Air freight rates continue to climb, with a strong peak season on the radar

By Alexander Whiteman

Air freight rates are continuing their climb, with the sector enjoying back-to-back monthly increases and year-on-year growth. In Drewry’s latest East-West Airfreight Price Index, rates were up 1.9 per cent in July, compared with June, and up around 1.5 per cent against July 2016. “In anticipation of a strong peak season, several forwarders have upped their capacity allocations out of Asia and have lined up charter capacity,” said Drewry. “We expect airfreight rates to further grow in August.”

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Airlines and shipping step up to maintain supply lines as Qatar battles blockade

By Alex Lennane

As Qatar battles major boycotts, Oman’s ports of Sohar and Salalah are set to handle its regional sea trade, while airlines, including Iran Air, are carrying large quantities of food imports. Since early June, when seven countries cut ties to Qatar, carriers have been working out new routings to avoid a direct link between the UAE’s ports and Qatar’s. With container hubs at Jebel Ali, Khar Fakkan, Fujairah and Abu Dhabi no longer able to ship directly to Qatar, Oman is set to become the key transit point.

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Freighter ambitions curbed as more countries impose aircraft age restrictions

By Ian Putzger

Cargo aircraft operators in Thailand are facing age limits on commercial aircraft brought into the country, which would severely limit their ability to take on converted freighters. And the authorities have yet to announce a cap on the service age of planes already registered in Thailand for commercial use, which could further undermine the viability of placing cargo aircraft in the kingdom. The proposed ceiling for freighters to be deployed in Thailand is 18 years at registration, compared with 16 years for passenger planes.

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‘Aloha Air Canada’ as Tim Strauss is set to replace cargo chief Lise-Marie Turpin

By Alex Lennane

The search for a replacement for Lise-Marie Turpin, well-respected cargo chief of Air Canada, has come to a close. Tim Strauss, Vice-President, Cargo, for Hawaiian Airlines, is expected to take up the post on her retirement, The Loadstar has learned.

Ms. Turpin told Air Canada last year she wanted to retire, but would wait for the right replacement. She has held the position of Vice-President, Cargo, for five years and was Managing Director, Cargo, for nearly four years. Under her tenure Air Canada Cargo has become known for its innovation, both in technology and operations. One executive told The Loadstar “she will be a hard act to follow”.

Equally, however, the Hawaiian shirt-sporting Mr. Strauss has made a name for himself in cargo, becoming one of the most enthusiastic industry chiefs. He spent four years as MD, Cargo, before becoming Vice-President, Cargo, in July 2014. He previously worked for Delta Airlines Cargo as MD Global Operations.

One executive said: “Tim Strauss is a good guy, and Air Canada is a great airline in cargo. So he’ll get a smooth-running machine that has nowhere to go but up.” It is believed that Mr. Strauss will join the carrier on April 1, while Ms. Turpin will leave at the end of April. Air Canada and Hawaiian Airlines were unable to confirm the appointment before publication.

Reprinted courtesy of The Loadstar (www.theloadstar.co.uk)

AF-KLM blames cargo losses on low load factors and stiff competition

By Alex Lennane

Air France-KLM announced yet another full-year loss in its cargo operations. However, there was a 1 per cent improvement on 2015, at €244 million. Its fourth-quarter results fell 5 per cent year-on-year to a loss of €28 million, following a loss of €23 million last year, despite improved market conditions at the end of last year, as volumes fell 5 per cent on 4 per cent less capacity.

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