Ministry fast-tracks creation of air freight stations

To be highlighted in new Government’s 100-day achievement

The Ministry of Civil Aviation has fast tracked creation of air freight stations (AFS), an off-airport common user facility, to handle air cargo across the country. It is a key project to be highlighted in the 100-day achievement of the new government, according to sources.

The AFS will help in penetration of international air cargo activities into manufacturing and consumption clusters located in the hinterland, as well as decongest air cargo terminals.

Better planning by airlines for export will be facilitated as advance information about Customs clearance will now be available.

The idea is to cut down transaction costs for companies, improve productivity, efficiency and enhance competitiveness. By providing AFS closer to production/consumption hubs, the air cargo industry would get the required support and boost, said sources.

The concept of AFS was first introduced seven years ago in Chennai to help customers take delivery of cargo in one or two days. However, it failed to take off owing to absence of an integrated approach involving all connected agencies.

The new government wants to revive the project with a few changes. This was discussed at an Air Cargo Logistic Promotion Board meeting in Delhi, said sources.

A draft guideline prepared by MoCA on AFS is under circulation with various stakeholders. It is a globally accepted practice to confine terminals (sea or airport) as transit points and extend all other processes to outside facilities.

India was lagging in this concept but with the advent of Customs Electronic Data Interchange, Risk Management System and Accredited Clients Programme coupled with the congestion in the approach roads, seaports have realised the advantages of container freight stations (CFS) that have sprung up in Chennai, Nhava Sheva, Kolkata, Tuticorin and Visakhapatnam.

Feedback from industry suggests that there is need for common and binding policy guidelines to facilitate setting up of AFS, covering all government agencies and other private operators involved in the supply chain of export and import cargo, sources said.

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Air cargo growth accelerates 4.7% y-o-y in May 2014, says IATA

KUALA LUMPUR (July 3): Global air freight markets showed air cargo growth accelerated in May, with 4.7% expansion compared to a year ago, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

In a statement July 2, IATA said the May growth was up from the 3.8% year-on-year growth recorded in April.

Cargo volumes, measured by Freight Tonne Kilometers (FTKs) were up across all regions, but with significant differences in performance, it said.

The IATA said the Middle East carriers reported 9.3% year-on-year growth, whereas the corresponding growth rate for North American carriers stood at 2.4%.

It added that the acceleration of growth reflected improved economic conditions, explaining that there were indications that world trade and business confidence to be improving after weakness in the first quarter.

In particular, Chinese manufacturing activity rebounded in May, with a corresponding rise in export order growth, it said.

IATA director general and CEO Tony Tyler said that after several months of wavering conditions in the demand environment, the outlook for global air cargo appeared to be stabilising.

“That’s good news but the sector still faces an uphill battle to restore competitiveness and increase its share of trade growth.

“This will not be achieved with a business-as-usual mindset. The competitors to air cargo are innovating aggressively, cutting end-to-end shipping times and improving efficiency.

“There is tremendous potential in the e-cargo agenda to help shorten average shipping times by 48 hours from the current average of 6.5 days. Airlines have a pivotal role through expanding the use of e-Air Waybills. But success will need a united approach across the value chain,” he said.

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EU Air Freight Rules Draw Moscow's Ire

New European Union air cargo rules that have ignited a row with Russia and jeopardized annual trade worth more than 13 billion euros ($18 billion) came into force on Tuesday, and is likely to heighten tensions between the EU and Moscow.

The EU is gradually tightening its security rules for air shipments. Russia argues its airlines and airports need no extra checks since they have met safety standards set by a United Nations aviation body.

Moscow has threatened to retaliate by imposing additional security requirements on cargo shipments from the EU. That could ground air trade between the two markets.

Air carriers flying cargo into the EU from Russia are now rushing to secure extensions from European authorities and say they are caught in the middle of a political dispute. Several Russian airlines said they were continuing cargo shipments to Europe as normal on Tuesday.

Relations between the EU and Russia have soured dramatically over the Ukraine crisis and Moscow’s annexation of Crimea. The tension has also worsened a trade dispute over pork exports to Russia from the 28-member bloc.

According to the cargo rules, from July 1 airlines shipping cargo into the EU must have their security procedures verified by an EU-accredited expert at each airport they use outside the EU, unless they receive an extension of up to six months from EU officials or their country is exempt from the rules.

The main sticking point between Brussels and Moscow is a so-called “green list” of countries which do not need extra checks because their security standards are considered exacting enough. Russia has so far not made the list.

Green list

Russia has been pressing for inclusion on the green list of around 10 countries, including the United States and Japan. The EU has yet to make a decision.

Moscow says it observes security standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) — a UN agency — and that should be enough to guarantee its inclusion.

“We don’t see the necessity to reconfirm once again adherence to implementation of the measures,” Vladimir Chizhov, Russia’s ambassador to the EU, told Reuters by email, referring to the ICAO standards. “Russia does not intend to undertake additional inspections.”

A spokesman for Russia’s Transport Ministry said Russian officials had sent a letter to the European Commission suggesting another round of talks but were yet to receive a reply. The European Commission, however, said it had no knowledge of the letter.

Last week, an EU transport official said the EU was “ready to work with partner countries to smooth the implementation of the program … and in some cases to accept small changes to the rules.” It was not immediately clear what form these changes could take.

Caught in the middle

Airlines complain they have been placed in an unfair position and can do little to influence the high-level dispute between Russian and EU officials.

“Carriers should not be caught in the middle of political and technical disagreements,” said Geert Scion, a spokesman for the Association of European Airlines, a lobby group.

