PLA Global Wrap: Week 15

Airbus cuts Beluga fleet’s carbon impact; FedEx deploys turboprop freighter on Prague-Paris route; CEVA Logistics joins 'Eco-Skies Alliance'


Aeronautical Engineers Air & Cargo Services air cargo Air Cargo Asia air cargo freight Air Forwarding air freight Air Freight Asia Air Freight Logistics air freighter air freighting Airbus CEVA Logistic DB Schenker Eco-Skies Alliance Etihad Cargo FedEx GA Telesis Inc. Rom Top Aviation SkyCell United Airlines Vietjet Virgin Atlantic Worldwide Flight Services


In week 15 of PLA’s Global Wrap, we feature Airbus’s use of sustainable aviation fuel for its Beluga fleet, as well as the new purpose-built turboprop that FedEx deployed to carry shipments between Paris and Prague. We round up the wrap with other industry updates, including United’s new initiative, AEI’s new orders for its B737-800SF, and the French Legion of Honour making its way to Vietnam. Here’s what happened in week 14.

Airbus cuts Beluga fleet’s environmental impact
Airbus has taken the next step in reducing its industrial carbon footprint with the maiden flight of a Beluga super-transporter using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from the company’s Broughton plant in the UK. The north Wales line station, which uses the Beluga fleet to transport aircraft wings to Toulouse, Hamburg and Bremen, became the second Airbus European site to use SAF, after Hamburg introduced the fuel to its cargo activities at the end of 2019. Made from used sustainable feedstock, such as cooking oil, the SAF was supplied to Airbus by Air bp.

FedEx deploys turboprop to connect Prague and Paris
FedEx Express has introduced a purpose-built turboprop freighter in its aircraft fleet for the Prague-Paris-Prague route. The new ATR 72-6007 will fly four days week and will connect businesses and enable trade between Central and Eastern Europe. The turboprop freighter, which can carry up to 9 tonnes, can be loaded with bulk cargo or accommodate five 88” x 108” pallets or up to seven LD3 containers.The express operator is looking to modernise its fleet to cut emissions in the short term, with the aim of delivering carbon neutral operations by 2040.

CEVA Logistics joins United’s ‘Eco-Skies Alliance’
CEVA Logistics last week joined United Airlines’ Eco-Skies Alliance as an inaugural participant to promote the use sustainable aviation fuel. The forwarder, together with other corporations, will work with the airline to procure approximately 3.4 million gallons of SAF this year. Individual customers are also invited to join the airline’s efforts by contributing funds to purchase SAF.

WFS names Jennifer Smith, UK commercial director
Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) has named its newest commercial director for cargo and ground handling in the UK. Jennifer Smith, previously regional cargo sales manager at Air New Zealand for UK and Europe, will be responsible for strengthening the company’s airline client relationships and onboarding new ones. She spent 20 years in regional cargo sales management roles with Continental Airlines, American Airlines and Etihad Airways.

AEI takes four more B737-800SF orders for GA Telesis
Aeronautical Engineers, Inc. (AEI) is taking four additional B737-800SF orders for conversion from Florida-based aircraft lessor GA Telesis. GA Telesis ordered its first AEI B737-800SF and then immediately exercised an option for a second B737-800SF. GA Telesis stated that multiple candidates are under consideration for conversion. Three production slots have been reserved in the second half of 2021 and one slot reserved in the first half of 2022. All modification touch labor and maintenance requirements will be performed by authorised conversion centre, Commercial Jet, in Dothan, Alabama.

DB Schenker moves 82-tonne vaccine equipment
DB Schenker transported equipment for a vaccine filling line last week from Germany to the US, which is expected to ramp up the monthly vaccine production to 30 million doses for Nexus Pharmaceuticals. The shipment, weighing 82 tonnes and split into 20 boxes, was transported from two locations in Ilshofen and Billerbeck to Frankfurt-Hahn Airport (HHN) before being moved by air to Chicago Rockford (RFD). Due to the size of cargo, DB Schenker supervised two flights: an An-124 carried 67 tonnes whilst another 15 tonnes were transported on a weekly scheduled HHN-RFD charter flight.

Etihad Cargo names Rom Top Aviation as Israel agent
Etihad Cargo has selected Rom Top Aviation Ltd, as its general sales agent (GSA) in Israel ahead of the 6 April launch of the airline’s twice weekly service between Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv. The move comes as official government figures from Israel point to rising trade with the UAE following the renewed diplomatic relations between the two nations. Tthe airline anticipates strong demand for its specialised PharmaLife and FreshForward products given Israel’s ‘prowess’ in the medical and food production sectors

Virgin Atlantic partners with SkyCell
Virgin Atlantic is taking its pharma service to a new level after teaming up with SkyCell for its temperature-controlled containers. The airline will use SkyCell containers covering the full range, ensuring the safe, secure, and sustainable shipment of vaccines and pharma products. The hybrid containers, with an average runtime of 202 hours, are said to have a failure rate of less than 0.1 percent, compared to 12 percent industry-wide, which Virgin Atlantic will offer through its Pharma Secure service.

Vietjet CEO receives French Legion of Honour
Vietjet President and CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao received the Legion of Honour from France in an award ceremony held at the French embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam on 14 April. The self-made billionaire was recognised for her involvement as chairperson of Sovico Group, where she has made contributions to solidify the cooperation between Vietnam, Europe and France, particularly in the aerospace industry. The Legion of Honour, founded by Napoleon Bonaparte, is the highest order of merit awarded by the French government to individuals and organizations to acknowledge one’s special contributions.



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