Friday, February 22, 2013

Air Freight Wholesaling Expands in India, New Service and Cargo Agents Named, Conference News

Old Sponsor for Logistics Conference but New Agents and Services Announced
Shipping News Feature

LUXEMBOURG – NIGERIA – INDIA – HONG KONG – FRANCE - WORLDWIDE – Freight only airline Cargolux, recently announced that it is to add a new service to its African network, transporting equipment to the oil and gas industry. Meanwhile, air freight wholesaler Air Menzies International (AMI) has created a new regional division to spearhead its development in India with the launch its own operation in Mumbai whilst US Airways, soon to join with American Airlines, has a new cargo general sales agent in France.

From March 5th, Cargolux will add Port Harcourt in Nigeria as a new destination to its African Network. The inaugural service, CV7122, will be operated by a Boeing 747 freighter. The new service will connect Lagos (Nigeria), Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo) and Nairobi (Kenya) with Europe and offers convenient and efficient onward connections to and from all Cargolux destinations worldwide. The company is viewing further expansion in Africa and expects new services to additional destinations on the continent during 2013. In a release, the company said:

“Port Harcourt perfectly fits into Cargolux’s network as it has strong oil and gas traffic. Given the geo-political location, the oil and gas industry in the region increasingly demands more direct flights for its equipment and support-related items. Flying heavy and outsized goods for these industries on its nose-door equipped freighters is one of Cargolux’s specialties and customers have long relied on the company’s expertise in this field.”

Elsewhere, AMI introduces its renowned trade-only air cargo wholesaling concept to the Indian market for the first time. Air cargo consolidation and wholesale activity in India has previously been restricted to co-loading among freight agents. AMI's Mumbai operation, based near the city's international airport, is initially focusing on airport-airport traffic to the company's existing stations in the UK, US and Africa. AMI India will progressively introduce more destinations, and additional products such as airport-door, over the coming months.

AMI India will also work to stimulate import traffic to all key points in India, from its fellow AMI stations at 21 locations in the US, UK, Europe, South Africa, Far East and Australasia. Breakbulk imports to cities other than Mumbai will continue to be handled by its existing network of service partners across the country. Once its Mumbai office is fully established, AMI India plans to follow this with further branches in Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad.

Heading up AMI India as Regional Vice President is Trevor Saldanha, whose 20 year career in transportation includes senior positions in airlines, freight forwarders, 3PLs and shippers. Before joining AMI he spent 15 years with Patel Integrated Logistics Ltd, most recently as CEO of its international division. AMI Chief Executive Officer Stephen Koller, commented:

"We are delighted to have Trevor on board. He is widely known and enjoys a reputation as a leader with integrity in the Indian freight industry. Trevor is by far the best man to lead the charge in establishing the AMI brand across the country.

“This is an exciting new development for AMI, in a market whose potential is simply vast. We are confident that AMI's rates, neutrality, global reach, and customer-focused professionalism will ensure its success. AMI will enable customers to succeed in ways that will change the face of airfreight in India."

Meanwhile in France, US Airways has appointed EFIS Air, a subsidiary of ECS Group, as its new cargo general sales agent. The new contract extends the working relationship between the two companies in Europe. ECS already acts as US Airways’ GSA in the UK, Belgium and the Netherlands.

US Airways operates daily Airbus A330 flights from Paris to its international gateway in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania providing fast and reliable access to its entire North American network. During its summer schedule, US Airways adds a seasonal A330 non-stop service to Charlotte, North Carolina with access to its South American network, including connections to Brazil and the airline’s Airbus A330 flights offer a cargo capacity of 15 tons to the U.S.

US Airways was ranked America’s number one on-time airline among the ‘big six’ hub and spoke carriers, according to the US Department of Transportation and Adrien Thominet, Chief Operating Officer of ECS Group, said:

“US Airways is a very important carrier in the French market. Freight forwarders in France will be able to connect with this and all of the airline’s network through direct services to its U.S hubs. Our strong position in the French market and extensive sales network means we expect to deliver excellent results for US Airways and further strengthen the airline’s trust in our ability, which we are already demonstrating in other prime European markets.”

In other airfreight related news, Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (Hactl) is to sponsor the Cargo Facts Asia Conference which takes place this year at the Langham Hotel, Tsim Sha Tsui in Hong Kong on April 16 and 17. In its role as sponsor, Hactl will once again bring the two-day programme to an end with a tour of its giant SuperTerminal 1 base, a single cargo handling facility which processed 2.7 million tonnes of cargo in 2012. Hactl CEO Mark Whitehead said:

“We are delighted to support this important event again in 2013. It should provide valuable insight into the future of Asia Pacific air cargo, and its impact on aircraft design, conversion and choice, particularly in the beleaguered freighter sector. We again welcome ACMG [Air Cargo Management Group – organiser] and the conference delegates to our operation, and hope they will find the tour an enlightening aspect of the event.”

Photo: Courtesy of DB (Donya Bar) International Logistics Ltd.