Volga-Dnepr, a major Russian cargo airline group, said its subsidiary Atran had already received a deferral of the additional EU security checks. It was still preparing the necessary documents for its other subsidiaries.

“Halting air cargo transit to Europe and back to Russia, which forms a significant part of Volga-Dnepr’s business, could cause serious damage not only to the company but also to a whole series of sectors of the Russian economy,” it said.

Aeroflot, Russia’s largest airline, declined a request for comment. A source at the airline, however, said cargo shipments were continuing as usual as of Tuesday.

Transaero, another Russian carrier, said in a statement it had received clearance from Spanish experts to ship freight into the EU from four Russian airports for the next five years. It said the approval process took several years.

Russia is the EU’s eighth most important air freight partner. Annual traffic between the two has been growing 16 percent over the last five years, according to the EU executive. The EU imported 4.5 billion euros worth of Russian goods by air in 2013 and exported goods valued at 8.6 billion euros, data from the EU’s statistics office show.

The new rules were introduced in response to a foiled terrorist plot to ship bombs disguised as printer cartridges from Yemen to the United States via the EU in 2010.

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Swissport Wins Its Sixth Straight 'Cargo Agent Of The Year' Award

Swissport International, the world’s leading provider of ground and cargo handling services to the aviation industry, was awarded “Air Cargo Handling Agent of the Year 2014” by “Air Cargo Week”. The readers acknowledged Swissport’s efforts to satisfy the needs of cargo customers by conferring this highly regarded decoration to the company for the sixth consecutive year.

Each year, “Air Cargo Week” presents the global airfreight industry’s premier awards event, the ACW World Air Cargo Awards. This renowned event recogniszs excellence in ten different categories, one of which is the “Air Cargo Handling Agent of the Year”. Readers can judge the participating companies by the scope of service, the investment in people and technology as well as service standards and quality.

The award ceremony took place during a glamorous gala dinner at Kerry Hotel in Pudong, Shanghai, on the evening of Wednesday, 18th June, during the Air Cargo China 2014. The award was handed over to Rudolf Steiner, SVP Global Cargo Sales Account Management at Swissport, who comments: “I am thrilled that we have won this award for the sixth time in a row. I would like to congratulate the team, as this is clearly the result of the committed teamwork at each single station at airports around the world. I would like to thank our customers for their continued loyalty and trust in the services we provide for them.”

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Accelya wins second in 2014

Accelya, the leading provider of financial and business intelligence solutions to the Airline industry, has won the ‘Information Technology for the Air Cargo Industry 2014’ at the ACW World Air Cargo Awards 2014 ceremony hosted in Shanghai on 18th June 2014.

The Award was based on votes casted by airline executives on parameters including; understanding the needs of the market, making IT easier for the airfreight community, innovation and new product development.

World Air Cargo Awards are conducted annually and are hosted by Air Cargo Week, the world’s only weekly newspaper published for the airfreight professional.
ACW World Air Cargo Award is the second award in 2014 in which Accelya has been voted by airline community as winner in the Information Technology category. In March 2014, Accelya was voted as the IT Company of the Year 2014 at the Air Transport News Awards.

Philippe Lesueur, Chairman, Accelya Group said, “We are delighted to be acknowledged for the second time this year as the IT Company of the Year by Air Cargo Week and other leading industry publications. I would like to congratulate all employees of Accelya for the value delivered to our customers and the airline industry.”

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Cargojet & First Air Announce Strategic Air Cargo Cooperation

MISSISSAUGA AND KANATA, ON , June 24, 2014 /CNW/ – Cargojet and First Air announced today they have signed a Cooperation Agreement that will create significant cost efficiencies for both carriers.

Cargojet will assume the remaining lease obligation of First Air’s B767-200 Extended Range Freighter aircraft, subject to the approval of the lessor, and will provide scheduled freighter aircraft service to First Air from Ottawa and Winnipeg to Iqaluit three days per week. Both parties will maintain their respective and existing end-user customer relationships but offer enhanced overall reliability and service to all customers. 

Cargojet will be the primary and exclusive provider of freighter aircraft lift from the southern points in Canada to/from Iqaluit and First Air will be the primary provider of cargo lift within Nunavut and across the North. Joint sales and marketing initiatives of each other’s respective networks will create new revenue opportunities for both parties while providing seamless services to the marketplace.

The two airlines plan to widen their cooperation into other areas, such as joint cargo handling and aircraft maintenance.

“Cargojet is a perfect fit for First Air, a complementary network and an outstanding record of reliability and service. Both companies will benefit from synergies that will be mutually beneficial for both companies as well as for our cargo customers,” said Dr. Brock Friesen , President and CEO of First Air.

“We are looking forward to working with First Air allowing both organizations to benefit from reduced costs, enhanced revenues and to offer a seamless, flexible and reliable air cargo service to Canadian shippers across Canada ,” said  Dr. Ajay K. Virmani , President CEO of Cargojet.

About First Air –
With a fleet of 23 aircraft including the only two civilian owned and operated Hercules aircraft in Canada , First Air has been connecting the people of the North for over 60 years and offers cargo, charter and scheduled service to more northern destinations than any other airline. First Air is a wholly owned subsidiary of Makivik Corporation since 1990, with over 1,000 employees, of which more than 450 work and live in the North.

About Cargojet –
Cargojet is Canada’s leading provider of time sensitive overnight air cargo services.  Cargojet services 14 major city centers coast to coast each business night. Cargojet operates its network across North America carrying approximately 750,000 pounds  of cargo each business night. Cargojet has a fleet of 22 aircraft consisting of  B767-300ER, B767-200ER, B757-200ER and B727-200AF long range freighter aircraft. For more information please visist

SOURCE Cargojet Inc.

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