metres long and weighs between 30 - 50kg, it is fortunate it only landed in forest. But it was only 300 metres from the busy A661 road.

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Work on Carlisle airport revamp for freight centre could start in 6 weeks, if there is no legal challenge

Work on the redevelopment of Carlisle Airport could begin in 6 weeks, unless there is another legal challenge to the planning approval granted by Carlisle City Council councillors. Their development control committee has given the scheme – which includes the creation of a huge freight distribution depot – full approval. It was the 4th time that the matter has gone to committee for decision. Work can start, if there is no application by opponents of the scheme for a judicial review of the planning approval. That application would have to be lodged within 6 weeks. The planning law has recently changed, so the council did not need to consider whether the airport would be commercially viable, nor whether Stobart would actually keep the airport open - rather than just use the land for freight storage and transfer. One key opponent, Peter Elliott, has stressed that the runway should be realigned, to take it away from Irthington village, due to safety. Supporters of the scheme hope it will create jobs, but that is uncertain. Stobart shareholders had previously been told that the huge freight distribution centre would reduce rather than create jobs. Stobart hope 40,000 people per year would fly from Carlisle to Southend Airport, plus 20,000 per year to Dublin.

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The guilty little high-carbon secrets of those lovely, innocent, romantic Valentine roses

Valentine's Day is traditionally the day, in the US, UK and much of Europe (banned in Saudi Arabia) when flowers, especially red roses, are given. Many of these are airfreighted thousands of miles. This year it is reported that IAG Cargo carried nearly 800 tons of flowers for Valentine’s Day. The most common varieties carried by IAG are roses and carnations coming from Ecuador, Colombia, Kenya, Costa Rica, Guatemala and South Africa. The main destinations for these flowers are Madrid and London, followed by other Spanish cities, along with Lisbon, Rome, Amsterdam, and Munich. Mothers' Day is another peak day, with other saints days in European countries. LAN Cargo and its affiliates said they transport over 15 million bouquets of flowers all over the world during the month before 14th February. They say between January 20 and February 9, around 200 LAN Cargo flights took off from Colombia, and Ecuador with an average of 2,100 tonnes of flowers daily. The main destinations of these flights are the USA and the Netherlands with the majority via Miami. Lufthansa Cargo said it flew around 1,000 tonnes of roses to Frankfurt this year, transporting up to 90 tonnes of roses on a single flight. The numbers are up on 2013. IATA says air freighting flowers is more "sustainable" than growing them in heated greenhouses in cold countries.

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1.4% growth in global air freight in 2013, with 1.8% air freight growth in Europe

Global air freight tonne kilometers grew by 1.4% in 2013 compared to 2012, according to figures from IATA. Cargo markets made slow progress during the first half of the year. Growth took place in the 2nd half of the year. Capacity grew faster than demand at 2.6% making load factors decline, at 45.3%. “2013 was a tough year for cargo,” Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO, said. “While we saw some improvement in demand from the second half of the year, we can still expect that 2014 will be a challenging year. World trade continues to expand more rapidly than demand for air cargo." Air passenger demand is growing faster, at 5.2% globally in 2013 compared to 2012. Middle Eastern and Latin American carriers reported the strongest growth in demand in 2013. Asia-Pacific carriers, which have nearly 40% of the global airfreight market, saw freight volumes fall 1% in 2013. European airlines reported cargo growth of 1.8% for 2013, and North American cargo volume fell by 0.4% during the year. Middle East carriers had a 12.8% increase in Freight Tonne Kilometres (FTK) partly due to growth in domestic Gulf economies. Middle Eastern carriers have also captured a significant share of the increase in the volumes out of Africa. 


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IATA air freight data over the past year month by month – slowing very small growth

IATA monthly data show global air freight is only rising very slowly indeed, with falls in some months. For instance, measuring FTK (Freight Tonne Kilometres) the increase was +0.5% in September 2013; + 3.5% in August; + 1.2% in July; + 1.2% in June 2013; + 0.8% in May 2013; + 1.4% in April 2013; - 2.3% in March 2013; - 6.2% in Feb 2013 ; + 5.0% in Jan 2013; - 0.3% in Dec 2013; + 1.6% in Nov 2012; and -.3.5% in Oct 2012. For all of 2012, the amount of freight was down - 1.5% compared to 2011. And in 2011 the total number of freight kilometres was itself down by - 0.7% compared to 2010. At present, the total freight traffic market shares by region of carriers in terms of FTK are: Asia-Pacific 38.8%, Europe 23.9%, North America 20.8%, Middle East 12.0%, Latin America 3.1%, Africa 1.4%. In 2012 the only regions that saw a growth in air freight were Africa and the Middle East. All other regions saw a decline; this was - 2.9% in Europe. In 2011 there were approximately 29.7 millions tonnes air freighted.

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Public health checks mean Manston airport needs to become a DPE to import Kenyan veg

The No Night Flights campaign at Manston has discovered that many of the much disliked night flights there are bringing in peas and beans from Kenya. The EU has now identified some of these peas and beans in the pods as being a possible risk to public health, due to the level of pesticides present. It is therefore deemed necessary to test 10% of these imports, and this can only be done at the number of ports and airports that have the status of Designated Points of Entry (DPEs). Manston does not yet have this status, and will need to apply and be registered in order for these imports to continue.

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2% fall in global air freight, by tonne kilometres, in 2012 compared to 2011

Air Cargo World reports that during 2012, there has been a decline in global air freight. Until 2011 air freight and number of air passengers roughly matched each other. And air freight roughly matched world economic growth. But since last year, passenger numbers have continued to rise, while air freight has declined. World trade has grown steadily for 3 years but has lost its correlation with air freight. Volumes of goods carried by container ships has not decreased. The reason for the decline in air freight may be that emerging economies such as China, India and Latin America were now driving global growth and were transporting bulk commodities by sea rather than flying low-volume, high-value goods. The US and Europe have lost their historic dominance and are now responsible for just 9% and 7% respectively of trade growth. Over the decade 2001 to 2011 global air freight grew by an average of 3.7%. It grew by an average of 6.1% per year from 1991 to 2001. But Boeing forecasts global air freight will grow by 5.2% annually over the next 20 years. ??

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